342 E 13th St, New York, NY 10003
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery Sleepy Hollow, Westchester County, New York, USA
Frederic Serrano Keating (March 27, 1901 – June 29, 1961),[a] best known as Fred Keating, was an American magician, stage and film actor. Keating was billed in vaudeville as "the Mayfair mountebank." He co-starred with Tallulah Bankhead in the 1945 comedy, "Her Cardboard Lover". He was the first president of the American Federation of Actors. For many years Keating was a headliner at the old Palace theater here with his magic act.
Keating was born in New York City, the son of Frederick Keating (Senior), a lawyer, and Camille Serrano, a singer. He was of Irish-Spanish heritage. His parents divorced when he was young. He became interested in magic from an early age. He became well known for performing a disappearing canary cage trick. Keating also performed a trick where he swallowed needles and pulled them threaded, out of his mouth.
From 1940–1951 Spivy ran her own nightclub, Spivy's Roof, on New York's East 57th Street. The club was noted for its tolerance of gay performers and patrons; Spivy herself was a lesbian in private life. Among the artists who performed there were Frances Faye, Mabel Mercer, Moms Mabley, Thelma Carpenter, Paul Lynde, Martha Raye, Bea Arthur, Liberace, and actor-magician Fred Keating. Although it was reported that Spivy and Keating intended to marry on Christmas Eve 1942, this appears to have been a publicity stunt or lavender marriage.
Fred Keating also billed himself as "The Notorious Charlatan." He'd tell his audiences: "Observe this next trick carefully. At no time does my brain leave my head." Beatrice Lillie once asked about his bird trick, if he ever had killed any of the birds. Keating replied: "Only when I was out of work." He urged all actors to vote, "to get out of bed before 5 p.m. once every four years, if only for the sheer discipline of it."
My published books:
BACK TO HOME PAGE