Larry Keith, Broadway Actor, Dies at 79

By Robert Simonson
19 Jul 2010

Larry Keith, whose long stage career began with several small roles in the original production of My Fair Lady and included several other Broadway musicals, died of cancer on July 17. He was 79.



Though Mr. Keith had his share of good parts in the 1960s, he got his best roles in recent decades, playing key supporting characters in the Tony Award-winning Titanic and the Tony-nominated Caroline, or Change. He was doomed Macy's owner Isador Straus in the former, memorably singing the love song "Still" with his wife Ida as the liner sank below the sea. And he was Mr. Stopnick, the socialist head of the Jewish family for whom black maid Caroline worked in the Civil Right-era set Caroline.

Mr. Keith also appeared on Broadway in High Spirits, I Had a Ball, The Best Laid Plans and Gigi. He was one of the actors to play Herr Schultz in long-running 1998 revival of Cabaret. His Off-Broadway credits include Only Kidding, Hurrah at Last by Richard Greenberg, This Thing of Darkness by Craig Lucas and David Schulner and Southern Comforts, in which he co-starred with Penny Fuller.

Reviewing Southern Comforts in the New York Times, Rob Kendt wrote, "Ms. Fuller and Mr. Keith, seasoned pros both, offer a master class in unforced chemistry, if such a thing could be taught."

In recent years, Mr. Keith also appeared in The Actors Company Theatre (TACT) productions of Eccentricities of a Nightingale and Bedroom Farce, Off-Broadway.

Mr. Keith was twice nominated for a Daytime Emmy for "All My Children," of which he was an original cast member, playing Nick Davis from 1970 to 1978.

Larry Keith was born in Brooklyn on March 4, 1931.