Kiley, Richard

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American stage, television and film actor, Richard Paul Kiley was best known for creating the Tony Award winning title role in Man of La Mancha in the original 1965 Broadway production. He was the first to sing and record the song, The Impossible Dream, and recreated the role in the London production, a Lincoln Center revival and a United States tour. Born in Chicago on March 31, 1922, Kiley began his career as a juvenile on radio and made his Broadway debut in Misalliance (1953) for which he won a Theatre World Award. His first musical role was in Kismet (1953); his first Tony Award was for the musical Redhead (1959) with Gwen Verdon. Other musicals were Richard Rodgers' No Strings (1962) with Diahann Carroll for which Kiley received a Tony nomination for best actor, I Had a Ball (1964) and Her First Roman (1968).

Most of Kiley's work did not make use of his strong vocal talent and rich baritone, however. He starred on Broadway in Time Limit (1956), Advise and Consent (1960), The Incomparable Max (1971), Voices (1972), Absurd Person Singular (1974), The Heiress (1976), and All My Sons (1987) for which he received a Tony nomination for best actor in a play. Kiley also won Emmy Awards and Golden Globes for his television work in The Thorn Birds, A Year in the Life and Picket Fences. His films included The Blackboard Jungle, The Little Prince, Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Endless Love.

Kiley also had an extensive career doing voiceover work as a narrator for various documentaries including National Geographic, Nova, Planet Earth, Mysteries of the Bible, etc. He also performed in many solo shows and benefit concerts. Richard Kiley was married to Mary Bell Wood with whom he had six children from 1948-1967 and to Patricia Ferrier from 1968 until his death. He died of bone marrow disease on March 5, 1999.

From the description of Richard Kiley papers, 1939-1999. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 229372143

American stage, television and film actor, Richard Paul Kiley was best known for creating the Tony Award winning title role in Man of La Mancha in the original 1965 Broadway production. He was the first to sing and record the song, The Impossible Dream, and recreated the role in the London production, a Lincoln Center revival and a United States tour. Born in Chicago on March 31, 1922, Kiley began his career as a juvenile on radio and made his Broadway debut in Misalliance (1953) for which he won a Theatre World Award. His first musical role was in Kismet (1953) where he introduced the song Stranger in Paradise ; his first Tony Award was for the musical Redhead (1959) with Gwen Verdon. Other musicals were Richard Rodgers' No Strings (1962) with Diahann Carroll for which Kiley received a Tony nomination for best actor, I Had a Ball (1964) and Her First Roman (1968).

Most of Kiley's work did not make use of his strong vocal talent and rich baritone, however. He starred on Broadway in Time Limit (1956), Advise and Consent (1960), The Incomparable Max (1971), Voices (1972), Absurd Person Singular (1974), The Heiress (1976), and All My Sons (1987) for which he received a Tony nomination for best actor in a play. Kiley also won Emmy Awards and Golden Globes for his television work in The Thorn Birds, A Year in the Life and Picket Fences . His films included The Blackboard Jungle, The Little Prince, Looking for Mr. Goodbar and Endless Love .

Kiley also had an extensive career doing voiceover work as a narrator for various documentaries including National Geographic, Nova, Planet Earth, Mysteries of the Bible, etc. He also performed in many solo shows and benefit concerts. Richard Kiley was married to Mary Bell Wood with whom he had six children from 1948-1967 and to Patricia Ferrier from 1968 until his death. He died of bone marrow disease on March 5, 1999.

From the guide to the Richard Kiley papers, 1939-1999, (The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Ross, Jerome. Studio one-- Act of mercy / written especially for Studio one by Jerome Ross. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Crabtree, Paul. Studio one-- "The landlady's daughter" / written especially for Studio one by Paul Crabtree ; based on the Saturday Evening Post story by John Prescott. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Neiman, Irving Gaynor. Westinghouse summer theatre-- "The small door" / by Irving Gaynor Neiman. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn John Eldon Thayer collection of motion picture memorabilia, 1916-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
creatorOf Crabtree, Paul. Studio one-- "The landlady's daughter" / written especially for Studio one by Paul Crabtree ; based on the Saturday Evening Post story by John Prescott. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Philippe Halsman theatrical photographs, 1947-1969 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Kiley, Richard. Richard Kiley papers, 1939-1999. New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Russell, A. J. Studio one-- "A criminal design" / adapted for Studio one by A.J. Russell from the Saturday Evening Post story, "Murder in the backroom" by William Fay. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Richard Kiley papers, 1939-1999 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Ruth and Augustus Goetz papers, 1930-1966 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Carousso, Dorothee. Westinghouse summer theatre-- "Flowers from a stranger" / by Dorothea [i.e. Dorothee] Carousso ; adapted by Jacques Finke. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Arthur Unger collection of recorded interviews [sound recording] The New York Public Library. Rodgers and Hammerstein Archives of Recorded Sound.
referencedIn Lucille Lortel papers, 1902-2000 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
creatorOf Dan H. Laurence Collection. Her First Roman / based on Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra ; with music and lyrics by Edwin Drake - souvenir program for production at Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York, October 20, 1968. University of Guelph
creatorOf Mandel, Loring, 1928-. Studio one-- "Shakedown cruise" / written especially for Studio one by Loring D. Mandel. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Peterson, Shirley. Studio one summer theatre-- A chance at love / by Shirley Peterson. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Cadell, Elizabeth. Studio one-- The cuckoo in Spring / Elizabeth Cadell ; adapted for Studio one by Sam Hall. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
creatorOf Locke, Sam. Westinghouse summer theatre-- The guinea pigs / by Sam Locke. Bowling Green State University, BGSU Libraries
referencedIn Zero and Kate Mostel papers, 1915-1986 The New York Public Library. Billy Rose Theatre Division.
referencedIn Frederick R. Koch collection of photographs of stage and screen actors and entertainers, ca. 1920-1979. Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Dan H. Laurence Collection. corporateBody
associatedWith Goetz, Ruth person
associatedWith Halsman, Philippe person
associatedWith Koch, Frederick R. (Frederick Robinson), collector. person
associatedWith Leigh, Mitch, 1928- person
associatedWith Lortel, Lucille person
associatedWith Mostel, Zero, 1915-1977 person
associatedWith Saddler, Donald person
associatedWith Thayer, John Eldon, 1899-1980 person
associatedWith Unger, Arthur person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Motion picture actors and actresses
Television actors and actresses
Acting
Documentary films
Voice-overs
Musical theater
Occupation
Actors
Function

Person

Birth 1922-03-31

Death 1999-03-05

Americans

English

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