Log In

Kathy Merle Keeton Edit Profile

film actor

Kathy Merle Keeton, South African publisher. Recipient Publisher of Year citation, Outstanding Woman in Publishing award March of Dimes, Unity of the City of New York award Mayor Dinkins.


Keeton, Kathy Merle was born on February 17, 1939 in Republic of South Africa. Daughter of Keith and Queenie Keeton.


Student, Royal Ballet School, London.


Born in South Africa and raised on a farm, Keeton took up dancing in childhood to strengthen a leg affected by polio. She appeared in bit parts in four British movies: Carlton-Browne of the F.O. (1959) (as a tabletop dancer), Expresso Bongo (1959), Too Hot to Handle (1960), and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965) (as a stripper). At the age of 24 she was what The Associated Press called "one of the highest-paid strippers in Europe".

She met Bob Guccione in 1965 and they remained together, although they did not marry until 1988. In his publishing company her title was President/Chief Operating Officer of General Media Communications, Inc. She founded the magazines Viva (1973), Omni (1978), and Longevity (1989).

She also wrote two non-fiction books, Woman of Tomorrow (1986) and Longevity: The Science of Staying Young (1992). She was plaintiff in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case of Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc.

After her diagnosis with breast cancer, Keeton treated herself with hydrazine sulfate, after reading about it in Penthouse, one of her own publications. She claimed that she had rid herself of or shrunk almost all of the tumors and extended her life by several years, after being given a dire initial prognosis of only six weeks to live by her doctors. Keeton died of complications from surgery for an intestinal obstruction, aged 58, in New York City.


  • She won a scholarship to the Sadler's Wells Ballet in London, but left after she turned 18 to work in a nightclub.



Active Fund for the Aging (City Meals on Wheels), Corporation Blood Drive, National Coalition Against Censorship. Member American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Amateur Astronomers Association, American Space Foundation, Robotics International Small and Medium Size Enterprises, Space Generation Foundation, L-5 Society.


Married January 17, 1988.

Keith Keeton

Queenie Keeton

January 17