Real name: Louise Keys
1915 - 1982
Louise Stanley was born Louise Keys on January 28, 1915 in Springfield, Illinois to Helen L. and Alvin Searles Keys. Father Alvin S. Keys was a wealthy insurance executive and the grandson of Levi O. Todd, youngest of the four brothers of Mary Todd Lincoln, wife of Abraham Lincoln.
Louise's brief Hollywood career lasted from 1935 - 1940, and she made about three dozen films, most of which were westerns.
She signed with Paramount and was on their roster for the 1936 - 1937 season. But her contract option was not renewed after the initial six month period. She then went to work for Warner Bros. where she was "loaned out" for some western films. It was around this time that Louise married movie star Dennis O'Keefe. Around 1937, Stanley wound up at Columbia Pictures where she made a couple of films as well as appearing in Charley Chase and Andy Clyde comedy shorts.
Later, she was the female lead in THE OREGON TRAIL (Universal, 1939) serial which starred Johnny Mack Brown. And her cowboy films were with Bob Steele and Johnny Mack Brown for producer A. W. Hackel (Supreme Pictures, later released through Republic); several Tex Ritter oaters from Grand National; a couple of Renfrew of the Mounted adventures from Monogram; and she was the leading lady in five Monogram westerns starring Jack Randall, the brother of Three Mesquiteer star Bob Livingston. Randall was Louise's husband ... twice.
Her final film appearances were in 1940 - there were two Randall westerns and a Renfrew mountie yarn - and then she retired from Tinseltown.
There were many unsuccessful marriages, and most were stormy relationships:
- her first marriage may have been to an insurance agent in her Springfield, Illinois home town.
- Lee Bennett, vocalist with the Jan Garber Orchestra, obtained a divorce from Louise Keys Bennett on March 31, 1936 in Chicago.
- Louise was briefly wed to actor Dennis O'Keefe and they divorced in August, 1938 in Los Angeles.
- there were two marriages and annulments / divorces from movie cowboy Jack Randall in 1939 - 1941. Randall was granted a divorce in Los Angeles on February 6, 1941.
- there was an August, 1942 marriage to Charles A. Munn, Jr., World War II Navy pilot and Philadelphia socialite. He obtained a Florida divorce from her in June, 1944.
Jump forward to August, 1944 and Louise Munn is living with a man at the Hotel Ambassador on Park Avenue, New York City. And there's lots of newspaper headlines and articles about her being beaten and hospitalized with a concussion. Did not find any follow-up articles on how this turned out.
In his book Sweethearts of the Sage (McFarland, 1992), Buck Rainey has Louise, in her later years, settling on a farm in Connecticut ... and raising and racing horses.
Around 1959, she moved to Florida and passed away there on December 28, 1982 from cancer.
Although some of the data is incomplete or inaccurate, the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) has information on Louise Stanley: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0822548/
Family Search had records on Louise and family:
- World War I draft registration for 29 year old Alvin Searles Keys who was born January 30, 1888 in Springfield, Illinois and resides in Springfield. Occupation is "Self - Investment, Insurance, Coal" and is the support of a wife and two children: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K66S-1QV
- 1920 census summary and census takers worksheet - 31 year old Alvin Keys (born Illinois; occupation "President - Investment ?"), his 29 year old wife Helen (born Illinois), 4 11/12 year old daughter Louise (born Illinois), and 2 11/12 year old daughter Virginia (born Illinois) own their home in Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois. They also have two servants residing with them: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MJC2-V8H
- 1930 census summary and census takers worksheet - renting at 1203 Seventh Street, Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois are 42 year old Alvin S. Keyes [sic] (born Illinois; occupation "Agent - Insurance"), 40 year old wife Helen L. (born Illinois), 15 year old daughter Louise (born Illinois), 13 year old daughter Virginia (born Illinois), 8 year old daughter Julia (born Illinois), and a servant: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X3MX-VR3
- 1940 census summary and census takers worksheet, enumerated April 8, 1940 - living at the Garden of Allah and Sunset Plaza hotels, Los Angeles, California are 33 year old Addison O. Randall (born California) and his 25 year old wife Louise Keys Randall (born Illinois). Their occupations are "Actor and Actress - Motion Pictures". In 1939, he worked 52 weeks and earned $5000.00+. In 1939, she worked 20 weeks and earned $3000.00. If you view the census worksheet, you'll also find that Randall's brother, Robert Edgar Randall (AKA Bob Livingston) and wife were also residing at this hotel: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9C2-MQ5
- Florida Death Index for 67 year old Louise Kay [sic] Munn, born January 28, 1915, and passed away December 28, 1982 in Brevard County, Florida: https://www.familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VV8Q-CHC
More on Louise's two marriages to Jack Randall from the trades and newspapers:
- February 14, 1940 Film Daily under their "Wedding Bells" column: "Jack Randall, Monogram cowboy star, was married last Friday in Yuma, Ariz. to Louise Stanley ..." ; "Randall and his wife were married more than a year ago in Mexico. They were later divorced, however, but the romance was renewed when Miss Stanley was Randall's leading lady in a recent Monogram western, 'The Cheyenne Kid.'"
- February 12, 1941 issue of Variety in their "Hollywood Chatter" column: "Jack Randall and Louise Stanley, both film players, divorced."
An AP syndicated newspaper report indicates Randall was granted a divorce on February 6, 1941 in Los Angeles.
|(From Old Corral collection)
Above - Louise Stanley in a tender scene with Bob Steele circa late 1930s during their films for producer A. W. Hackel.
Above - pressbook ad for Bob Steele's PINTO CANYON (Metropolitan, 1940) with Stanley as the heroine. This was one of her last film roles.
(Courtesy of Minard Coons)
Above - 1976 photo of western singer Art Davis, one of the stars of PRC's brief Frontier Marshal trio series in 1942, and western and serial heroine Louise Stanley.