Keith Prentice

Inducted into the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame, October 20, 2003.

Keith Prentice was born on February 21, 1940 in Dayton, Ohio. In 1958 he began studying towards a career in acting at the Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. After only six months at the academy, Keith was selected as an understudy for the juvenile lead in the original Broadway production of The Sound of Music, which also starred Mary Martin.

Keith left the Rodgers and Hammerstein hit eighteen months later to understudy the lead role in Noel Coward's Sail Away. Here he had the opportunity to share the spotlight several times opposite co-star Elaine Stritch.

His other musical stage credits include Paint Your Wagon, The King and I, Gentlemen Prefer Blonds, Wish You Were Here, Fiorello, Wildcat and Irma La Douce.

In 1968, Keith received attention in the acclaimed Off-Broadway play The Boys in the Band, as the oversexed photographer Larry. In 1970, he reprised the role on the big screen.

Keith joined the cast of Dark Shadows in 1971 and remained with the show until its final episode. After the show ended, he appeared in the primetime television movie The Legend of Nigger Charley and appeared on the silver screen in Cruising in 1980 alongside Al Pacino.

Keith founded the Theatre Under the Stars in 1983, where he directed productions up until his untimely death. The theatre was located in his hometown of Kettering, Ohio.

On September 27 1992, Keith Prentice, aged just 52, died of cancer complicated by AIDS in Kettering, Ohio.

--Vera Marano