Brian was born Robert Alba Keith on Nov. 14, 1921 in Bayonne, New Jersey to actors Robert Keith and Helena Shipman. Both worked and toured with the John Golden Theatre Group.

They divorced and his father went to Hollywood and started his television and movie career. Helena continued to do stage and radio and her mother and grandmother Apker helped to raise Brian on Long Island and she taught Brian to read and at a very early age he was reading books way beyond his age level.

One of Brian's recollection of his parents on stage was the many hours that he spent back stage "being quiet" and reading for hours, and Helena told me that Brian was such a good baby because she would put him in the dressing room in one of her dresser draws and he was quiet and quite cozy and would sleep through the whole show.

At nineteen, Brian joined the United States Marine Corps, and served from
1941-45. He was awarded the Air Navy Medal. Brian then returned to New
York and started his acting career on Broadway with many plays, like "Mr.
Roberts" and "The Moon is Blue" (oddly enough, his father was in "Mr.
Roberts" in San Francisco at the same time). Brian got offers for a movie at
Paramount Studios, and so began Brian's life's work as an actor on television
and movies.

Listen to a sample of Brian Keith's score to The Westerner.

For those interested, Brian is laid to rest at Pierce Bros. Westwood
Village Memorial Park in Westwood Village, California.
Brian Keith's Memorial


Email: • URL:

©1998 - 2014 Victoria Y. Keith  All rights reserved

About | Introduction: Victoria Keith | What's New | Contact Us | Home


Click for Honolulu, Hawaii Forecast