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Famous Like Me > Singer > K > Ruby Keeler

Profile of Ruby Keeler on Famous Like Me

Name: Ruby Keeler  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 28th February 1910
Place of Birth: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
Profession: Singer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Ruby Keeler, born Ethel Hilda Keeler, (August 25, 1910 - February 28, 1993), was an actress, singer, and dancer.

She was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada in either 1909 or 1910. Her first "show-business" job was as a chorine, working in a speakeasy for the Prohibition-era hostess Texas Guinan. After that stint, Keeler made her Broadway debut (at Guinan's request) in George M. Cohan's The Rise of Rosie O'Reilly in 1923. In 1927, Keeler appeared in a total of three musicals: Bye Bye Bonnie, Lucky, and Sidewalks of New York.

During her days at Texas Guinan's nightclub, Keeler met legendary entertainer Al Jolson. The couple began dating and wed in 1928. Jolson got Keeler her next starring role in Florenz Ziegfeld's 1929 spectacle Show Girl. But alas, the marriage (in which they adopted a son) was a rocky one and the couple divorced in 1940. Keeler remarried in 1941 to John Homer Lowe, and they had four children; Lowe died of cancer in 1969.

In 1933, producer Darryl F. Zanuck cast Keeler in the Warner Bros. musical 42nd Street opposite Dick Powell and Bebe Daniels. The film was a huge success due to Busby Berkeley's lavish choreography. Due to the film's success, Jack L. Warner gave Keeler a long-term contract and cast her in such hits as Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933), and Dames (1934). Her co-stars were usually Dick Powell and Joan Blondell, among others. Keeler left the studio in 1937 after her films started failing at the box-office. She was the sister of minor actresses, Helen Keeler and Gertrude Keeler.

In 1971, Keeler came out of retirement to star in the hugely successful Broadway revival of No, No, Nanette, along with Helen Gallagher and the late Patsy Kelly. The production was directed by Keeler's 42nd Street director Busby Berkeley.

Ruby Keeler died of cancer in Rancho Mirage, California at the age of 82 or 83, and was interred in the Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange, California. She has a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6730 Hollywood Blvd.


  • Show Girl in Hollywood (1930) (Cameo)
  • 42nd Street (1933)
  • Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
  • Footlight Parade (1933)
  • And She Learned About Dames (1934) (short subject)
  • Dames (1934)
  • Flirtation Walk (1934)
  • Go Into Your Dance (1935)
  • Shipmates Forever (1935)
  • Colleen (1936)
  • Ready, Willing and Able (1937)
  • Hollywood Handicap (1938) (short subject)
  • Mother Carey's Chickens (1938)
  • Screen Snapshots Series 19, No. 6 (1940) (short subject)
  • Sweetheart of the Campus (1941)
  • The Phynx (1970) (Cameo)
  • Beverly Hills Brats (1989)

See also: Other Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Ruby Keeler