Brian Keith – The Death of Uncle Bill

November 14, 1921 – June 24, 1997

Well, lets put it this way, French. I chickened out.


Brian Keith
Brian Keith


Brian Keith was certainly best known for his role as Uncle Bill on the 60’s tv show, Family Affair.

What a lot of people don’t know is that his father married an actress named Peg Entwistle, the girl who jumped off the Hollywood Sign in 1932.  True!  Peg was his step-mother before she and his father divorced.

In early 1997 his daughter Daisy committed suicide.  She was suffering from cancer.

Brian himself had a history of emphysema and lung cancer.  He had mentioned suicide more than once.

He was living in the ultra-exclusive Malibu Colony.


Malibu Colony

Malibu Colony


Around 10:30am on June 24 1997 Brian was still dressed in a plaid, long sleeve pajama top.  He sat on the sofa facing the ocean.  He put a .357 to his head and pulled the trigger blowing a star-shaped hole through his skull..

His wife was on the phone in another part of the house when she heard the gunshot.

He was 75 years old.


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Brian Keith's Death Certificate
Brian Keith’s Death Certificate


His funeral was held at Our Lady of Malibu Catholic Church, on June 29th, and was attended by Kathy Garver and Johnny Whitaker.

His ashes are inurned with his daughter in Westwood Memorial park.


Brian Keith's Grave In Westwood Memorial Park


Trivia: Supposedly, Susan Olsen (Cindy Brady) mimicked the Buffy look, when she auditioned for her role in The Brady Bunch.

Still More: Brian was the step-son of Peg Entwistle, the girl that jumped from the Hollywood sign.



6 thoughts on “Brian Keith – The Death of Uncle Bill

  • June 24, 2023 at 4:15 am

    I have a Q: What date did his daughter die? He died in June, so his daughter died beginning of January= 6 months? Did they both have cancer at the same time? I wonder if he saw what cancer was doing to her & how she was dying, and thought ‘I don’t want that for me~it looked too physically painful’ and that’s why he killed himself. Or was he diagnosed after she died?

  • May 15, 2023 at 5:05 am

    Very weird family affair was not on in syndication for a long looooooong time….but Chico and the man was after Freddie’s death

  • April 29, 2022 at 5:39 pm

    Jen Wall, was your grandmother a descendant of Curtis B. Shipman? That was Brian Keith’s maternal grandfather, who sired a number of offspring, including Brian Keith’s mother, Helena Shipman, and my grandfather Alba Milton Shipman (1901-1952), the baby of the family. The story I heard growing up was that, weary of his life in Olympia, Washington, with my Great-Grandmother Annabelle, Curtis B. hightailed it to Arizona, where he entered into a bigamous marriage with a Native American woman and cranked out yet another batch of hatchlings. So Brian (or “Bobby,” as I always heard him referred to, Brian being a stage name) Keith no doubt has a vast and widely scattered assortment of cousins running around the USA, and likely beyond.

  • April 23, 2022 at 6:47 am

    I was looking through a family tree book a while back and found Brian Keith listed as a cousin to my grandmother.

  • March 16, 2020 at 7:33 pm

    Every child wanted Brian Kieth as a daddy he was special.

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