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Kathleen Key

Kathleen Key


From Wikipedia: Kathleen Key (April 1, 1903 – December 22, 1954) was an American actress who achieved a brief period of fame during the silent era. She is best remembered for playing Tirzah in the 1925 film Ben-Hur. Key was the great-great granddaughter of Francis Scott Key, composer of "The Star Spangled Banner", and a distant cousin of author F. Scott Fitzgerald. Born Kitty Lanahan in Buffalo, New York, she debuted in films in 1920 in the film The Jackeroo of Coolabong, playing a lead role. From that point on to the end of the 1920s, Kathleen Key, sometimes credited as Kathleen Keys, starred in several films, but never really reached stardom, and was never given much credit for the roles she had, although there were some exceptions. In the early '20s, Key had a well-known love affair with silent-film actor Buster Keaton, who was married at the time. As told in Keaton's biography, the actor attempted to call off the relationship, but Key flew into a jealous rage and ransacked his MGM dressing room, which caused her to be virtually blacklisted afterward by the movie industry. It is also stated that Keaton refused to give Key a monetary loan. A telegram, sent by one of Keaton's friends who had heard about the argument, comically read: "Congratulations. Hear you are off Key." After her retirement in 1936, Keys spent the rest of her days in moderate comfort at the Motion Picture Country House in Woodland Hills, California, where she died at the age of 51 in 1954. Her interment was located at Valhalla Memorial Park Cemetery.

  • Known For: Acting
  • Birthday: 1903-04-01
  • Place of Birth: Buffalo, New York, USA
  • Also Known As: Kitty Lanahan, Kathleen Keys