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Walter O'Keefe

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Title: Walter O'Keefe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: List of Primetime Emmy Awards ceremonies, 1st Primetime Emmy Awards, Frank Sinatra, Sweet Kitty Bellairs, Bill Welsh
Collection: 1900 Births, 1983 Deaths, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 20Th-Century American Musicians, 20Th-Century Classical Musicians, American Composers, American Film Score Composers, American Game Show Hosts, American Male Composers, American Male Film Actors, American Male Musicians, American Male Radio Actors, American Musicians, American People of Irish Descent, American Radio Personalities, Cardiovascular Disease Deaths in California, Deaths from Congestive Heart Failure, Male Actors from Hartford, Connecticut, Musicians from Hartford, Connecticut, Songwriters from Connecticut, University of Notre Dame Alumni, Vaudeville Performers, Writers from Hartford, Connecticut
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Walter O'Keefe

Walter O'Keefe.

Walter O'Keefe (August 18, 1900 – June 26, 1983) was an American songwriter, actor, syndicated columnist, Broadway composer, radio legend, screenwriter, musical arranger and TV host.

O'Keefe was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He attended the College of the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, London before entering the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in 1916. At Notre Dame, he was a member of the Glee Club and a Class Poet. He graduated cum laude in 1921.

O'Keefe began as a vaudeville performer in the midwest for several years. In 1925, he went to New York and became a Broadway performer. By 1937, he wrote a syndicated humor column and filled-in for such radio personalities as Walter Winchell, Edgar Bergen, Don McNeill and Garry Moore. He became the long-time master of ceremonies of the NBC show Double or Nothing and was a regular on that network's Monitor series.

O'Keefe also worked in television, presiding over talk shows and quiz shows for the CBS network. Producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman hired him for their game show Two for the Money. When the show's usual host, Herb Shriner, had other commitments during the summer of 1954, O'Keefe took over for three months. He was the host for the first Emmy Awards ceremony, held on January 25, 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club.

O'Keefe was also a songwriter responsible for the musical scores of several Hollywood films. He introduced the very popular song "The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze" in 1934, and it became permanently associated with him.

O'Keefe became addicted to alcohol, and sought treatment at the Sister Ignatia Group in Cleveland, Ohio during the late 1960s.[1] He would later speak at Alcoholics Anonymous meetings.

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in the category of radio. He died in Torrance, California of congestive heart failure at the age of 82.



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External links

  • Prelinger Film Collection- Walter O'Keefe serving as an announcer in a 1940 screen ad
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