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 successful 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, Brasselle hosted an episode of The Colgate Comedy Hour actor Gene Wesson as a promotional tie-in for the film.
Brasselle in 1954
|Born||February 7, 1923|
Elyria, Ohio, U.S.
|Died||July 7, 1981 58) (aged|
Downey, California, U.S.
|Occupation||Actor, producer, author|
Norma Jean Aldrich
(m. 1942; div. 1956)
(m. 1956; div. 1967)
Early years and career
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 threats from the Mafia, with which Brasselle was known to be connected.
In 1961, an Edison Township, New Jersey nightclub owned by Brasselle burned under suspicious circumstances. Fire officials came across six empty cans of gasoline at the scene, while their caps and spouts were found separately in a paper bag.
In the summer of 1963, Brasselle starred in a summer replacement series for The Garry Moore Show. Called The Keefe Brasselle Show, the program featured actress Ann B. Davis as herself in three episodes. During the 1964-1965 season, Brasselle's "Richelieu Productions" banner produced three new but untested series: The Baileys of Balboa, The Cara Williams Show, and The Reporter, starring Harry Guardino. 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 Barracudas (1973), in which he attacked several showbiz figures he'd worked with, including comedian Jack Benny.
Later years and death
Other career highlights include appearances in the films Never Fear (1949), A Place in the Sun (1951), Battle Stations (1956) and If You Don't Stop It... You'll Go Blind (1974). Brasselle struggled to find work after his CBS experience.
He died from liver disease in 1981 at age 58.
|1942||USS VD: Ship of Shame||Chicken||Uncredited|
|1944||Three Little Sisters||Soldier||Uncredited|
|1947||Bells of San Angelo||Ignacio||Uncredited|
|1947||Repeat Performance||Delivery Boy||Uncredited|
|1947||Killer at Large||Copy Boy||Uncredited|
|1947||Heartaches||Gus. Prop Boy||Uncredited|
|1947||T-Men||Ocean Park Hotel Desk Clerk||Uncredited|
|1948||The Babe Ruth Story||Call Boy||Uncredited|
|1949||Not Wanted||Drew Baxter|
|1950||Never Fear||Guy Richards|
|1951||A Place in the Sun||Earl Eastman|
|1951||The Unknown Man||Rudi Wallchek|
|1951||It's a Big Country||Sgt. Maxie Klein|
|1952||Skirts Ahoy!||Dick Hallson|
|1953||The Eddie Cantor Story||Eddie Cantor|
|1954||Three Young Texans||Tony Ballew|
|1955||Mad at the World||Sam Bennett aka Bill Holland|
|1955||Bring Your Smile Along||Martin 'Marty' Adams|
|1956||Battle Stations||Chris Jordan|
|1957||West of Suez||Brett Manders|
|1958||Death Over My Shoulder||Jack Regan|
|1974||If You Don't Stop It... You'll Go Blind||Himself||(final film role)|
- "Actor Keith Brasselle, Singer are Married". Reading Eagle. 24 December 1956. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- Brandi, Lisa. "Tribute to Arlene DeMarco, Lead Singer of The Five DeMarco Sisters". Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- Deutsch, Linda (12 December 1971). "Arlene DeMarco Spills the Beans". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- "The Keefe Brasselle Show". Archive of American Television. Retrieved 3 June 2017.
- "Nightclub Fire Mystery". The Miami News. 28 July 1961. Retrieved 4 November 2013.
- LLC, New York Media (9 September 1968). "New York Magazine". New York Media, LLC. Retrieved 3 June 2017 – via Google Books.
- Josefsberg, Milt (3 June 1977). "The Jack Benny Show". Arlington House Publishers. Retrieved 3 June 2017 – via Amazon.
- "Those Were the Days". Nostalgia Digest. 35 (2): 32–39. Spring 2009.