February 7, 1923
Elyria, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||July 7, 1981
Downey, California, U.S.
Keefe Brasselle (February 7, 1923 – July 7, 1981) was an American film actor, television actor/producer and author. He is best remembered for the starring role in The Eddie Cantor Story (1953). The film was a response to the wildly successfrul The Jolson Story and Jolson Sings Again starring Larry Parks. The Eddie Cantor Story, however, could not equal the success of the Jolson films and Brasselle's career did not launch as anticipated. In 1953, Braselle hosted an episode of The Colgate Comedy Hour with comedian/dancer Dick Wesson as a promotional tie-in for the film.
Brasselle had a close friendship with CBS executive James Aubrey. Brasselle started his own production company and Aubrey granted Brasselle's company three television series without any previous script, pitch or pilots. The insider-chicanery resulted in a lawsuit against Aubrey and Brasselle launched by CBS shareholders. There were rumors that Aubrey had no choice in the matter due to mafia threats, of which Brasselle was known to be connected.
In the summer of 1963, he starred in a brief summer replacement series for Garry Moore called The Keefe Brasselle Show. During the 1964-65 season, Brasselle's "Richelieu Productions" banner produced three new but untested series: The Baileys of Balboa, The Cara Williams Show, and The Reporter. Those series suffered from poor ratings. Aubrey was removed as president of CBS Television in February 1965 after a long court battle. Brasselle later wrote a novel that was a thinly disguised account of his relationship with Aubrey and the network, The Cannibals (1968), followed by a sequel, The Barricudas (1973), in which he attacked several showbiz figures he'd worked with, including comedian Jack Benny.
Other career highlights include appearances in the films Never Fear (1949) and A Place in the Sun (1951). Brasselle struggled to find work after his CBS experience. He died from liver disease at the age of 58.
His daughter, Melissa Brasselle, also pursued a film acting career.
|This article about a United States film actor or actress born in the 1920s is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|