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Singer and Dancer Betty Kean Dies at 71 : Gained Fame With Her Sister Jane Over a 50-Year Career

October 02, 1986

Betty Kean, half of the singing and dancing Kean Sisters, died Monday of cancer at her Hollywood home. She was 71.

Her career stretched across five decades and began when she was a teen-age dancer at Hollywood's old Florentine Gardens. In the intervening years she appeared in dozens of film and television shows, in nightclubs throughout the country, on Broadway and in touring companies of such successful productions as "No, No Nanette," "Irene," "Bye, Bye Birdie" and "Call Me Mister."

With her younger sister, Jane, she toured the world and starred with her on Broadway in "Ankles Away."

Widow of comedian Lew Parker, with whom she appeared frequently, she was in the chorus at the Florentine Gardens when she persuaded the management to hire her tap-dancing sister. They developed an act and began appearing in Los Angeles at such clubs as the Trocadero and gradually moved into vaudeville and other stage work.

Both sisters made frequent television appearances, Betty on "The Ed Sullivan Show," "Cavalcade of Stars," "That Girl," "Happy Days" and "Love Boat."

In addition to her sister, best known as Trixie Norton on "The Honeymooners," Miss Kean is survived by a daughter and two grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Sportsmen's Lodge, Studio City.

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