Thanks to the incredible support and campaign of fans all over the world — and the Internet –, Brian Keith is finally receiving the recognition that many said it is long overdue. The late actor was awarded last Thursday the 2,365th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“He truly was an actor’s actor and beloved by millions” said co-star Kathy Garver in an email to the Associated Press. “He was certainly respected and loved by me!”
S.T.A.R. (Society to Advance Recognition for Brian Keith) is a group of fans dedicated in getting the actor a star on the Hollywood Boulevard.
Born Robert Keith Richey Jr. in Bayonne, New Jersey on November 14, 1921, his father Robert Sr. was a stage actor, and his mother was Helena Shipman, a stage actress. He has been known for his role as the father of twins played by Hayley Mills in the original Parent Trap from 1961. But he is remembered more on television. From 1966 to 1971, Keith was Uncle Bill on the hit CBS sitcom, Family Affair, in which Kathy Garver played Cissy. He was nominated for an Emmy three times for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy.
He is also remembered for the action series, Hardcastle & McCormick from 1983 to 1986 on ABC. On the show, Keith was Milton C. “Hardcase” Hardcastle, a retired judge who, with the aid of ex-con race-car driver Mark “Skid” McCormick (Daniel Hugh Kelly), they “Drive” the streets of California in a car called the Coyote — going after 200 criminals that walks out of Hardcastle’s courtroom on technicalities.
Both shows are available for purchase at Amazon.
Sadly, due to financial, health, and personal problems, Brian Keith died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 24, 1997, two months after his daughter Daisy committed suicide. He was 75 years old. His surviving family members include his widow Victoria Young, honorary chair of S.T.A.R. for Brian.
Family, friends, and co-stars such as Garver, Kelly, and Joe Santos (The Rockford Files) were there at Hollywood Boulevard to celebrate a man who is “a perfect candidate to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.”
“People today are not stars,” Garver stated, “They are celebrities. This guy was a movie and TV star. He was good at what he did.”