1001 W 75TH ST. WOODRIDGE, IL 630-427-1880

Hollywood Memorial

Brian Keith

His first film was in 1924 at age 3 in ‘Pied Piper Malone.’ He worked as an extra in several films before speaking roles and subsequent stardom. His biggest break came in 1966 when he landed the role of ‘Uncle Bill’ on the popular television situation comedy ‘Family Affair,’ a role, which garnered him three Emmy nominations for Best Actor. The show made him a household name. He went on to star in such television series as ‘The Brian Keith Show,’ ‘Heartland,’ and ‘Hardcastle and McCormick.’ He also made over 60 movies in his career. He married three times, first to Frances Helm, then in 1955 to Judith Landon, and finally in 1970 to Hawaiian actress Victoria Young. He fathered a total of four children, but also adopted three others with Judith Landon. His first son died in childhood. One of his children with Victoria Young was Daisy Keith, who also became an actress, appearing with her father in the short-lived series ‘Heartland’ in 1989. Despite having quit smoking ten years earlier (he had posed for Camel cigarettes in an endorsement campaign in 1955) he suffered from emphysema and developed lung cancer. Knowing the end was approaching, and in deep despair over his daughter’s own suicide, he ate dinner with his family, went into his office, sat at his desk and pulled the trigger, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 75. He is buried next to his daughter Daisy, who also committed suicide just 2 months earlier. They are cremated and buried together in Westwood Memorial Park. Kathy Garver, who played his niece Cissy in ‘Family Affair’ commented, ‘It was so sad, but it was in line with who he was in real life. He was this very manly man, very in charge of his life, always doing things his way. When his daughter died and he was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema and given only a few weeks to live, there was no way he was going to go out any way other than his way. I truly believe that.’ (Chicago Sun-Times, June 23, 2006).