GREASE and MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Star Derek Keeling Dies
BroadwayWorld is sad to share an obituary for Derek Keeling, released today by the family that reveals his passing on December 12, 2018. No cause of death or further information has been released.
Keeling starred as "Danny Zuko" on Broadway in both the revival and National tour of Grease. He appeared as "Johnny Cash" in the 1st Broadway tour of Million Dollar Quartet and the Las Vegas Company. Derek also appeared as Johnny Cash in the regional tour of Ring of Fire including a stop at the Tony Award winning, Cincinnati Playhouse. Off-Broadway he won the MITF Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his role as "Barry" in Connect-Disconnect. He also appeared on NBC's Grease: You're the One That I Want and finished as 2nd Runner-up.
Other credits included originating the role of "Charles Darnay" in the World Premiere of the Broadway musical A Tale Of Two Cities, "Chad" in All Shook Up (regional premiere), "The Fonz" in Happy Days the Musical (The Falcon Theatre, LA), "Glen" in The Wedding Singer (regional premiere), and "Skip" in the New York-bound new Roger Bean musical Life Could Be A Dream. Concerts include: Feinstein's in NYC, starring soloist with the California Philharmonic at Disney Hall in LA and his Tribute to the Music of Johnny Cash concert tour. Derek is a graduate of the University of Kentucky where he studied theatre and opera.
Derek was a graduate of Winfield High School and attended Mars Hill College where he was a brother of Delta Kappa Theta, and graduated with honors from the University of Kentucky.
After graduating, Derek went straight to New York where he landed his first National Tour as Danny Zuko in Grease. He performed that role over 700 times, including on Broadway, with the last time being in Istanbul, Turkey.
Derek performed all over the United States in various leading roles, including The Fonz in "Happy Days," Chad in "All Shook Up," Skip in "Life Could Be a Dream," and with the Philharmonic at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles with sold out shows.
While touring, he recorded some of his original songs at SUN Records in Memphis, TN. He later recorded his own album and included these songs. He wrote all of his own music and lyrics.
As per Derek's wishes, the family will host a party, a Celebration of Life, on Sunday, January 20, 2019, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Valley Park Conference Center in Hurricane. Everyone welcome. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Musical Theatre Department at the University of Kentucky Scholarship Fund in Derek's name.
Condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting www.curryfuneralhome.org.
He is survived by his parents Roger and Sandi Keeling, sister Erin Stulgis and her husband Steve Stulgis, aunts, uncles and numerous cousins and friends.