The baritone started life in Illinois as Harry Clifford Leek. He grew up in California, where his illustrious musical career had a lowly beginning. Keel
was a singing waiter before taking employment at a Douglas Aircraft Corporation plant, where he sang for employees during World War II. Talent contest wins led to work with Rodgers and Hammerstein. He toured in the role of Billy Bigelow in Carousel. He also stepped in for Alfred Drake
as Curley in Oklahoma on Broadway before opening in London. His time in England led to film work, and he debuted in 1949 in The Small Voice. Upon his return to Hollywood, Keel
found his niche with lavish musicals that included Annie Get Your Gun, Showboat, Seven Bride's for Seven Brothers, Rose Marie, and Kiss Me Kate, among others.
married three times. His marriage to Rosemary Cooper lasted from 1943 until their divorce in 1948. He wed Helen Anderson in 1949. The marriage produced three children and ended in divorce in 1970. That same year he married Judy Magamoll. The couple had one child. Keel
served as head of the Screen Actor's Guild from 1958 to1959. His daughter Kaija was married for more than two decades to Edward James Olmos. ~ Linda Seida, Rovi