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Fred Keating

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Fred Keating
BornFrederic Serrano Keating
March 27, 1902
New York City
DiedJune 29, 1961 (age 59)
New York City
Resting placeSleepy Hollow Cemetery, North Tarry town, New York
Fred Keating (1902- 1961) was a successful magician (starting in 1915) that moved to Hollywood to try his success as an actor.[1]


He saw de Kolta when he was eight and later ran away from school to join the Thurston show as an assistant. Keating was a student of Nate Leipzig and was influenced by the slightly sarcastic style of Frank Ray.

He appeared in such films as 'To Beat the Band', 'Tin Pan Alley' and 'Eternally Yours'. The latter starred David Niven as a magician and featured Paul LePaul as a Butler and Fred as a Master of Ceremonies.

On television, he staged and starred in a one hour magic show with Arthur Godfrey.

He was well known for his version of the De Kolta's Vanishing Birdcage.

During the 1920s, he also went by the name "F. Serrano Keating" (Serrano was his mother's maiden name)[2] as seen in the Washington Post Aug 24, 1924 article he wrote under that name titled "Easy Magic Tricks For the Beginner" [3]

Roy Benson was inspired by Keating's persona and started out imitating him.

Keating's essay on "Magic As Theatre" was published in Tarbell's Course In Magic Volume 6.


  1. Who's Who in Magic, The Sphinx, Vol. 31, No. 8, October 1932, page 300,
  2. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, June 19, 1933
  • The Conjurors' Magazine, Vol. 4, No. 6, December 1948, SPEAKING OF PICTURES, page 6
  • The Sphinx, Vol. 50, No. 5, September 1951, Picture Story, Fred Keating's magic career, page 184
  • Hugard's Magical Monthly, Vol. 15, No. 9, February 1958, OUT OF MY PROFONDE, By Arthur Leroy, Fred Keating - "The Lad with the Delicate Air", page 98
  • Hugard's Magical Monthly, Vol. 18, No. 11, July 1961, FRED KEATING, page 126
  • Goodliffe's Abracadabra, Vol. 31, No. 806, July 1961, FRED KEATING, page 410
  • M-U-M, Vol. 51, No. 3, August 1961, In Memoriam: Fred Keating, page 128
  • Genii Magazine, Vol. 26. No. 1, August 1961, Mister Keating, By Bob Fischer, page 39
  • The New Tops, Vol. 2, No. 7, July 1962, "NOTORIOUS CHARLATAN", by Bob Fischer, page 9