Born in Paris, France, to copywriter Sacha Georgescu and Ford model Jan McGuire, Keats was raised in New York City, Europe and Los Angeles. She began her professional career as a young model, being featured in publications such as American Baby, Ladies' Home Journal & Teen Magazine. After moving to Los Angeles she launched her acting career at fifteen, being featured in a Michael Jackson Pepsi Commercial. Quickly establishing herself as a familiar face on television, Keats has appeared in more than one hundred TV commercials, including the 1990 Levi's jeans beach ad.
Building on her newfound success, small television roles quickly followed, including the pilot for The Outsiders, produced by Francis Ford Coppola and episodes of the CBS sitcom Dear John starring Judd Hirsch.
When she was still in her teens, Keats landed a regular role on Fox's daily soap opera Tribes as Anny, a pregnant teen girl. Small big screen-appearances followed in The Rocketeer and Mike Figgis' Liebestraum.
A rapid succession of bigger roles followed in films such as There Goes My Baby (filmed in 1990 but released in 1994 due to Orion Pictures' bankruptcy), Garry Marshall's Frankie and Johnny (opposite Al Pacino and Michelle Pfeiffer), the Disney musical Newsies (as Sarah Jacobs, love interest of Christian Bale who was her boyfriend at the time) and Frank Marshall's acclaimed drama Alive.
During the 1990s, Keats also landed leading and supporting role on television and independent projects such as Lipstick Camera, the L.A.-based comedy Cityscrapes: Los Angeles, Disney Channel's White Wolves II: Legend of the Wild, Frank LaLoggia's thriller Mother (opposite Diane Ladd and Olympia Dukakis) and the Fox sci-fi pilot White Dwarf, again produced by Francis Ford Coppola. She also appeared in numerous popular TV series, including Diagnosis: Murder, Class of '96, Touched by an Angel and MTV's Undressed.
With several of her films debuting at the Venice Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival, Keats has moved her acting career forward during the 2000s, with roles in Steven Soderbergh's Eros (opposite Robert Downey Jr.), March and independent filmmaker Heidi Van Leer's comedies Monday and American Decaf.
On television, she guest-starred in renowned series such as CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: NY, Cold Case and Greek and has continued to appear in numerous national TV commercials. She also starred in the stage production The Vagina Monologues in Los Angeles.
In 2014 she starred in Snowflake, a critically acclaimed short film shot in New York City opposite Tracy Middendorf, for which she was awarded as "Best Leading Actress" at the Accolade Competition 2014, the International Independent Film Awards 2015 and the IndieFEST Film Awards 2016 and later had roles in the Blumhouse horror films Insidious: Chapter 3 and Ouija: Origin of Evil.
In 2017 she played Adam Baldwin's wife Christine in The Last Ship.
Apart from her job as an actress, Keats has launched her own jewelry line in 2005, Ele Keats Jewelry. As a jewelry designer, Keats specializes in inspirational and birthstone designs and works only with ethical stones. Her creations have been featured in several magazines, worn in many movies and TV shows and received an overwhelming response from celebrity clientele, who praise her inspirational designs as “simply stunning.”
Keats counts Diane Keaton, Elizabeth Berkley, Poppy Montgomery, Carla Gugino, Jessica Biel, Laura Dern, Stefanie Scott, Cameron Diaz, and Mandy Moore among her clients.
The Ele Keats Jewelry official shop was opened in 2013 in Brentwood, Los Angeles. Renamed Ele Keats Jewelry Lifestyle Experience, the shop relocated in a new, wider space in Santa Monica, California in 2016.
Keats is a vegan and has been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 20 years. Her sister is actress Caitlin Keats.