Howard Keel
Howard Keel
General Information
Appeared on/in
(or involved with):
Appeared as: Clayton Farlow

Howard Keel (April 13, 1919 – November 7, 2004) is the actor who plays Clayton Farlow on Dallas which he played from Season 4, when he first appeared in the episode "Lover, Come Back", until the series' final season. He starred in many film musicals of the 1950s.


MGM was looking for an answer to Warner Bros.' star Gordon MacRae when they came upon Keel in England. They made a great pitch for him and he returned to the U.S., as Howard became a star with his very first role, playing sharpshooter Frank Butler opposite brassy Betty Hutton's Annie Oakley in the film version of the Broadway musical Annie Get Your Gun (1950). From that point onwards, Howard would be showcased in several of MGM's biggest and most classic extravaganzas, with Show Boat (1951), Calamity Jane (1953), Kiss Me Kate (1953) and (his favorite) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) at the top of the list. Kismet (1955) opposite Ann Blyth would be his last, as the passion for movie musicals ran its course.

Standing at 6'4", the ruggedly handsome, robust musical star also managed to move effortlessly into rugged (if routine) action fare, appearing in such 1960s films as Armored Command (1961), Waco (1966), Red Tomahawk (1967) and The War Wagon (1967), the last one starring John Wayne and featuring Keel as a wisecracking Indian, of all things. In the 1970s Keel kept his singing voice alive by returning full force to his musical roots. Some of his summer stock and touring productions, which included "Camelot," "South Pacific," "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers," "Man of La Mancha," and "Show Boat," often reunited him with his former MGM leading ladies, including Kathryn Grayson and Jane Powell. He also worked up a Las Vegas nightclub act Ms. with Grayson in the 1970s.

Howard became an unexpected TV household name when he replaced Jim Davis as the upstanding family patriarch of the Ewing clan, after Davis' untimely death in 1981. As Clayton Farlow, Miss Ellie's second husband, he enjoyed a decade of steady work. In later years he continued to appear in concerts. As a result of this renewed fame on TV, Keel landed his first solo recording contract with "And I Love You So" in 1983.

External linksEdit