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Alan Keith, 94; Actor, Oldest Regular Voice on British Airwaves

Obituaries | PASSINGS

March 21, 2003|From Staff and Wire Reports

Alan Keith, 94, Britain's oldest national radio disc jockey whose broadcasting career spanned 70 years, died Monday in England after a short illness.

Keith's classical music program, "Your Hundred Best Tunes," was first broadcast in 1959. The BBC said Keith was due to announce his retirement on Sunday's show, but his recorded announcement was pulled after he became ill.

Keith, the oldest regular voice on British airwaves, was a month older than BBC Radio 4's Alistair Cooke, who continues his long-running weekly "Letter from America."

Born Alec Kossoff, Keith won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1926. By 1928, he was performing in George Bernard Shaw's West End production of "Major Barbara." He began working in radio dramas in 1933, and also acted on stage and in movies and television for many years.

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