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July 12, 2008


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One of her best but little-seen performances is in A THOUSAND AND ONE NIGHTS, in which she plays the--yes--sexy, sassy genie to Cornel Wilde's Aladdin. I met her a few times and did a Q&A with her once, and never found her anything but delightful and super-bright. A true loss.

Gorilla Bob

So that's why Ruby got work! I knew there had to be a backstory, she's awful. Watching her incredibly inept tapping, I knew there had to be something behind the scenes as to why Busby Berkely kept using using her. I love when she gallumphs around the starge, and the other actors have to tell her, "Kid, you're great!" I guess Jolson & Keeler are the real Kane & Susan (I can imagine Jolson telling her, "That's when you have to fight 'em!")

Herman Scobie

Ruby danced like she had the heaviest legs in the universe.

Keyes is also good in an undemanding role in Shoot First, a modest but engaging Robert Parrish/Eric Ambler/Joe McCrea thriller shot in England and known there as Rough Shoot, a much better title.

For roles in such films as The Face Behind the Mask, Johnny O'Clock, The Killer That Stalked New York, The Prowler, 99 River Street, and Hell's Half Acre, she is certainly a noir icon, a fact omitted from her obits.


Just a few months ago I saw her in The Face Behind the Mask, doing an excellent job with a stock character that dated at least all the way back to City Lights. Thank you for this lovely tribute. She was an interesting, bright, vivid woman. I read her autobiography when it came out and now I want to re-read it. She was much kinder to the notoriously difficult John Huston than he was to her, I do remember that.

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