Glendale, California Biographies

Pearl Keller Brattain

        The Pearl Keller School of Dancing and Dramatic Art, located at 109-A North Brand Boulevard, is in every particular essentially a Glendale Institution. Mrs. Pearl Keller Brattain, the founder and director of this school is a descendant of a long line of people who have been famous in the profession, both as performers and instructors of dance and of the dramatic arts, and at an early age, Pearl Keller began the training that laid the foundation for the work that she has so successfully carried on in later years. After years of training she took up the professional stage career and for a number of years appeared in Chicago, Brooklyn and New York, and has toured the United States and Canada with many of the famous dramatic companies, playing ingenue and juvenile parts. During this period of active work on the professional stage, she pursued a continuous course of intensive study under the best instructors that could be had.

        In 1914, Miss Keller came to Southern California and after looking over the field very carefully, located and opened her first school of dancing and dramatic art in the former home of Mrs. A. L. Bancroft on South Brand Boulevard, in what was then Tropico. The school was conducted at this location for four years and during this period Miss Keller specialized in the instruction of children, with the result that her success was so marked along this line that her entire efforts since have been directed towards the training and instruction of children exclusively. During the years of 1916, 1917 and 1918, besides attending her regular classes, she also held classes in dancing in Los Angeles, at the Garden Court Apartments at Hollywood, the St. Catherine School for girls in Los Angeles, and at the Los Angeles Military Academy. During this period of the World War her pupils were actively engaged in giving entertainments and benefits for the Red Cross and other patriotic organizations. In addition to these activities, he classes of children have appeared in feature films, furnishing the dancing and ballet numbers for the “Butterfly Man” at the Gasneir Studio, in which Lew Cody was starred.

        The first pupil of Miss Keller to turn professional was Robert Lehman, the well-known thirteen-year-old prodigy who has been playing the leading vaudeville circuits as a female impersonator under the name of the “Miniature Flapper.” He was discovered by Miss Keller and received all of his training under her, as well as his booking on the stage. Many of the younger motion picture actors and actresses are former pupils of Miss Keller and received their training in her school. Some of the best known are Baby Marie Osborne who was one of the first child stars in the picture world; Howard Ralston, who has played several note-worthy parts with Mary Pickford; Esther Ralston, whose latest picture was with Jackie Coogan in “Oliver Twist”; Lolita Parker, who has appeared with Charlie Chaplin; many others not so well known at present but who are rapidly coming to the front.

        The annual recital, which is given by the entire school, has now become a feature of entertainment that is given by the entire school, has now become a feature of entertainment which is offered to the people of Glendale. It is looked forward to with great anticipation by all who have been fortunate enough to witness one of these productions in the past.

        Miss Keller conducts her school over regular terms for nine months of each year and then closes her school for three months during the summer. During this period of vacation Miss Keller travels, to secure new material for her work, and also studies under the best dancing instructors in the country in order to keep abreast with all that is most advanced in the lines of her work. She spent over a year under the direction of Miss Marion Morgan, who is the creator and director of the famous Morgan Dancers, who are well known the world over and yearly tour the Orpheum Circuit. Miss Keller, through special permission of Miss Morgan, has adopted the Morgan technique as the standard for her school and this is taught to all pupils. The Pearl Keller School offers and teaches all the different branches of dancing and the instruction given is of the latest and most advanced type.

        Pearl Keller Brattain, is a life member of the Tuesday Afternoon Club of Glendale, also a member of the Glendale Music Club, the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Glendale Business and Professional Women’s Club, the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion and the Indian Welfare League, of Los Angeles.

From History of Glendale and Vicinity by John Calvin Sherer. The Glendale Publishing Company, c. 1922 F. M. Broadbooks and J. C. Sherer. p. 423-424. A photo of Pearl Keller Brattain appears on page 422.