Tuesday, April 6

Robert Emmett Keane and Claire Whitney

~ ~ 1923 passport photo ~ ~
Robert Emmett Keane (1885-1981)
& 2nd wife Claire Whitney (1890-1969)

On 17th March 1923, "Emmett" and Claire sailed
from New York on the S.S. President Roosevelt
for a "pleasure trip" in the British Isles and France.

Emmett, a well-known and well-loved vaudeville comedian, had already appeared at the Hippodrome in London in 1916 with then-wife "Little Muriel" Window, who divorced him a year or two later to marry her "butter & egg man", Arthur S. Hanford, Jr. and temporarily retired to Sioux City Iowa.

Emmett would go on to become a character actor in Hollywood who, judging by his bio at imbd.com, was steadily employed practically until the day he died.

By the looks of actress Claire Whitney's bio at imdb, she was rarely out of work either.

They wed in October 1921 in Jersey City NJ, and remained married until she died in 1969.

Oddly, Claire's grave isn't marked, but Emmett's is. Only by checking the cem's records would one know Claire's final resting place is the "empty" space next to him at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills).

Much thanks to Find A Grave's editor and photographer
A.J. Marik for this wonderful photo of their graves.

Robert Emmett Keane is Memorial #5902693 at Find A Grave, and Claire is #6102698. Additional information and photos of both can be found on their memorial pages.

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Alan Burnett said...

By now you know that this is just the kind of post I love. Thanks for introducing me to the Find A Grave website. And whilst I am at it - because I am still in the process of catching up - thanks for the latest installment in the Fred Beckett saga. I have to say that your's is the best blog I have discovered this year.

JamaGenie said...

Happy to oblige, Alan! I haven't been to your blogs (plural) lately - been researching the life of "Little Muriel" - but I consider News From Nowhere THE best blog I've found this year, with your pub blog a close second.

That said, and knowing you carry a camera, Find A Grave is sadly lacking in transcriptions and photos of tombstones in UK churchyards. If you happen to pass any on your rounds, perhaps you could take a few minutes to snap a few, then post them at Find A Grave.

Or...become a Find A Grave Photo Volunteer for your area. Simply click on the camera in the right-hand column here to find out how.

It's actually quite painless, and always soooo appreciated by those who live too far away to visit a loved one's grave themselves.

Now that the weather is more or less warm and dry in my part of the world, I'll be answering PV requests again. (In fact, I did one yesterday.)

Trish and Rob MacGregor said...

Find a Grave - very interesting! Thanks for posting.

67 Not Out (Mike Perry) said...

Fascinating. When I'm near a church yard I always look at the graves. By chance I recently came across Spike Milligan's tombstone, in Rye Sussex, on which it says, 'I told you I was ill'.

JamaGenie said...

Mike, I love the "I told you I was ill" tombstone inscription! But it's also found in the U.S., and I imagine other countries as well, so it's anyone's guess when or where it was first carved in stone. (Pun intended!)