Quirky, inventive and handsome US actor who first achieved major fame with his door busting performance as fast talking, ideas man "Bill Blazejowski" alongside nerdish morgue attendant Henry Winkler in Night Shift (1982). Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 5th, 1951 in Corapolis, Pennsylvannia and 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 in a cable station, and he came to realize he wanted to work in front of the cameras.
Keaton first appeared on TV in several episodes of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" (1968). He left Pittsburgh and moved to Los Angeles to begin auditioning for TV. He began cropping up in popular TV shows including "Maude" (1972) and "The Mary Tyler Moore Hour" (1979). Around this time, Keaton decided to use an alternative surname to remove confusion with better-known actor Michael Douglas. After reading an article on actress Diane Keaton, he decided that Michael Keaton sounded good. His next break was scoring a co-starring role alongside James Belushi in the short-lived comedy series "Working Stiffs" (1979), which showcased his comedic talent and led to his co-starring role in Night Shift (1982). Keaton next scored the lead in the comedy hits Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984) , Gung Ho (1986) and the Tim Burton horror-comedy Beetlejuice (1988).
Keaton's career was given another major boost when, in 1989, Tim Burton cast him as millionaire playboy / crime-fighter "Bruce Wayne" in the big budget Batman (1989). To say there were howls of protest by fans of the caped crusader comic strip is an understatement! Warner Bros. was deluged with thousands of letters of complaint commenting that comedian Keaton was the wrong choice for the Caped Crusader. Their fears were proven wrong when Keaton turned in a sensational performance, and he held his own on screen with opponent Jack Nicholson playing the lunatic villain, "The Joker". Keen to diversify his work, Keaton next appeared as a psychotic tenant in Pacific Heights (1990), as a hard-working cop in One Good Cop (1991) and then donned the black cape and cowl once more for Batman Returns (1992). He remained in demand during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films including the star-studded Shakespearian Much Ado About Nothing (1993), another Ron Howard comedy The Paper (1994), with sexy Andie MacDowell in Multiplicity (1996), as a dogged cop in Jackie Brown (1997) and the mediocre thriller Desperate Measures (1998). More recently, Keaton has appeared in several productions with mixed success, including Live from Baghdad (2002) (TV), First Daughter (2004) and Herbie Fully Loaded (2005).
|Caroline McWilliams||(5 June 1982 - 29 January 1990) (divorced) 1 child|
When he realized he needed to change his name to join the union, he was in the K's for surnames and thought it inoffensive so chose Keaton. It is a misconception that it was after 'Diane Keaton'.
Was in a relationship with Courteney Cox (1989-1995).
Has a home in Pacific Palisades plus ranches in Santa Barbara, California and Montana. The 1000 acre Montana ranch, where he grows hay and raises cattle, features a four-bedroom cedar-and-stone ranch house.
Tim Burton cast him in the title role of Batman (1989) because he thought that Keaton was the only actor who could believably portray someone who has the kind of darkly obsessive personality that the character has. There was a great deal of fan anger over his selection, forcing the studio to release an advance trailer both to show that Keaton could do the role well and that the movie would not be a campy parody like the TV show "Batman" (1966).
Attended Montour High School.
Is the fourth actor to play Batman.
Has a son, Sean Maxwell Douglas (born May 27, 1983), with ex-wife Caroline McWilliams.
Decided to change his name when he began acting because there was already a Michael Douglas in movies and a Mike Douglas in broadcasting. While he uses a stage name, he has never legally changed his name to Michael Keaton.
One of only two actors to reprise the role of Batman in major, live-action films (Batman (1989)/Batman Returns (1992). Adam West did only one movie (Batman (1966)) as Batman (along with the live-action TV series "Batman" (1966) and voice-work) and Kevin Conroy has only done voice-work as Batman. Christian Bale is the second and most recent actor to play the role more than once with (Batman Begins (2005) followed by The Dark Knight (2008) and for a third time in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)).
Started his career as a stagehand in "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" (1968) (he operated "Picture, Picture"), and in 2004 he produced a documentary on Rogers, Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor (2004) (TV).
Is a Second City alumni - a member of the Los Angeles branch.
According to Mike Myers on "Revealed with Jules Asner" (2001), Keaton saw the comic actor perform at Second City Toronto. After the show ended, Keaton went to personally congratulate Myers and said, "Keep up the great work." Myers would soon work with Keaton on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" (1975) when Keaton was guest host.
His son, Sean Douglas, plays keyboard for a band called "The Hatch".
He was originally to play the role of Dr. Jack Shephard in the TV show "Lost" (2004), with the understanding that the character would be killed off early on in the show. Keaton later had to walk away from the part when the creators decided not to kill off the doctor. Matthew Fox ended up playing the character.
Was offered the role of either Peter Venkman or Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) but turned down both parts, which went to Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, respectively. Was originally slated to play Jeff Daniels character in Woody Allen' s The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and actually did film some scenes, but Allen decided it wasn't working and replaced him with Daniels. Was considered for the role of Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Was considered for the role of Dr. Curtis McCabe in Vanilla Sky (2001). Was considered for the role of Capt. Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). Was considered for the role of Lt. Col. Kazinski in Jarhead (2005). Was originally slated to play Jeff Daniels character in Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and actually did film some scenes, but Allen decided it wasn't working and replaced him with Daniels.
An avid Pittsburgh Steelers football fan, he grew up about five miles from former Steelers coach Bill Cowher's hometown of Crafton, Pennsylvania.
Lived in his '63 VW Bug for 2 nights in California while trying to become an actor.
Has only reprised two roles in his career. First, he played Batman in Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Second, he played Ray Nicolette in Jackie Brown (1997) and Out of Sight (1998). Also appearing in the latter film was George Clooney, who has also played Batman.
Enjoys snowboarding, golf, and mountain biking, and fly-fishing and riding horses on his California and Montana ranches.
Has three brothers and three sisters.
One of his favorite hobbies is fly-fishing, a hobby he shares with his 'Night Shift (1987)' co-star, Henry Winkler .
Was forty years old when filming Batman Returns (1992) which makes him the oldest actor to play Batman in a live-action film.
After interviewer Michael Parkinson commented on his birth-name being Michael Douglas: "Yeah, I had to change my name because there were two other actors registered at Equity with that name. One of them is doing quite well from what I understand, the other is making cheap porn movies... (reasonable pause) like Basic Instinct (1992)".
Comparing making Batman Returns (1992) to the first "Batman" film: "In some ways, this one was harder, because I felt like I was doing an impersonation of myself. Which, aside from being nearly impossible, is really weird."
On his decision not to reprise his role as Batman in Batman Forever (1995): "I was waiting in line for another movie and just kind of poked my head in... watched about 10 minutes. I saw enough to know that I made the right decision."
[When asked what he thought of Batman Begins (2005) before its release]: My prediction, I don't know anything about it, but I feel this way about it. It's gonna be good, because he's a really good actor, and that's a really good director. And they've had years and years and years, and hundreds of millions of dollars, or at least tens of millions of dollars to figure it out. I say it's gonna be good. I picture it's gonna be good. And also, I swear to God it's not an "I told you so", it's maybe an interesting thing, that when I didn't like the third script... I just said "I really don't like this, and I don't want to do it" cause what I wanted to do, is what I'm told and I don't know if this is true yet so don't hold me to this until I see it, but I'm told it's more a prequel. And that was what I thought would've been a hip way to go the third time. This guy is so endlessly fascinating potentially, why not go and see how he got there.
[When asked if he was ever offered to play villain roles in a superhero film]: No, but it would be fun. I don't think I'd take Jack's [Nicholson] stance on it. I think it'd be fun because those are the roles where you get to chew it up. I'll always stand by the first Batman. Even for its imperfections, people will never know how hard that movie was to do. A lot of that still holds up.
(On filming Batman in London) It was a lonely time for me, which was great for the character, I suppose. I would run at night in London just trying to get tired enough so I could sleep. I didn't talk to people much. My little boy was a toddler, and the woman I was married to at the time, we were not together but we were trying to figure it out and get back together. It was me in London, alone, and my sleep during that whole movie was never right. As often as I could, I was getting on the Concorde and trying to get back to spend some time with my kid...It was an extremely difficult undertaking and Tim (Burton) is a shy guy, especially back then, and there was so much pressure. We were in England for a long time shooting at Pinewood and it was long, difficult nights in that dank, dark, cold place, and we never knew if it was really working. There was no guarantee that any of this was going to play correctly when it was all said and done. There had never been a movie like it before. There was a lot of risk, too, with Jack (Nicholson) looking the way he did and me stepping out in this new way. The pressure was on everybody. You could feel it.
(2011, on his work ethic) I played a lot of sports when I was a kid so I get in that ballgame mindset of being really, really respectful, but at same time saying to yourself, 'Don't back down a single inch, hang with these guys if you can.' If they throw it high and tight you have to stand in there, you can't take yourself out of that moment.
(2011, on Night Shift) The character I invented was a combination of some people I knew and some things I made up, and afterward there [were other projects and offers] that would have meant trying to repeat that over and over, to be the 'glib young man,' whatever that is, but that held no interest for me. I literally thought the idea of all this, when you do it for a living, is to play a lot of different things. If you do the same thing over and over, that will eventually start to close in on you.
(2011, on Beetlejuice) From an art perspective, I don't know how you get better than Beetlejuice. In terms of originality and a look, it's 100% unique. If you consider the process of taking something from someone's mind - meaning Tim (Burton) - and putting it on the screen, I think that movie is incomparable.
(2011, on playing Beetlejuice) I wanted him to be pure electricity, that's why the hair just sticks out. At my house I started creating a walk and a voice. I got some teeth. I wanted to be scary in the look and then use the voice to add a dash of goofiness that, in a way, would make it even scarier. I wanted something kind of moldy to it, too. Tim (Burton) had the striped-suit idea and we added the big eyes. I think that movie will go forever because it's 100% original.
(2011, on filming Batman Returns) We got to be back home [filming in Burbank] so that made me happy. It was quite the cast with Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito and everyone. It wasn't as satisfying to me when I saw it, but maybe that's because the bar was set so high on the first one. I think I only watched it one time. I knew we were in trouble in talks for the third one when certain people started the conversation with 'Why does it have to be so dark?' 'Why does he have to be so depressed?' 'Shouldn't there be more color in this thing?' I knew I was headed for trouble and that it wasn't a road I was going to go down.
(2011, on Clean and Sober) The subject matter was so difficult, but oddly everyone really had fun on the shoot. One great thing about being an actor, too, is that if you have a pulse you learn something. That's one of the great joys and bonuses of it. You're forced to ask certain questions.
(2011, on Much Ado About Nothing) That's a movie where I said, 'I can't do this' and it ended up being probably one of my top five experiences ever. I had to find a way in; I didn't really know what to do, quite frankly...In the end, (Kenneth) Branagh didn't get scared off by my unorthodox approach, he embraced it and was really hands-on, thankfully. It was literally like acting in another language. I had taken maybe one two-day Shakespearean class in my life, so I had no knowledge.
(2011, on filming The Paper) It's an awful lot of fun to be in an ensemble, especially when you're talking about Glenn Close, Robert Duvall and that level of actor. It was also the first time I met Duvall. People were nervous on the set when he was coming in; he's a presence, somebody to [reckon] with. I just loved it. I had a ball being there with him. It felt like the first time I acted with Jack Nicholson. These guys are in their very nature larger-than-life personalities, and then they're great actors on top of that and then they're iconic on top of that.
(2011, on his life as an actor) I never saw what I did for a living as who I am. But if there's a job in the world where that can get blurry, this is the one. The line gets really blurry for a lot of people, and for understandable reasons just as you go through life and this business. You don't have to be especially weak to become extremely self-involved in this business, and I just never wanted to go down that road.... Alan Arkin said to me once that he wanted to have a really big life and a really good career. And I think that's really sane.
|Game 6 (2005)||$100 per day|
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