Keath, Donna


By Jeremiah Favara


Donna Keath was an actress who worked in radio and on the stage. Keath was involved with the group “Stage for Action,” a collection of performers and writers dedicated to addressing social concerns in the 1940s.


Cast of Young Dr. Malone


Keath was an actress in New York City in the 1940s. Keath got a role in the daytime radio serial The Couple Next Door on her first audition. As a radio performer Keath was featured in many of the top radio programs of the mid-1940s, including Ma Perkins  and Road of Life. Keath also acted in plays, including Sophie, which opened on Broadway in December 1944. Keath’s acting career is most noted for her involvement in the theatre group Stage for Action.Keath married Peter B. Neubauer, a child psychiatrist, on October 24, 1945. Keath later divorced Neubauer and engaged in a relationship with Jerre Mangione, an author. Keath went by the name Donna Mangione and worked with Mangione to write a sample television script titled “What’s the picture?” which was copyrighted in 1955.



    Newspaper article about Donna Keath



    Ad for Young Dr. Malone




    Keath was a founding member of Stage for Action (SFA), a “progressive theatre company” founded in December 1943. Keath, along with actress Perry Miller, Berilla Kerr, and Peggy Clark, began SFA as a mode of using performance to address specific social and political issues of the time. Keath became the chairman of SFA in April 1944. Keath was quoted as saying, “We are willing to use the talents by which we make a living to explain the significance behind the headlines.” Eleanor Roosevelt was a supporter of SFA and wrote a piece in the Nevada State Journal in April 1944 discussing the importance of the group’s mission. Roosevelt called Keath one of “the four moving spirits of the organization” in a call to raise funds for the group.

    In addition to her work with SFA, Keath was also involved in the American Federation of Radio Artists (AFRA), serving on the resolutions committee in 1943 and attending AFRA conventions in 1943 and 1944. Although Keath was the only one of the four founding members of SFA to get named in Red Channels, other members, including Edward Chodorov, Norman Corwin, Arthur Miller, and Sam Wanaker, were also identified as Communist sympathizers.


      Flier, Stage for Action Production





      Sally (1929)

      Hot Curves (1930)

      Their Wive’s Vacation (1930
      Ex-Bartender (1931)

      Next Door Neighbors (1931)

      One Punch O’Toole (1931)

      The Albany Branch (1931)

      Bed of Roses (1933)

      The Bowery (1933)

      The Meanest Gal in Town (1934)

      Sing and Like It (1934)

      Bachelor Bait (1934)

      Pursued (1934)

      Lightning Strikes Twice (1934)

      Hooray for Love (1935)

      A Night at the Biltmore Bowl (1935)

      Mary Burns, Fugitive (1935)

      Annie Oakley (1935)

      Kelly the Second (1936)

      Sitting on the Moon (1936)

      Cain and Mabel (1936)

      Laughing at Trouble (1936)

      Pan Handlers (1936)

      Women of Glamour (1937)

      The Hit Parade (1937)

      Meet the Boy Friend (1937)

      You Can’t Take It with You (1938)

      Slander House (1938)

      Rhythm of the Saddle (1938)

      Whispering Enemies (1939)

      The Music Man (1962)

      Love and Kisses (1965)

      The Comic (1969)



      Henry Morgan’s Great Talent Hunt (1951)

      Beulah (1951)

      Cavalcade of Stars (1951-1952)

      Omnibus (1959)

      The Ballad of Louie the Louse (1959)

      Make Room for Daddy (1961)

      The Twilight Zone (1963)

      My Three Sons (1964)

      Kibbee Hates Fitch (1965)

      Gomer Pyle: USMC (1966)

      Occasional Wife (1966)

      T.H.E. Cat (1966)

      The Jackie Gleason Show (1967)



      Sunny (1925)

      The Five O’Clock Girl (1927)

      The Dubarry (1932)

      All in Fun (1940)

      Guest in the House (1942)

      Lady, Behave! (1943)

      The Bad Seed (1954)

      The Music Man (1957)

      Greenwillow (1960)

      Come Blow Your Horn (1961)

      I Was Dancing (1954)

      Minor Miracle (1965)

      Spofford (1967)