Keith D. Crary
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Keith Douglas Crary of Studio City, CA, passed away on Sunday, June 23, 2019. Keith was a graduate of Bay View High School (Milwaukee, WI) and of the first class of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Clown College in 1968; he toured with The Greatest Show on Earth from 1969-1974. Keith moved on to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus World theme park in Florida. In time, he found his way to Hollywood where he worked with former clown and make-up artist Verne Langdon. Together they created and produced the "Land of a 1000 Faces" attraction on the Universal Studios Tour. Keith soon found his niche in network television. He spent many years on Days of Our Lives, The Leeza Show, Extra! and many others. He was nominated for an Emmy Award 16 times, winning five. He also received one Primetime Emmy nomination for Wild Texas Wind starring Dolly Parton. Keith was adored for his unique style and talent and is credited by many artists in his Local union for being the person who gave them their 'first break' into the business. His longtime client and friend Leeza Gibbons wrote of her friend: Keith was simply the best make-up artist I ever worked with. We were always in awe of his talents honed from his years as a professional clown. He was sparkly and happy and ready for whatever was next. The first one to show up for work, dressed to impress complete with matching bling. I lived for his outfits. I join a long list of family and friends who loved him deeply. No one worked harder or cared more. He made everything special. Keith was one of those rare souls whose magnificent artistry was honored and respected, but the Emmys and awards only showed his professional accomplishments. His true colors were seen flying high when he sprinkled his fairy dust on his friends and talked about the ones he loved like Arty and his family. To say we'll miss him is a weak statement of sentiment. To say he was loved is a powerful statement of fact.Each year, Keith traveled back to Milwaukee's The Great Circus Parade to make up Oscar-winning actor Ernest Borgnine as the Grand Clown. Keith himself was always a featured clown in the parade. Parade goers looked forward to each year's ever more spectacular costumes and he became a favorite in their hearts. In 1999, he received the "Lifetime of Laughter" award from the International Clown Hall of Fame. Keith will be missed for his zest and ability to take everything past better to exceptional. His family and friends will cherish their memories of love and laughter with Keith and his spirit will continue in the laughter of all! A special thank you goes out to all the medical staff at UCLA, friends and coworkers whose support and love was endless! Friends and family celebrated Keith's life in Los Angeles July 20th. Keith was preceded in death by his parents Perle and Ruth Crary. Keith is survived by his husband, Arthur Talaugon who was the love of his life. He is further survived by his four beloved sisters: Carolyn (Dan) McCauley, Elaine (Bob) Murphy, Jean Lanahan and Karen Crary. Also his nephews and nieces: Adam Kuchler, Jaime (Adrian) Chapin, Kristin (Jason) Jasper, Kevin McCauley, and his great-nephews and great-nieces.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Aug. 22 to Aug. 24, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
August 18, 2020
Keith = Sunshine/Brightness/Joy/wit/caring/TALENT who still glitters even now.
Don Frabotta
August 17, 2020
Keith was a fabulous makeup artist, a wonderful person, wicked sense of humor and all around a joy to be with.
Gail Brubaker
August 31, 2019
I'm so sad to hear about Keith's passing. I worked with Keith for many years on Days of our Lives. He was a wonderful person and a fabulous makeup artist. He had great style and a great sense of humor. I'm so happy I knew you. He will be missed by many.
Gail Brubaker
August 28, 2019
I have only just heard of Keith's passing. I am devastated to say the least. Keith did my make up most years during the near 25 years I was on Days of Our Lives. He WAS the light of the Make-up Room....such wit. But the talent beyond anthing else. He was a friend. We did socialize a bit and I was fortunate enough to be invited to his home for gatherings, mostly filled with visiting Ringling folk. Met Verne through him. Met JP Morgan through him. All that aside...he was KEITH. Even though I've lived on the East Coast for 15 years, he was always on my mind and on my tongue. My heart goes out to Arty and to Keith's family. I think I met one sister, but could not remember which.
Used to go to the Renaissance Faire in the early days with friends and it was always an "event" to see what Keith would have on. I have photos here to remember.
Dear, dear were so loved and brought love to so many. You can rumble around in my head as long as you like....but I have to know, first, what you will be wearing.
Don Frabotta
August 26, 2019
Always a birth light to everyone he met. He brightened the day whenever we talked and always made me feel better about life, just knowing he was in it.
I shall miss him, but his sprit will burn bright.
Gene Dicaro
August 26, 2019
Keith will forever remain in my heart There is a special place in our hearts carved out for our memories....
Lori Buenger
Lori Buenger
August 25, 2019
Although we can't be with you while you remember your loved one, you're in our thoughts from afar.
Nick Pagliaro
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