Keaton at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con
|Born||Michael John Douglas
September 5, 1951
Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, U.S.
|Alma mater||Kent State University|
|Occupation||Actor, comedian, producer, director|
|Spouse(s)||Caroline McWilliams (1982–90)|
|Partner(s)||Courteney Cox (1989–95)|
Michael John Douglas (born September 5, 1951), better known by his stage name Michael Keaton, is an American actor, comedian, producer, and director.
Keaton became popular for his early comedic film roles in Night Shift (1982), Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Beetlejuice (1988), and later gained international fame for his dramatic portrayal of Bruce Wayne / Batman in Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Since then he has appeared in variety of films ranging from dramas and romantic comedies to thriller and action films including Clean and Sober (1988), Pacific Heights (1990), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), My Life (1993), The Paper (1994), Jackie Brown (1997), The Other Guys (2010), Need for Speed (2014), RoboCop (2014) and Birdman (2014), for which he received many accolades including nominations for Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award. He also provided voices for characters in the Pixar films Cars (2006) and Toy Story 3 (2010).
During his career, Keaton has received many awards and nominations, including Career Achievement Award from Hollywood Film Festival and Zurich Film Festivals. He previously received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Live from Baghdad (2002) and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for The Company (2007).
Keaton, the youngest of seven children, was born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, and lived in Robinson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. His father, George A. Douglas, worked as a civil engineer and surveyor, and his mother, Leona Elizabeth (née Loftus), a homemaker, came from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. Keaton was raised in a Catholic family. His mother was of Irish descent, and his father was of English, Scottish, Irish, and German ancestry. He attended Montour High School in Pennsylvania. Keaton studied speech for two years at Kent State, before dropping out and moving to Pittsburgh.
An unsuccessful attempt at stand-up comedy led Keaton to working as a TV cameraman at public television station WQED (TV) in Pittsburgh. Keaton first appeared on TV in Pittsburgh-based public television programs, including “Where the Heart Is” and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1975), as one of the “Flying Zucchini Brothers.” He also served as a full-time production assistant on the show. In 2004, following Fred Rogers's death, Keaton hosted a PBS memorial tribute program, Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor. Keaton also worked as an actor in Pittsburgh theatre; he played the role of Rick in the Pittsburgh premiere of David Rabe’s Sticks and Bones with the Pittsburgh Poor Players.
Keaton left Pittsburgh and moved to Los Angeles to begin auditioning for various TV parts. He popped up in various popular TV shows including Maude and The Mary Tyler Moore Hour. Around this time Keaton decided to use an alternative surname to avoid confusion with well-known actor Michael Douglas and daytime host Mike Douglas, as well as to satisfy SAG rules. The rumor that Keaton changed his surname because of an attraction to actress Diane Keaton is incorrect. He chose Keaton because of an affinity for the physical comedy of Buster Keaton.
His next key break was working alongside James Belushi in the short-lived comedy series Working Stiffs, which showcased his comedic talent and led to a co-starring role in the comedy Night Shift directed by Ron Howard. His role as the fast-talking schemer Bill "Blaze" Blazejowski alongside Henry Winkler's nerdish morgue attendant earned Keaton some critical acclaim, and he scored leads in the subsequent comedy hits Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously, and Gung Ho.
Keaton’s role as the title character in Tim Burton’s 1988 horror-comedy Beetlejuice, which co-starred Alec Baldwin, Geena Davis, Catherine O'Hara, and Winona Ryder, earned Keaton widespread acclaim and boosted him to movieland’s A list. He originally turned down the role, then reconsidered like most of the cast. He now considers Beetlejuice his favorite of his own films. That same year, he also gave an acclaimed dramatic performance as a drug-addicted businessman in Clean and Sober. Newsweek featured him in a story during this time.
Michael Keaton’s career was given another major boost when he was again cast by Tim Burton, this time as the title comic book superhero of 1989’s Batman. Burton cast him because he thought that Keaton was the only actor who could portray someone who has the kind of darkly obsessive personality that the character demands. Warner Bros. received thousands of letters of complaint by fans commenting that Keaton was the wrong choice to portray Batman, given his prior work in comedies and the fact that he lacked the suave, handsome features and tall, muscular physicality often attributed to the character in the comic books. However, Keaton’s dramatic performance earned widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and Batman became one of the most successful films of the year.
According to Les Daniels’s reference book Batman: The Complete History, Keaton wasn’t surprised when he was first considered as Batman as he initially believed the film would be similar to the 1960s television series starring Adam West. It was only after he was introduced to Frank Miller’s comic book miniseries, The Dark Knight Returns, that Keaton really understood the dark and brooding side of Batman that he portrayed to much fan approval. Keaton later reprised the role in the sequel Batman Returns (1992), which was another critically acclaimed success, though also controversial for being much darker and more violent than the previous film.
He was set to reprise the role again for a third Batman film, even going as far as to show up for costume fitting. However, when Burton was dropped as director of the film, Keaton left the franchise. He was reportedly dissatisfied with the screenplay approved by the new director, Joel Schumacher, which Keaton considered to be too light hearted in tone. According to the A&E Biography episode on Keaton, after he had refused the first time (after meetings with Schumacher), Warner Bros. offered him $15 million, but Keaton steadfastly refused. He was subsequently replaced by Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995).
Keaton remained active during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films including Pacific Heights, One Good Cop, My Life, and the star-studded Shakespearean story Much Ado About Nothing. He also starred in another Ron Howard film, The Paper, as well as with Andie MacDowell in Multiplicity and twice in the same role, Elmore Leonard character Agent Ray Nicolette, in Jackie Brown and Out of Sight. The actor also made the family holiday movie Jack Frost and the thriller Desperate Measures.
Keaton starred as a political candidate’s speechwriter in 1994’s Speechless with Geena Davis (his co-star in Beetlejuice) and Christopher Reeve (who, like Keaton, had also previously portrayed a famous DC Comics superhero on film: Superman).
Since 2000, Keaton has appeared in several films with mixed success including Live From Baghdad (for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe award), First Daughter, White Noise, and Herbie: Fully Loaded. While he continued to receive good notices from the critics (particularly for Jackie Brown), he was not able to re-approach the box-office success of Batman until the release of Disney/Pixar’s Cars (2006), in which he voiced the character Chick Hicks. On New Year’s Day of 2004, he hosted the PBS TV special Mr. Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor. It was released by Triumph Marketing LLC on DVD September 28 that year.
In 2006 Keaton starred in an independent film called Game 6, a semi-thriller based around the infamous 1986 World Series bid by the Boston Red Sox. He had a cameo in the Tenacious D short film Time Fixers, an iTunes exclusive. The 9-minute film was released to coincide with Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. Keaton was announced to be the lead in Media 8 Entertainment’s film Reaper, a supernatural thriller. He reportedly agreed to star as John Target in the Matt Evans–scripted No Rule to Make Target, and he has directed a drama, The Merry Gentleman.
Keaton reportedly was cast as Dr. Jack Shephard in the series Lost, with the understanding that the role of Jack would be a brief one. Once the role was retooled to be a long-running series regular, Keaton withdrew. The part was then given to actor Matthew Fox. The show ran for six seasons, with the Jack Shephard role continuing throughout.
Keaton starred in the 2007 TV miniseries The Company, set during the Cold War, in which he portrayed the real-life CIA counterintelligence chief James Jesus Angleton. The role garnered Keaton a 2008 SAG nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries. The Company also starred Chris O’Donnell, who portrayed Batman’s crime-fighting sidekick Robin (who was absent from the Batman films Keaton starred in) in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.
Keaton provided the voice of Ken in Toy Story 3 (2010). The movie received overwhelmingly positive acclaim and grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it one of the most financially successful films ever. He announced in June 2010 his interest in returning for a Beetlejuice sequel. He also played the minor role of Captain Gene Mauch in the comedy The Other Guys.
Keaton starred alongside Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Zach Galifianakis in Birdman (2014), a comedy helmed by 21 Grams and Biutiful director Alejandro González Iñárritu. In the movie, Keaton plays a former actor, famous for playing an iconic superhero, who puts on a Broadway play based on a Raymond Carver short story, to regain his former glory.
Keaton was married to actress Caroline McWilliams from 1982 until 1990. They have one son, Sean Maxwell Douglas, born in 1983. He also had a relationship with actress Courteney Cox from 1989 to 1995.
Keaton, a long-time Pittsburgh resident, is a big Pittsburgh Pirates fan and negotiated a break in his Batman movie contract in case the Pirates made the playoffs that year. He also wrote an ESPN blog on the Pirates during the final months of their 2013 season, in which the Pirates made the playoffs for the first time since 1992. He is also often seen at Pittsburgh Penguins games. He is also a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan. An avid fisherman, Keaton can be seen on the saltwater fishing series Buccaneers & Bones on Outdoor Channel, along with Tom Brokaw, Zach Gilford, Thomas McGuane and Yvon Chouinard. He currently resides at his Montana ranch. Keaton currently serves as a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University's Entertainment Technology Center.
|1975||Mister Rogers' Neighborhood||Volunteer||Episode: "1,435"|
|1976–1977||All's Fair||Lannie Wolf||5 episodes|
|1977||Klein Time||Various roles||Television special|
|1977||Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman||The Robber||Episode 2.90|
|1977||Maude||Chip Winston||Episode: "Arthur's Crisis"|
|1978||The Tony Randall Show||Zeke||2 episodes|
|1978||Mary||Various roles||3 episodes|
|1978||Family||Tree salesman||Episode: "Gifts"|
|1979||Working Stiffs||Mike O'Rourke||9 episodes|
|1979||The Mary Tyler Moore Hour||Kenneth Christy||11 episodes|
|1982||Report To Murphy||Murphy||6 episodes|
|1990||The Earth Day Special||Charles McIntyre||Television special|
|2001||The Simpsons||Jack Crowley (voice)||Episode: "Pokey Mom"|
|2002||Frasier||Blaine Sternin||Episode: "Wheels of Fortune"|
|2003||King of the Hill||Trip Larsen (voice)||Episode: "Pigmalion"|
|2003||Gary the Rat||Jerry Andrews (voice)||Episode: "Catch Me If You Can"|
|2004||Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor||Himself (host)||Television special
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special
|2007||The Company||James Angleton||6 episodes
Nominated—Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie
|2011||30 Rock||Tom||Episode: "100"|
|2006||Cars||Chick Hicks (voice)|
|2012||Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Jason Hudson (voice)|
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Actor, director. Born Michael Douglas on September 9, 1951, in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania.
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- and went to St. Malachy Church ENTERTAINMENT NEWS | WHAS11.com | News for Louisville, Kentucky[dead link]
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- Michael Keaton at the Internet Movie Database
- Story on Michael Keaton and his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates opening day controversy at the Wayback Machine (archived February 1, 2008)