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Born in Kentucky, Buel became involved in theatre work and eventually made his way to New York City where he was hired by the Kalem Company in 1908 as a film director under the tutelage of Sidney Olcott. Buel was part of the pioneering Kalem team that filmed in Florida in the winter months and in the fall of 1910, the rapidly growing Kalem organization sent him to head up a filming unit in California.
After directing more than fifty films for Kalem, including a number starring Alice Joyce, Buel signed on with Fox Film Corporation in 1915 for whom he made another seventeen films. In 1919 he directed films for an independent company and made his last film in 1920.
Kenean Buel died in New York City in 1948.
- As You Like It (1912)
- A Sawmill Hazard (1913)
- A Desperate Chance (1913)
- The New York Peacock (1917)
- She (1917)
- The Woman Who Gave (1918)
- A Fallen Idol (1919)