Kiley in 1960.
|Born||Richard Paul Kiley
March 31, 1922
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
|Died||March 5, 1999
Warwick, New York, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Ferrier (1968–1999) (his death)
Mary Bell Wood (1948–1967) (6 children)
Richard Paul Kiley (March 31, 1922 – March 5, 1999) was an American stage, television, and film actor. He is best known for his distinguished theatrical career in which he twice won the Tony Award for Best Actor In A Musical. Kiley created the role of Don Quixote in the original 1965 production of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha and was the first to sing and record "The Impossible Dream", the hit song from the show. In the 1953 hit musical Kismet, he played the Caliph and was one of the quartet introducing the song "And This Is My Beloved". Additionally, he won three Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards during his 50-year career and his "sonorous baritone" was also featured in the narration of a number of documentaries and other films. At his death, Kiley was described as "one of theater's most distinguished and versatile actors" and as "an indispensable actor, the kind of performer who could be called on to play kings and commoners and a diversity of characters in between."
Kiley was born in Chicago, Illinois, and raised Roman Catholic. He graduated from Mt. Carmel High School in 1940, and after a year at Loyola University Chicago he left to study acting at Chicago's Barnum Dramatic School. In the late 40s, he performed in Chicago-area summer stock theaters with actors such as Alan Furlan. Following his service in the United States Navy in World War II, he returned to Chicago working as an actor and announcer on radio before moving to New York City. In New York he studied singing with Ray Smolover.
His work on stage included Kismet; No Strings – which was Richard Rodgers's first stage musical (after the death of Oscar Hammerstein II) in which Rodgers wrote both music and lyrics; the Buddy Hackett vehicle I Had a Ball; and the lead roles in Redhead, Man of La Mancha, and the play The Incomparable Max.
He won Tony Awards for Best Actor in a Musical for Redhead, in 1959, and Man of La Mancha, in 1966. The dual role of the middle-aged Miguel de Cervantes and Don Quixote is one of the few musical roles which entails both the role of the leading man and that of a character actor at the same time, rather than the conventional handsome hero who wins the girl. Kiley had gone on record as saying that he had grown tired of the regular "leading man" role but was always grateful for having been given the chance to play it.
Kiley won three Emmy Awards and two Golden Globe Awards for his work in television. He won both an Emmy and Golden Globe awards for The Thorn Birds (as Paddy, Rachel Ward's father) (1983) and A Year in the Life (1986, 1987–1988). His third Emmy win was for Guest Actor in a Drama Series, for an episode of Picket Fences.
Other television work included his appearance as Gideon Seyetik in the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Second Sight", as well as guest roles on Ally McBeal, Hawaii Five-O and Gunsmoke. He narrated the award-winning seven-part 1986 PBS documentary Planet Earth.
Kiley often narrated documentaries on PBS and other TV channels. In Jurassic Park, Kiley's voice is used to narrate the park's vehicle tour. Kiley was introduced as the narrator for the tour first in the novel by Michael Crichton, and later in the film adaptation by Steven Spielberg where the owner of the park said he "spared no expense" hiring Kiley. Visitors to Universal's Islands of Adventure theme park in Orlando, Florida, and Universal Studios in Hollywood hear Kiley as the narrator of the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride.
In 1993, Christian filmmakers set out to make a Jesus film which would be a Word-for-Word of the Gospel. Kiley was chosen to do a narration style film as the Apostle Matthew in his latter days. He is seen doing many flashbacks as Matthew in the days when Jesus walked the Earth.
From 1994 until 1998, Kiley narrated the A&E documentary television series Mysteries of the Bible. His final acting role was in the 1999 TV movie Blue Moon, which debuted the month after his death.
Kiley died of an unspecified bone marrow disease in Warwick, New York, on March 5, 1999, less than a month before he would have turned 77. He was survived by his wife and six children: sons David and Michael Kiley, and daughters Kathleen, Dorothea, Erin and Dierdre. His remains were interred in Warwick. The lights on Broadway theatres were turned off in his honor.
|1951||The Mob||Thomas Clancy|
|1952||Eight Iron Men||Private Coke|
|1953||Pickup on South Street||Joey|
|1955||The Phenix City Story||John Patterson|
|1955||Blackboard Jungle||Joshua Y. Edwards|
|1957||Spanish Affair||Merritt Blake|
|1969||Pendulum||Woodrow Wilson King|
|1970||a.k.a. Cassius Clay||Narrator|
|1974||The Little Prince||The Pilot|
|1977||Looking for Mr. Goodbar||Mr. Dunn|
|1981||Endless Love||Arthur Axelrod|
|1986||Howard the Duck||The Cosmos|
|1989||To the Limit||Narrator|
|1993||Jurassic Park||Jurassic Park Tour Voice|
|1993||The Gospel According to St. Matthew||The Apostle Matthew|
|1998||Patch Adams||Dr. Titan|
|1969||Night Gallery||Joseph Strobe||Television film ("The Escape Route" segment)|
|1970||Gunsmoke||Lewis Stark||Episode: "Stark"|
|1970||The Ceremony of Innocence||King Ethelred II||Television film|
|1971||Gunsmoke||Tom Lynott||Episode: "Lynott"|
|1973||Gunsmoke||Will Stambridge||Episode: "Kitty's Love Affair"|
|1974||Columbo: A Friend in Deed||Mark Halperin|
|1975||Friendly Persuasion||Jess Birdwell||Television film|
|1980||Angel on My Shoulder||Nick||Television film|
|1981||Isabel's Choice||Lyman Jones||Television film|
|1981||Golden Gate||Thomas J. Kingsley||Television film|
|1983||The Thorn Birds||Paddy Cleary||2 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1984||George Washington||George Mason||Television film|
|1985||The Canterville Ghost||Sir Simon de Canterville||Television film|
|1985||Do You Remember Love||George Hollis||Television film|
|1986||Planet Earth||Narrator||7 episodes|
|1986||If Tomorrow Comes||Gunther Hartog||3 episodes|
|1986–1988||A Year in the Life||Joe Gardner||22 episodes
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Television Series Drama
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
|1988||My First Love||Sam Morrissey||Television film|
|1991||Absolute Strangers||Dr. R.J. Cannon||Television film|
|1991||Separate But Equal||Chief Justice Earl Warren||Television film
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1992–1994||Picket Fences||Hayden Langston||2 episodes
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series
|1993||Star Trek: Deep Space Nine||Dr. Gideon Seyetik||Episode: "Second Sight" (Season 2 Episode 9)|
|1994–1998||Mysteries of the Bible||Narrator|
|1995||The Great Defender||Joe Dewitt||8 episodes|
|1996||Mary & Tim||Ron Melville||Television film|
|1997||Time to Say Goodbye?||Dr. Gerald Klooster||Television film|
|1997||Tigers of the Show||Narrator|
|1998||Ally McBeal||Seymore Little||Episode: "Once in a Lifetime"|
|1998||Blue Moon||Jimmy Keating||Television film|
|1956||True Limit||Major Harry Cargill|
|1959–1960||Redhead||Tom Baxter||Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical|
|1960–1961||Advise and Consent||Brig Anderson|
|1962–1963||No Strings||David Jordan||Nominated—Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical|
|1963–1964||Here's Love||Fred Gaily|
|1964–1965||I Had a Ball||Stan the Shpieler|
|1965–1971||Man of La Mancha||Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote||Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical|
|1968||Her First Roman||Caesar|
|1971||The Incomparable Max||Enoch Soames|
|1972||Man of La Mancha||Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote|
|1974–1976||Absurd Person Singular||Ronald|
|1976||The Heiress||Dr. Austin Sloper||Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Play|
|1977||Man of La Mancha||Don Quixote||Nominated—Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actor in a Musical|
|1987||All My Sons||Joe Keller||Nominated—Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play|
- Tom Vallance (1999-03-11). "Obituary: Richard Kiley – Arts & Entertainment". The Independent. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- MEL GUSSOWPublished: March 06, 1999 (1999-03-06). "Richard Kiley, the Man of La Mancha, Is Dead at 76 – New York Times". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- "Overview for Richard Kiley". Tcm.com. Retrieved 2013-12-10.
- Obituary: Richard Kiley from The Independent (London) March 11, 1999
- "The Milwaukee Journal". July 30, 1985.
- "Earl Wilson". Toledo Blade. September 22, 1977.
- "Blue Moon" TV movie at IMDB
- Yahoo TV bio of Richard Kiley
- Man of La Mancha – original theatrical program, for Kiley's personal comments on playing Don Quixote