Robert Keene Thompson
November 15, 1885
|Died||July 11, 1937 (aged 51)|
|Resting place||Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, CA|
Keene Thompson (born November 15, 1885 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, died July 11, 1937 in Hollywood, California) was a story, scenario and screenwriter who worked in the film industry from 1920 to 1937.
Thompson had a small acting role in the 1917 Douglas Fairbanks Sr. film Reaching for the Moon, but his first writing work was a screenplay for Fairbanks. His last was scripting the Jack Benny musical Artists and Models.
Some of his early silent film work was for the Christie Film Company, but his later screenwriting was associated primarily with Paramount Pictures where he became a general story advisor. At Paramount he was known for his work with Adolphe Menjou, and had written scripts and special materials for such stars as Raymond Griffith, Gary Cooper and Clara Bow, such as Clarence G. Badger's Paths to Paradise, Victor Fleming's The Virginian, and Frank Tuttle's True to the Navy.
Fighting Caravans (1931), a story of the caravans of wagon trains that supplied freight to the pre-Civil War Old West before the completion of the transcontinental railways, was his adaption of a Zane Grey novel of the same name. His work Man Against Woman for Irving Cummings was called a "forceful drama" and an "entertaining film". During the later part of his career Thompson specialized in comedies. The more notable of these included Leo McCarey's Six of a Kind (1934) which used the top Paramount actors of the time, including Charlie Ruggles, Mary Boland, George Burns, W.C. Fields, Gracie Allen, Alison Skipworth. The 1945 Frank R. Strayer comedy film Mama Loves Papa was based upon his screenplay for the 1933 Norman Z. McLeod film of the same name.
Keene became ill in June 1937, just after completing the script for the Jack Benny musical comedy Artists and Models. On July 11, 1937, he died of lobar pneumonia. His body is interred in the Great Mausoleum, Columbarium of the Graces at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, in Glendale, CA.