Kathleen Key (April 1, 1903 - December 22, 1954) was an American actress who achieved a brief period of fame during the silent era. She is probably best remembered for playing Tirzah in the 1925 film Ben-Hur. Kathleen was the great-great granddaughter of Francis Scott Key, composer of the Star Spangled Banner.
Born Kitty Lanahan in Buffalo, New York, she first debuted in films in 1920 in the film The Jackeroo of Coolabong, playing a lead role. From that point on to the end of the 1920s, Kathleen Key, sometimes credited as Kathleen Keys, starred in several films, but never really reached stardom, and was never given much credit for the roles she had, although there were some exceptions.
In the early '20s, Kathleen had a well-known love affair with silent-film actor Buster Keaton, who was married at the time. As told in Keaton's biography, the actor attempted to call off the relationship, but Key flew into a jealous rage and ransacked his MGM dressing room, which caused her to be...
Ben Hur was a 1925 silent film directed by Fred Niblo. It was a blockbuster hit for newly merged Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. This was the second film based on the novel Ben-Hur by Lew Wallace.Judah Ben-Hur is a wealthy Jew and boyhood friend of the powerful Roman, Messala. When an accident leads to Ben-Hur's arrest, Messala makes sure he and his family are jailed and separated.Ben-Hur is sent to work in the galley of a Roman warship. Along the way he unknowingly encounters Christ, the carpenter's son who offers him water. Once aboard ship, his attitude of defiance and strength impresses a Roman Admiral, Quintus Arrius, who allows him to remain unchained. This actually works to the Admiral's favor because when his ship is attacked and sunk by pirates, Ben-Hur saves him from drowning.Arrius then treats Ben-Hur as a son and over the years, the young man grows strong and becomes a victorious chariot racer. This eventually leads to a climactic showdown with Messala in a chariot race. Costing..., http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0016641