One of the generation of stage actresses whose work in silent motion pictures was restricted to a single release, yet capturing a role that recreated an immense dramatic success, Doris Keene entered the profession as a protege of Charles T. Yerkes. After playing supporting roles from 1903 to 1906, she won critical accolades for a role in 1907's "The Hypocrites," a performance that elevated her to lead status in her next play, David Belasco's "The Rose of the Rancho." In 1908 she replaced May Buckley as the leading lady of the Elitch Stock Company.
In 1910 Keene became known to the American public in the national tour of the detective drama "Arsene Lupin" for Charles Frohman. William Courtney played the wiley Lupin. Her greatest success was in the stage and screen versions of "Romance," a drama that played over 700 nights in London. Playing opposite her husband Basil Sidney, Keene's play was brought to the screen by Chester Whithey by the D.W. Griffith Company.
Among the more political of American actresses of her generation, Keene was a vocal suffragete. In the early 1920s, after returning from her long run in London, Keene located on the West Coast where she performed "Starlight," "The Czarina," and a revival of "Romance." G. Unger's "Starlight" would be the final starring role of Keene's career. David S. Shields/ALS