Don Keefer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Don Keefer
Don Keefer.jpg.png
Born Donald Hood Keefer[1]
(1916-08-18)August 18, 1916
Highspire, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died September 7, 2014(2014-09-07) (aged 98)
Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.
Residence Sherman Oaks, California
Occupation Actor
Years active 1947–1997
Spouse(s) Catherine McLeod Keefer (1950–97, her death)
Children Donald McLeod Keefer
John H. Keefer
Thomas James Keefer

Donald Hood "Don" Keefer (August 18, 1916 – September 7, 2014) was an American actor known for the versatility of his roles. He was born in Highspire in Dauphin County near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. A founding member of The Actors Studio,[2] Keefer's film debut was as Bernard in the 1951 film, Death of a Salesman, based on the Arthur Miller play. His longest-lasting roles were in ten episodes each of the CBS series, Gunsmoke, starring James Arness, and Angel, a 1960–1961 sitcom featuring French-American actress Annie Fargé.[3]

Early roles[edit]

Keefer appeared in dozens of television series, including the early anthologies, Fireside Theatre, Armstrong Circle Theatre, The Philco Television Playhouse, the United States Steel Hour, Alcoa Presents: One Step Beyond, and The DuPont Show with June Allyson. In 1957, Keefer appeared as McNair in the episode "Ito of Attu" of ABC Navy Log. That same year, he appeared with David Janssen as the character "Reagan" in "Big Score" of the CBS series, Richard Diamond, Private Detective. In 1958, he appeared as Ed Locke in the episode "Wild Green Yonder" of the syndicated crime drama State Trooper, starring Rod Cameron. In 1959, Keefer appeared as John Alastair in the episode "Death Is a Red Rose" of the Craig Stevens NBC crime drama Peter Gunn. Keefer was cast three times on CBS's anthology, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, as Dr. Elkins in "The Indestructible Mr. Weems" (1957), as Pete Williams in "The Percentage" (1958), and as a tax clerk in "The Kiss-Off" (1961).[3] He had small roles in some feature films, including Sleeper. In 1966 he played the role of Irving Christiansen in the movie The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming.

Personal life[edit]

On May 7, 1950, Keefer married the former Catherine McLeod (July 2, 1921 – May 11, 1997), formerly of Texas. At the time of her death, the Keefers were living in Sherman Oaks in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles County, California.[4] There are three Keefer sons, Donald McLeod, John H., and Thomas James.[5] He died at the age of 98 on September 7, 2014.[6]

Western roles[edit]

Keefer's Gunsmoke appearances included three half-hour episodes and seven full hour broadcasts which aired from 1957-1973:

  • "Wrong Man" (13 April 1957) - as the character Sam Rickers
  • "Bad Sheriff" (7 January 1961) - Chet
  • "Coventry" (17 March 1962) - Rankin
  • "Quint-Cident" (27 April 1963) - Nally
  • "The Pariah" (17 April 1965) - Newspaper editor
  • "Taps for Old Jeb" (16 October 1965) - Milty Sims
  • "Champion of the World" (24 December 1966) - Wally
  • "Gentry's Law" (12 October 1970) - Floyd Babcock
  • "Waste: Part 1" (27 September 1971) - Drunk
  • "Kitty's Love Affair" (22 October 1973) - Turner

Keefer appeared in more than a dozen other western series:

Angel and other comedies[edit]

On Angel, Keefer portrayed the neighbor "George", husband of "Susie", a character played by Doris Singleton, a veteran of the original I Love Lucy series. Marshall Thompson (1925–1992) played Johnny Smith, a young architect and the husband of Fargé's Angel Smith character. Keefer's Angel roles include:

  • "Goodbye Young Lovers"
  • "Voting Can Be Fun" (13 October 1960)
  • "Angel's Temper" (10 November 1960)
  • "The Valedictorian" (15 December 1960)
  • "The Dowry" (19 January 1961)
  • "The Joint Bank Account" (2 February 1961)
  • "Call Me Mother" (9 February 1961)
  • "Phone Fun" (22 March 1961)
  • "Unpopular Mechanics" (19 April 1961)
  • "The Trailer" (10 May 1961)[3]

Keefer appeared in other sitcoms, including:

Dramatic episodes[edit]

Keefer appeared as Cromwell in the 1968 episode "Assignment: Earth" of the NBC science fiction series Star Trek. Earlier, he was cast in three episodes of CBS's The Twilight Zone: as Dan Hollis in "It's a Good Life" (1961), as Spiereto in "Passage on the Lady Anne" (1963), and Fred Danziger in "From Agnes - With Love" (1964).[3]

His other drama roles include:

Keefer's last role was as a beggar at a courthouse in the 1997 film Liar Liar.[3]


  1. ^ "Don Keefer, Actor Who Had Bad Thoughts on 'Twilight Zone', Dies at 98". New York Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  2. ^ Garfield, David (1980). "Birth of The Actors Studio: 1947–1950". A Player's Place: The Story of The Actors Studio. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc. p. 52. ISBN 0-02-542650-8. Also [in Lewis' class were] Henry Barnard, Jay Barney, John Becher, Philip Bourneuf, Joan Chandler, Peter Cookson, Stephen Elliott, Robert Emhardt, Joy Geffen, William Hansen, Will Hare, Jane Hoffman, George Keane, Don Keefer, George Matthews, Peggy Meredith, Ty Perry, Margaret Phillips, David Pressman, William Prince, Elliot Reid, Frances Reid, Kurt Richards, Elizabeth Ross, Thelma Schnee, Joshua Shelley, Fed Stewart, John Straub, Michael Strong, John Sylvester, Julie Warren, Mary Welch, Lois Wheeler, and William Woodson. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Don Keefer". Internet Movie Data Base. Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Social Security Death Index". Retrieved March 31, 2009. 
  5. ^ Internet: People Search, Background Check
  6. ^ Mike Barnes. "Don Keefer, Who Was Turned Into a Jack-in-the-Box on 'The Twilight Zone,' Dies at 98". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 18 December 2014. 

External links[edit]