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Curtis, Keene

Keene Curtis

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Keene Curtis (born Keene Holbrook Curtis) was born on February 15, 1923 in Salt Lake City, Davis County, Utah, US to a civil servant father and a teacher mother.  But, he was raised in nearby Bountiful, Utah where he made his own stages out of cardboard and put on plays for his neighborhood and neighbors.  In 1935 Keene got scarlet fever and was quarantined, he did quite a bit of writing during this time, which he continued throughout his life.  Curtis was a Mormon (Latter Day Saint), but was inactive in church.

Curtis spent three years in the Navy (as a lieutenant), after which he attended University of Utah where he studied acting and was a cheerleader.  He worked toward, and received, a BA (1947) and an MA (1951) in Dramatic Arts.

It wasn't until 1949, two years after he achieved his MA at U of U, that Keene got his acting off to a good start...though it was in 1947 when Orson Wells discovered him on stage.  For twelve years he managed and was an assistant manager for productions and was also acting during this period.

Curtis lived in Beverly hills until Alzheimer's got the best of him.  He and his family thought it best to move him back to his hometown of Bountiful, Utah.

Curtis died, of complications surrounding Alzheimer's, on October 13, 2002 in Bountiful, Utah, US.

Richie Rich's Christmas Wish~1998 (V) - Herbert Cadbury
Mother Teresa: In the Name of God's Poor~1997 -   Father Van Exem
I.Q.~1994 - Eisenhower
Sliver~1993 - Gus Hale
Lambada~1990 - Principal Singleton
Buddy System, The~1984 - Dr. Knitz
Rabbit Test~1978 - Dr. Julius Lasse-Braun
Heaven Can Wait~1978 - Oppenheim
American Hot Wax~1978 - Mr. Leonard
Wrong Damn Film, The~1975 - Agent Bradfort/Businessman Wilton/Salesman Hughes
Blade~1973 - Steiner
Macbeth~1948 - Lennox

Pretender, The~1998 - Mr. Fenigor in:
    Hope & Prey
    Bloodlines: Parts 1 & 2
    Bloodlines: Part 1
Party of Five~1998 - Mr. Bancroft in Empty Shoes
Legalese~1998 - Judge Handley
Sunset Beach~1997-1998 - Quint
Men Behaving Badly~1997 - Potter Stevens in Gift of Jami
Drew Carey Show, The~1997 - Reverend Lindemann in Volunteer
Ally McBeal~1997 - Judge Johnson Hawk in The Dirty Joke
Touched by an Angel~1997 - Norman in  My Dinner with Andrew
Ally McBeal~1997 - Judge Johnson Hawk in One Hundred Tears Away
Stargate SG-1~1997 - Ernest Littlefield in The Torment of Tantalus
Single Guy, The~1997 - Mr. Klug in Just Friends?
Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman~1996 - William B. Caldwell in Twas the Night Before Mxymas
Star Trek: Voyager~1996 -  Old Man in  Sacred Ground
Drew Carey Show, The~1996 -  Pastor Lindemann in There Is No Scientific Name for a Show About God
Caroline in the City~1996 - Mr. Davies in Caroline and the Gift
Hope & Gloria~1995 - Dr. Green in Sisyphus, Prometheus and Me
Coach~1995 - David Curtis in Close Encounters of the Worst Kind
ER~1995 - Gilbert McCabe in Happy New Year
Ned and Stacey~1995 - Brent Nicholson in The Errand Girl
Full House~1994 - Lou Bond in A House Divided
Gypsy~1993 - Mr. Kringelien, The Land Lord
Swat Kats: The Radical Squadron~1993 - voice of The Pastmaster
Cheers~1990-1993 - John Allen Hill (15 episodes)
Murder, She Wrote~1993 - Jerome Mueller in Final Curtain
Pirates of Darkwater~1991 - various voices
Beverly Hills, 90210~1991 - Santa Claus in A Walsh Family Christmas
Adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda~1990 - voice of various characters
Newhart~1989 - Merritt White in I Like You, Butt...
Night Court~1988 - Mr. Klimmer in Mac's Millions
Wizard, The~1987 - Van Slyke in Daydream Believer
Whiz Kids~1984 -The Sufi Project
Hoboken Chicken Emergency, The~1984
Amanda's~1983 - Clifford Mundy
Matt Houston~1983 - The Crying Clown
Knight Rider~1983 - Griffin in  K.I.T.T. the Cat
Benson~1982 -  in Death in a Funny Position: Parts 1 & 2
Hart to Hart~1982 - Alden Kendra in With This Hart, I Thee Wed
Trapper John, M.D.~1982 - in Maybe Baby
Smurfs, The~1982-1989 - voice of Balthazar
Modesty Blaise~1982 - Sir Gerald Tarrant
Space-Stars~1981 - Narrator
One in a Million~1980 - Mr. Cushing
Hart to Hart~1981 - Frank Kruger in Homemade Murder
Lou Grant~1981 - Wild Bill in Survival
Three's Company~1981- Andrew Gainer in Make Room for Daddy
Three's Company~1979 - Dr. Hutchins in Chrissy's Hospitality
Eight Is Enough~1979 - Reverend Mayberry in Just the Ten of Us
Scooby and Scrappy-Doo~1979 - voiced various characters
Lou Grant~1978 - Coach Diehl in Sports
Royal Family, The~1977 - Herbert
Magnificent Magical Magnet of Santa Mesa, The~1977 -  Mr. Undershaft
Quincy~1977 - Arthur Forsyte in No Deadly Secret
Wonder Woman~1976 - Buehrer in Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman
Jeffersons, The~1976 - Judge John Markell in Tennis Anyone?
Cannon~1976 - Sam in The Quasar Kill
Ellery Queen~1975 - Edgar Manning in The Adventure of the Blunt Instrument
Baretta~1975 -  This Ain't My Bag
Sanford and Son~1975 - Doctor Goodman in The Over Hill Gag
Strange New World~1975 - Dr. William Scott
Stowaway to the Moon~1975 - Tom Estes
Missiles of October, The~1974 - John McCone, Director CIA
Lady's Not for Burning, The~1974 - Mayor Hebble Tyson
M*A*S*H~1974 - Colonel Wortman in Iron Guts Kelly
Hawaii Five-O~1974 - Vincent Gordon in Killer at Sea
Magician, The~1973 - Max Pomeroy
Dark Shadows~1970 - voice of Judah Zachery

Rosebud~1994 -
Light Comedies: Black Comedy, A Farce in One Act~1993 -
White Liars & Black Comedy~1993 - Colonel Melkett (Roundabout Theatre, NY)
My Dear Watson~1993 -
Flags of Convenience~1993 -
Gypsy~1993 -
Autumn Canticle~1992 -
Manhattan Story~1991 -
The Heiress~1991 -
Alan J. Lerner~1989/1990
Nick and Nora~1990 -
The Value of Names~1988 -
The Cocktail Hour~1987-1990 -
La Cage Aux Folles~1983-1987 - Albin (Rochester Broadway Theatre League,  NY, NY)
Light Comedies: Black Comedy, A Farce in One Act~1984 -
Annie~1977-1983 - Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks (Broadway, San Francisco, Los Angeles)
Lenya: Life to Legend~1983 -
A Flea in Her Ear~1982 -
Madman At Stalingrad~1982 -
Mating Call, The~1982 -
Merlin~1982 -
The Misanthrope~1982 -
Checkov in Yalta~1981 -
Geniuses~1981 -
Misanthrope~1981 - (Center Theatre Group, Taper/Ahmanson, Los Angeles, CA)
Mysteries and Transitions~1981 -
Division Street~1980 - (Broadway, NY)
Division Street~1980 -
Medicine Show~1980 -
Bingo~1979 -
The Fortune Seekers~1979 -
The Royal Family~1977 -
The West Street Gang~1977 -
The Baker's Wife~1976 -
Life on a Limb~1975 -
Too Much Johnson~1975 -
Night Watch~1972 -
Nightwatch~1972 - Curtis Appleby (Morosco Theatre,  NY, NY)
Via Galactica, A Musical of the Future~1972 -  (Broadway, NY)
Collette~1970 -
Ride Across Lake Constance, The~1970 -
Rothchilds, The~1970-72 - Prince William, Joseph Fouche, Lord Herries and Prince Von Metternich.
Patriot for Me, A~1969 - (Broadway, NY)
Cock-A-Doodle Dandy~1969 - (Broadway, NY)
Indians~1969 -
Misanthrope, The~1968-69 - (Broadway, NY)
Cocktail Party, The~1968-69 - (Broadway, NY)
Cherry Orchard, The~1968 - (Broadway, NY)
Pantagleize~1967-68 - (Broadway, NY)
Blood Red Roses~1967 -
War & Peace~1967 - (Broadway, NY)
School for Scandal, The~1961 - Sir Oliver Surface (Bucks County Playhouse, )
You Can't Take it With You~1965-66 -  (Broadway, NY)
Hamlet~1969 - (Broadway, NY)
Penny for a Song, A~1962 - George Selincourt (Bucks County Playhouse, )
Twelfth Night~1961 - Feste (Bucks County Playhouse, )
Tavern, The~1961 - The Sheriff (Bucks County Playhouse, )
Anatole~1958 -
Shop at Sly Corner, The~1949 - Archie (understudy for Jay Robinson)
The Barretts of Wimpole Street~1947  (NY)
Macbeth~1947 -  Lennox (NY)
Herekles~ -
Saint Joan~ -
Seagull, The~ -
Midsummer Night's Dream
King Lear~ -
Much Ado About Nothing~ -
Man and Superman~
Middle Ages~ -
President Wilson in Paris~ -
Taming of the Shrew~ -

Theatre Production
Silent Night, Lonely Night~1959-60 - (Broadway, NY)
Much Ado About Nothing~1959 - (Broadway, NY)
Look After LuLu~1959 - (Broadway, NY)
First Born~1958 - (Broadway, NY)
Present Laughter~1958 - (Broadway, NY)
Nude with Violin~1957-58 - (Broadway, NY)
Four Winds~1957 - (Broadway, NY)
Desk Set, The~1955 - (Broadway, NY)
Dark is Light Enough, The~1955 - (Broadway, NY)

Theatre Playwright
Penny Holds the Keys~1940

Audio Plays
Cocktail Hour, The~1994 - (LA Theatre Works, )
General From America, The~ - (LA Theatre Works, )
Quartermaine's Terms~ - (LA Theatre Works, )

Cocktail Hour, The~1994 -
Star Wars: A New Hope Radio Drama~1981 - voice of Grand Moff Wilhelm Tarkin
David Clennon (left), Keene Curtis (center), and Brock Peters (right)
    The Case For Rebellion
    Death Star's Transit
    Force and Counterforce
    The Jedi Nexus

Awards, Honors, and Nominations
Drama League Awards:
Rec'd 1984? for his role in Annie
Tony Awards:
Rec'd 1971 Best Supporting Actor for The Rothchilds

The University of Utah, Marriott Library, sports an incredible collection of Keene's personal theatre/film memorabilia, including scripts and posters and personal correspondences and diaries of his experiences.  The collection dates from 1929 - 1996.

Belonged to the Association for Producing Artists (APA)

Received a BA, 1943, and an MA, 1947, from the University of Utah. (Dramatic Arts degrees)

A portrait of Curtis playing the four roles which garnered him his 1971 Tony award, painted by portrait artist Alvin Gittins, hangs at the Pioneer Memorial Theatre in Salt Lake City, Utah, it was donated by Elder Nelson (of the Quorum of Twelve) who was in New York having a portrait painted of himself by Gittins and saw the portrait of Curtis which he decided to purchase for himself.  It was years later when he decided to donate the painting to be viewed by the public.

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