Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Peter Keefe was born in Rochester, New York. Keefe began his career in show business as an on-camera movie critic for a PBS station in St. Louis, Missouri. In 1983, he became a VP and Executive Producer for World Events Productions.
In 1984, Keefe took on the task of taking two anime series from Japan (Beast King GoLion and Dairugger XV) and finding a way to combine them together to make one series. This series became known as Voltron, and it went on to become the number one program in kids syndication in 1984 and 1985. With the success of the Lion Force Voltron part of the series, Keefe oversaw the production of new episodes of Lion Force Voltron, as well as the Fleet of Doom special (where Lion Force Voltron and Vehicle Voltron team up together). When Voltron was released on DVD, Keefe could be seen in the documentaries that were included in the sets. When seeing him on screen, his most distinguishing feature was his black handlebar mustache.
After Voltron, Keefe produced an English adaptation of another anime series, Seijuushi Bismarck. The English adaptation aired in 1988, under the name Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs. Keefe also created Denver, The Last Dinosaur for World Events Productions, which was an American-French animated series.
In 1989, Keefe, along with associate Brian Lacey, formed Zodiac Entertainment; this was a joint venture with Central Independent Television in the UK. Under Zodiac Entertainment, Keefe created and produced the series Widget, The World Watcher, The Mr. Bogus Show, and Twinkle, the Dream Being. Widget has been acknowledged as being perhaps the first show aimed at children to blend entertainment with pro-social and –environmental messages. In 2005, Keefe produced and marketed an animated holiday special called Nine Dog Christmas; this special was broadcast on Cartoon Network in the United States. Over the course of two decades, Keefe created, produced, and sold more than 600 half-hours of children's and family entertainment programming.
Sadly, Peter Keefe passed away on May 27, 2010 in Rochester, New York from throat cancer. He was 57 at the time of his death. He is survived by his wife, Pamela Mills Keefe; his mother, Anne Keefe; his stepson James; and five siblings (sisters Lisa, Kittie and Mollie, and brothers Tony and Chris). Before his passing, Keefe was working with Earthworks Entertainment on developing a series called Z-Force (Zodiac Force), which features twelve heroes based on the ancient Oriental Zodiac.