Born: Nov. 20, 1916 in Port Arthur, Texas
Died: July 4, 2008
Actress Evelyn Keyes began
her career as a dancer, using
money from weekend jobs to
pay for her train fare to Cali-
fornia. Ms. Keyes made her film
debut in Cecil B. DeMille’s “The
Buccaneer” (1938). She had
numerous other roles soon
after, sometimes uncredited.
Altogether, she appeared in
forty-seven feature films as well
as numerous stage, radio, and
television projects. Most
famously, Keyes played Suellen
O’Hara in “Gone With the Wind” (1939). The title of Keyes memoir, “Scarlett O’Hara’s Younger Sister”, reflects how “Gone With the Wind” came to define her career.
Other film credits include The Seven Year Itch, The Jolson Story, The Face Behind the Mask, and the Mating of Millie. Stage credits include performances in I Am a Camera, No No Nanette, and Breaking Up the Act.
Keyes tumultuous personal life may have been part of the reason she was never as commercially successful as she wanted to be. She was married and divorced numerous times. She was once quoted as saying, “I always took up with the man of the moment... and there were many such moments.”
Some of the men to whom she was romantically linked included directors Charles Vidor and John Huston, bandleader Artie Shaw, Anthony Quinn, David Niven, and Kirk Douglas (at least, according to Keyes autobiography).
Keyes also wrote novels heavily influenced by her personal life. In 1971, I Am a Billboard, was published. Other works include I’ll Think About That Tomorrow and Sex Object.