Kathleen Key


Kathleen Key

Kathleen Key (April 1, 1903 - December 22, 1954) was an American actress who achieved a brief period of fame during the silent era. She is probably best remembered for playing "Tirzah" in the 1925 film Ben-Hur. Kathleen was the great-great granddaughter of Francis Scott Key, composer of the Star Spangled Banner.

Early life

Born Kitty Lanahan in Buffalo, New York, she first debuted in films in 1920 in the film "The Jackeroo of Coolabong", playing a lead role. From that point on to the end of the 1920s, Kathleen Key, sometimes credited as Kathleen Keys, starred in several films, but never really reached stardom, and was never given much credit for the roles she had, although there were some exceptions.

Rise to fame

In the early '20s, Kathleen had a well-known love affair with silent-film actor Buster Keaton, who was married at the time. As told in Keaton's biography, the actor attempted to call off the relationship, but Key flew into a jealous rage and ransacked his MGM dressing room, which caused her to be virtually blacklisted afterward by the movie industry. It is also stated that Keaton refused to give Key a monetary loan. A telegram, sent by one of Keaton's friends who had heard about the argument, comically read: "Congratulations. Hear you are off Key."

In 1922 Miss Key was featured in "Omar Khayyam" and played a vampire in "Where's My Wandering Boy Tonight". The same year she signed to play with Charles Buck Jones in "Vamoos" for Fox Film. In this role she wore the dress once worn by Sara Sothern in the stage production of "Smilin Through" at the Majestic Theater in Los Angeles, California. The actress spent a year in Australia as a leading woman in productions of Snow Baker around this time. Prior to making "Vamoos", Kathleen starred with John Gilbert in "St. Elmo", also for Fox. She was cast as an "innocent young thing" rather than playing her frequent vampire part. In 1923, as Kathleen's career slowly progressed, she was selected one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars. In 1929, Key appeared in "The Phantom of the North", which appeared to be her last film. However, she made three, very small and uncredited roles in 1930, 1935, and 1936, as a dance hall girl in Klondike Annie. After these minuscule appearances, it seems the actress retired from film altogether.

In 1941, Key was unable to pay a fine she received for drunk driving, which proved that the actress was down on her luck following retirement. The sultry, exotic-looking actress spent the rest of her days in moderate comfort at the Motion Picture Country House in Woodland Hills, California, where she died at the age of 51 in 1954.

Filmography

* "The Jackeroo of Coolabong" (1920)
* "The Rookie's Return" (1920)
* "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (1921)
* "Where's My Wandering Boy Tonight?" (1922)
* "West of Chicago" (1922)
* "Bells of San Juan" (1922)
* "The Beautiful and Damned" (1922)
* "Hell's Hole" (1923)
* "The Rendezvous" (1923)
* "North of Hudson Bay" (1923)
* "Reno" (1923)
* "The Man from Brodney's" (1923)
* "The Trouble Shooter" (1924)
* "The Sea Hawk" (1924)
* "Revelation" (1924)
* "A Lover's Oath" (1925)
* "The Big Parade" (1925)
* "Ben Hur" (1925)
* "Under Western Skies" (1926)
* "The Flaming Frontier" (1926)
* "Money Talks" (1926)
* "College Days" (1926)
* "The Desert's Toll" (1926)
* "Hey! Hey! Cowboy" (1927)
* "Irish Hearts" (1927)
* "Golf Widows" (1928)
* "The Family Picnic" (1929)
* "The Phantom of the North" (1929)
* "Sweeping Against the Winds" (1930)
* "Thunder in the Night" (1935) (uncredited)
* "Klondike Annie" (1936) (uncredited)

References

*Los Angeles Times, "In Race to Reign at Legion's Fete", November 9, 1921, Page III 1.
*Los Angeles Times, "Dancers Versatile", January 16, 1922, Page 19.
*Los Angeles Times, "Stops Vamping Awhile", July 28, 1922, Page I 14.

External links

* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0450748/ Kathleen Key] at the Internet Movie Database
*


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kathleen Key — Nombre real Kitty Lanahan Nacimiento 1 de abril de 1903 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Kathleen Key — En 1924 Données clés Nom de naissance Kitty Lanahan …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Key (surname) — Key is a surname, and may refer to:* Alexander Key * Berthold Wells Key * cEvin Key * Dana Key * David M. Key * David McK. Key * Ellen Key * Francis Scott Key, author of the United States national anthem * Gordon J. Key * James L. Key * Jimmy Key …   Wikipedia

  • Kathleen Kenyon — Born January 5, 1906(1906 01 05) London …   Wikipedia

  • Kathleen Seefeldt — Kathleen Kenna Seefeldt is an American politician who served as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors of Prince William County, Virginia from 1992 1999. She is a Democrat. PersonalBorn in Minnesota, Mrs. Seefeldt earned her undergraduate degree… …   Wikipedia

  • Kathleen Baskin-Ball — is an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church. She was ordained as deacon and probationary member of the North Texas Conference in 1983 and as elder and full member of the North Texas Conference in 1988. She has received national… …   Wikipedia

  • Kathleen Willey — était une bénévole à la Maison Blanche qui, le 15 mars 1998, a allégué lors de l émission télévisée d informations 60 minutes que Bill Clinton l avait harcelée sexuellement, le 29 novembre 1993, pendant son premier mandat de Président des États… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kathleen Willey — was a White House volunteer aide who, on March 15, 1998, alleged on the TV news program 60 Minutes that Bill Clinton had sexually assaulted her on November 29, 1993, during his first term as President. She had been subpoenaed to testify in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kathleen York — Données clés Surnom Bird York Nationalité …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kathleen Stephens — is the United States ambassador to South Korea.cite news|work=Naver News|title=차기 주한 美대사 33년전 예산중 영어교사 (Next U.S. Ambassador to Korea was an English teacher at Yesan Middle 33 years ago)|date=2008 01 28|accessdate=2008 01 28|url=http://news.naver …   Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.