Karen Steele Profile

Karen Steele
Karen Steele
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(Karen Steele)
20 March 29 is born in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Percy Davis Steele, a Bostonian of English descent, and the former Ruth Covey Merritt, a Californian of French and Danish heritage. Her parents married in Berkeley, California, in 1927. Steele is a Harvard graduate, son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Steele of Port Arthur, Ohio. He made his home in the Hawaiian Islands in 1924. Merritt is a society girl and former Oakland newspaper woman, who spent a year to study at the Sorbonne in Paris. Karen has two sisters, one named Leilani.
? is raised in the English, Japanese, and Polynesian languages
? earns her first money by spearing baby sharks out of heiress Barbara Hutton’s private cove
? attends the University of Hawaii and is a touch football halfback
? studies acting at Rollins College in Florida for a year
1 June 49 is reported back from Rollins College to spend the summer vacation with her parents at 5356 Monaco Road, Lakewood, California. “Miss Steele, a Pi Beta Phi sorority member, will be a junior at Rollins next year.”
? is a cover girl and model
July 50 columnists Wilson and Winchell agree that she is the new interest of comic Groucho Marx
? starts in radio with Let George Do It
c. 54 goes to Hollywood
54 is designated "Squadron Dream Girl" by officers and men of the 935th Air Force Reserve Squadron, North Hollywood
7 December 54 remembers December 7, Pearl Harbor Day, 13 years ago, as though it just happened. She was there and eight years old. Says Karen, "There were dead people all around. They were our neighbors - it's a horrible memory and - the worst part of it is, if we are not careful, it could happen again."
c. 55 an interview with director Delbert Mann and writer Paddy Chayevsky leads to her part in Marty
56 says about her part in Marty: "Landing the role was a big fluke. Everybody thought I was from New York." and "I was a real dog in Marty. They even put bags under my eyes with adhesive tape."
March 56 gets the part originally intended for Fay Spain by producer Sam Goldwyn in Shark Fighters, which will be filmed in Florida. When co-star Charlton Heston drops the role, Victor Mature comes in, and Fay Spain is out. After looking around for two months for the actress to play the only girl in the film, producer Sam Goldwyn, Jr., takes a look at Karen and says: "She's it."
April 56 a career Marine, her father is hailed assistant administrator of the Marshall Islands
May 56 Mike Connolly reports that she has lost her heart to Captain Myron Healy of the United States Air Force Reserve, the actor
June 56 is queen of the ball at the El Toro Rodeo in Southern California
the press hails her a luscious Goldwyn starlet
6 October 56 is on the cover of Picturegoer
November 56 is a onetime switchboard operator for Art Linkletter-John Guedel productions
December 56 is seen at the Gourmet Beverly with Don Taylor
February 57 changes her mind about Victor Mature, her co-star in The Sharkfighters. First she considered him a "big egotistical jerk," but then she encounters his nice and warm personality.
April 57 Victor Mature still makes long transatlantic telephone calls to her
June 57 columnist Louella Parsons advises to “look for a marriage between Budd Boetticher and Karen Steele as soon as he is free. They are at the Sportsman’s Lodge practically every night.”
October 57 is signed to play opposite Anthony Quinn in the upcoming Black Sunday. “Budd Boetticher, who has been very attentive to Karen since he separated from his wife, is the director, and the picture starts in early 1958.”
December 57 Budd Boetticher becomes her favorite director during the filming of Westbound
April 58 is signed by Boetticher for the female lead in his upcoming The Carlos Arruza Story
August 58 after a spat she talks again with Boetticher while filming Ride Lonesome
November 58 she and Boetticher have choked Cupid to death
January 59 columnist Mike Connolly reports that “The Carlos Arruza Story spins off in Mexico City February 16 with Budd’s fiancée, Karen Steele, co-starred as Arruza’s wife Mari.”
May 59 denies reports that she and Boetticher married in Mexico. Budd says he wants to do it legally, and he won't be free until February 17. She and Budd will leave for Mexico City in August to complete filming of The Carlos Arruza Story.
June 59 her press agent claims she has a wardrobe of 35 sweaters
July 59 thinks a marriage to Boetticher won't have a chance after visiting him on location of Commanche Station
August 59 enjoys a smooth dinner at Pucci's with Boetticher. They look closer than ever.
September 59 columnist Walter Winchell thinks she "doesn't like to take direction anymore from director Budd Boetticher.” Boetticher will marry actress Debra Paget in March 1960 and cast her for The Carlos Arruza Story. After their 1961 divorce, actress Elsa Cardenas is hired to finish the movie and rumored to become the next Mrs. Budd Boetticher. The movie gets finished in 1972.
October 59 Howard Shoop designs her 19 wardrobe changes for the upcoming Legs Diamond
60 director Don Siegel fights the choice of her as the female lead in Elvis Presley’s Flaming Star. Barbara Eden gets the part.
February 60 the press claims she enjoys her first snow in New York City
is reported as “one star who enjoys meeting the public and has asked Warners to send her on another tour for The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond...”
March 60 her career is reported progressing again after a long struggle that saw her undergo 22 operations to repair an old leg injury. “I’ve never married,” she says “and I am not looking for a matinee idol. I don’t care what my future husband does for a living. All I want is a man who loves me and that I can love.” The press gives her age as 23.
c. September 60 she and actor Stewart Granger discover each other before he has to leave for England
June 61 her parents, whom she hasn’t seen in over three years, fly in from Hawaii, where they have two homes. Karen entertains them at the Wild Goose.
declares to date “nobody special. I did have dinner at the Captain’s Table with Barry Knox, a friend of mine from Houston.”
November 62 packs for Santa Fe where she's scheduled for an "Empire" shot
January 64 is pictured dining at Madame Penoff's Moskva Cliff restaurant in Studio City
64 dates actor Jack Kelly after his separation from actress May Wynn
December 64 is signed by Jerry Lewis Productions to co-star with Lewis in his next movie
November 65 is among a group of Hollywood people helping actor John Donner charter a fishing boat to take 20 boys from broken homes out for a day of fishing. Others in the party are Barbara Parkins, Linda Evans, Chris Connelly, Patricia Morrow, Martin West, Mala Powers, Alan Hale, Bob Denver, Barbara Luna, John Ashley, Fabian, Mark Goddard, Will Hutchins, Rod Cameron, John Smith, and Eileen O’Neill.
February 66 Winchell thinks she's the gal that matters most to British newcomer Michael Caine
21 August 66 teams with 15-year-old Erik Van Dillen in the opening match of the Youth Tennis Foundations’ Tennis Extravaganza held in Stanford, California
March 67 she and Brian Kelly, on Florida location for a "Flipper" segment, look like they will become a permanent pair
April 68 is seen at Matteo’s with Michael Rennie
June 68 is among the stars of the 34th Annual Hollywood Motion Picture Tennis Tournament charity, held at the Calabasa Park Tennis Club. Also entered are Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Hugh O'Brien, Albert Salmi, James Franciscus, George Lindsay, Marie Windsor Hupp, and Cornel Wilde.
September 69 heat exhaustion forces her to quit the guest star femme lead in the "Line of Fire" segment of "The F.B.I." She is replaced by Jan Shepard.
is scheduled for an October tour of military bases in Vietnam, Thailand, Korea, or the Southwest Pacific with Tom Tully and Susan Oliver
70 is in the lucrative TV-radio commercial field. "Her seductive voice has sold everything from cosmetics to fertilizer. And she has dubbed voices for foreign movies seen in the U.S. This is why Karen has the money to buy herself a home in the heart of the movie-rich belt with enough acreage in back for wild deer to roam." She lives high in the Hollywood Hills and shuns the nightclub whirl. "I'm a little like Katherine Hepburn, I guess," she confesses. "I'll probably be a bachelor girl all my life. I want to live the way I like. A lot of people in this town just don't understand me. They think I'm putting them on. They don't believe me when I tell them I'd rather spend 17 hours talking to General Westmoreland than exchanging amenities at some Hollywood party."
Early 70 is on a handshake tour of service hospitals in the South Pacific. She turned down a series that would have brought her $78,000 in order to make the trip and in the process lost an angry agent. "This was one commitment I had to make," she says.
April 70 says she still has many things to do. "I know they'll take me away kicking and screaming at 80 'cause I can't get it all done."
c. 70 becomes an Arizona resident
17 June 73 marries Dr. Maurice Boyd Ruland, a psychiatrist at the Mohave Mental Health Clinic, in a religious ceremony in Las Vegas. He's 12 years her senior.
73 settles in Golden Valley, Arizona
28 March 74 her father dies at age 76 in California
Mid-80s is bed-ridden at home in a hospital bed for a few years. Her husband, as well as a private nurse, is at her side continually.
12 March 88 as Karen Steele Ruland, she dies at age 58 at the Kingman Regional Medical Center in Kingman, Arizona. Her survivors include her husband, Dr. Ruland. Ruland will die at age 82 in 1999.
? a private cremation is arranged by Tucker Funeral Home
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Recommended Books:
Fifties Blondes by Richard Koper
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