Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Don Keefer R.I.P.

Don Keefer, who frequently guest starred on television shows in the Fifties, Sixties, and Seventies, died on 7 September 2014 at the age of 98.

Don Keefer was born on 18 August 1916 in  Highspire, Pennsylvania. He studied acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 1939. He made his debut on Broadway in Junior Miss in 1943. In the late Forties he appeared again on Broadway in Othello and Death of a Salesman. He made his television debut in an episode of The Borden Show in 1947.

In 1951 Don Keefer made his film debut in Death of Salesman, reprising the role of Bernard that he had originated on Broadway. During the Fifties he appeared in such films as The Girl in White (1952), Riot in Cell Block 11 (1954), The Caine Mutiny (1954), The Human Jungle (1954), Six Bridges to Cross (1955), Away All Boats (1956), Hellcats of the Navy (1957), Torpedo Run (1958), and Cash McCall (1960). He guest starred on such shows as Manhunt; Fireside Theatre; The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse; The United States Steel Hour; The Phil Silvers Show; Richard Diamond, Private Detective; Climax; Peter Gunn; Alcoa Presents One Step Beyond; Rawhide; Wagon Train; and Have Gun--Will Travel. He appeared on Broadway in Flight Into Egypt.

In the Sixties Mr. Keefer played George in the short lived sitcom Angel. He guest starred on such shows as Alfred Hitchcock Presents; Way Out; Car 54, Where are You?; The Real McCoys; The Fugitive; The Twilight Zone; The Munsters; Ben Casey; Petticoat Junction; Bewitched; Mission: Impossible; Star Trek; and The Virginian. He appeared in the films The Clown and the Kid (1961), Incident in an Alley (1962), The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), R.P.M. (1970), and Rabbit, Run (1970).

In the Seventies Don Keefer appeared in such movies as The Grissom Gang (1971), Walking Tall (1973), The Young Nurses (1973), Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies (1973), The Way We Were (1973), Sleeper (1973), Candy Stripe Nurses (1974), The Car (1977), and Fire Sale (1977).  He guest starred on such shows as Nichols, Bonanza, Night Gallery, Gunsmoke, Columbo, Marcus Welby, M.D., Kung Fu, Ellery Queen Barnaby Jones, and Quincy M.E.

In the Eighties Mr. Keefer appeared in the movie Creepshow and guest starred on Alice and Highway to Heaven. In the Nineties he guest starred on ER, Picket Fences, and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. His last appearance was in the film Liar, Liar in 1997.

Over the years Don Keefer played a number of medical doctors on television and in movies. There can be no doubt that he was very good at playing them. At the same time, however, Don Keefer was very good at playing a variety of other roles. He played lawyers, social workers, clerks, and even criminals. What is more, he played all of them well. There should be little wonder that Don Keefer was so prolific. An actor of his talent would certainly be in demand.

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