Walter O'Keefe was an American songwriter, actor, syndicated columnist, Broadway composer, radio legend, screenwriter, musical arranger and TV host.
O'Keefe was born in Hartford, Connecticut. He attended the College of the Sacred Heart in Wimbledon, London before entering the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana in 1916. At Notre Dame, he was a member of the Glee Club and a Class Poet. He graduated cum laude in 1921.
O'Keefe began as a vaudeville performer in the midwest for several years. In 1925, he went to New York and became a Broadway performer. By 1937, he wrote a syndicated humor column and filled-in for such radio personalities as Walter Winchell, Edgar Bergen, Don McNeill and Garry Moore. He became the long-time master of ceremonies of the NBC show Double or Nothing and was a regular on that network's Monitor series.
O'Keefe also worked in television, presiding over talk shows and quiz shows for the CBS network. Producers Mark Goodson and Bill Todman hired him for their game show Two for the Money. When the show's usual host, Herb Shriner, had other commitments during the summer of 1954, O'Keefe took over for three months. He was the host for the first Emmy Awards ceremony, held on January 25, 1949 at the Hollywood Athletic Club.