After working his way through the Ludlum School of Dramatic Art, William Keighley inaugurated his acting career at the age of 23. Keighley spent the teens and twenties as a Broadway actor/director, travelling west to Hollywood when the call went out for dialogue experts during the early-talkie era. Signing on at Warner Bros., Keighley directed his first film, The Match King, in collaboration with Howard Bretherton in 1932. A good team player, Keighley was up to the challenge of any type of film his studio assigned him: gangster pictures (G-Men, Each Dawn I Die), musicals (The Singing Kid), costume epics (The Prince and the Pauper), war flicks (The Fighting 69th) and screwball comedy (The Bride Came COD, The Man Who Came to Dinner). He was also an able studio troubleshooter, helping Broadway director Marc Connelly over the cinematic rough spots in the 1936 filmization of Connelly's play The Green Pastures. Keighley left Warners in 1942 to supervise the Army Signal Corps' motion picture unit; during this time he directed the still-potent British documentary Target for Tonight (1943). Upon his return to Hollywood, Keighley free-lanced at Warners, RKO and 20th Century-Fox, and also replaced Cecil B. DeMille as host of radio's Lux Theatre. After retiring from films in 1953, Keighley pursued a fruitful second career as an award-winning, internationally heralded still photographer. William Keighley was the husband of actress Genevieve Tobin, whom he frequently directed in such pictures as No Time for Comedy (1940) and Torrid Zone (1940).
by Hal Erickson biography