Zena Keefe

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Zena Keefe
Zena Keefe, pearls and crepe gown in the 1920s - LCCN2014712910 (cropped).jpg
Keefe, 1920s
Born(1896-06-26)June 26, 1896
DiedNovember 17, 1977(1977-11-17) (aged 81)

Zena Virginia Keefe (June 26, 1896 – November 16, 1977) was an American actress in silent film, active in the 1910s and 1920s. [1]


Early years

Keefe was born on June 26, 1896, [2] in San Francisco, California. [3] Her parents were James P. Keefe and Allie Turbiville Keefe. When Keefe was three years old, she appeared in a production of Brownies in Fairyland. She was educated at a convent in San Francisco until she and her parents moved to New York. [2]


For three seasons, Keefe portrayed Little Mother in a touring production of The Fatal Wedding. She left the theater to appear in films with Vitagraph, but after less than a year with that company she began performing as a featured attraction in Keith Vaudeville. Late in 1914, she went back to Vitagraph. [2]

Keefe's film debut in short films occurred in 1911. [4] By 1916, she was playing a substantial role in films including Her Maternal Right , and leading roles in films like Enlighten Thy Daughter (1917). She continued to appear in at least a few movies every year, until her final appearance in Trouping with Ellen in 1924.

Keefe's work in films included the serial The Perils of Girl Reporters. [5] Studios for which she worked included Selznick Pictures. [6]

Personal life and death

Keefe married William M. Brownell.[ citation needed ]

Keefe died on November 16, 1977, in Danvers, Massachusetts.[ citation needed ]

Selected filmography

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  1. Vazzana, Eugene Michael. Silent film necrology: births and deaths of over 9000 performers, directors, producers, and other filmmakers of the silent era, through 1993, p. 176 (1995)
  2. 1 2 3 "Zena Keefe". Moving Picture World. September 11, 1915. p. 1835. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  3. Spehr, Paul C. (1977). The Movies Begin: Making Movies in New Jersey, 1887–1920 . Newark Museum Association. p.  146. ISBN   978-0-871-00121-4.
  4. "Zena Keefe". AllMovie. Archived from the original on October 21, 2021. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  5. "Zena Keefe today at Regent Theater in 'Perils' play". The Buffalo Times. April 8, 1917. p. 41. Retrieved March 11, 2022 via Newspapers.com.
  6. Fox, Charles Donald; Silver, Milton L. (1920). Who's who on the Screen. Ross publishing Company. p. 151. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  7. Langman, Larry. American film cycles: the silent era, p.325 (1998)