Actress. Although her Hollywood career was brief, she is fondly remembered for playing Buster Keaton's romantic interest in his early starring comedies. Unlike the helpless women who tended to populate The Great Stoneface's later films, Seely was feisty, playful and sexy, not to mention spirited enough to take part in the messier (and more dangerous) slapstick, doing her own stunts when the occasion called for it. Some Keaton aficionados maintain she was the best leading lady he ever had and lament that they made only five two-reelers together: "One Week" (1920), "Convict 13" (1920), "The Scarecrow" (1920), "The Boat" (1921), and "The Frozen North" (1922). Her bathing scene in "One Week" is capped by one of the most celebrated gags of the entire silent era, and has appeared in numerous documentaries and compilation films. Seely was born Sybil Travilla in Los Angeles. She made her screen debut as a Mack Sennett Bathing Beauty in "Hearts and Flowers" (1919) and remained under contract to Sennett while working with Keaton on loan-outs; it was for the latter that she adopted the pseudonym of Seely. For most of her 18 films (all comedy shorts) she was billed as Sibye Travilla. In 1920 she wed screenwriter Jules Furthman and left show business in 1922 to raise their son. The marriage lasted until Furthman's death in 1966.
Bio by: Bobb Edwards