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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zena Keefe
Zena Keefe Trading Card.jpg
Keefe, c. 1917
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.

Keefe died on November 16, 1977, in Danvers, Massachusetts.

Selected filmography


  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. ^ a b c "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
  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)

External links

This page was last edited on 15 April 2022, at 23:55
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