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Michael Keaton Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (1) | Trivia (73) | Personal Quotes (20) | Salary (2)

Overview (4)

Born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, USA
Birth NameMichael John Douglas
Nickname Michael Douglas
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Quirky, inventive and handsome American actor Michael Keaton first achieved major fame with his door-busting performance as fast-talking ideas man Bill Blazejowski, alongside a nerdish morgue attendant (Henry Winkler), in Night Shift (1982). He played further comedic roles in Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984), and Beetlejuice (1988), earned further acclaim for his dramatic portrayal of Bruce Wayne / Batman in Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992), and since then, has moved easily between film genres, ranging from drama and romantic comedy to thriller and action.

Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 5, 1951 in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, to Leona Elizabeth (Loftus), a homemaker, and George A. Douglas, a civil engineer and surveyor. He is of Irish, as well as English, Scottish, and German, descent. Michael 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 Jim 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), the Tim Burton horror-comedy Beetlejuice (1988), and The Dream Team (1989).

Keaton's career was given another major boost when he was again cast by Tim Burton, this time as the title comic book superhero, millionaire playboy / crime-fighter Bruce Wayne, in Batman (1989). 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. 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, given his prior work and the fact that he lacked the suave, handsome features and tall, muscular physicality often attributed to the character in the comic books. However, 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". Keaton's dramatic work earned widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and Batman (1989) became one of the most successful films of the year.

Keaton remained active during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films. Keen to diversify his work, Keaton starred 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), the drama My Life (1993), another Ron Howard comedy The Paper (1994), with sexy Andie MacDowell in Multiplicity (1996), twice in the same role, dogged Elmore Leonard character Agent Ray Nicolette, in Jackie Brown (1997) and Out of Sight (1998). He also played a killer in the mediocre thriller Desperate Measures (1998).

In the 2000s, Keaton appeared in several productions with mixed success, including Live from Baghdad (2002), First Daughter (2004), and Herbie Fully Loaded (2005). He also provided voices for characters in the animated films Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Minions (2015).

He returned to major film roles in the 2010s, co-starring in The Other Guys (2010), RoboCop (2014) and Need for Speed (2014). Also that year, Keaton starred alongside Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014), a film by 21 Grams (2003) and Biutiful (2010) director Alejandro González Iñárritu. In the film, Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a screen actor, famous for playing the iconic titular superhero, who puts on a Broadway play based on a Raymond Carver short story, to regain his former glory. Keaton's critically praised lead performance earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor and Best Actor in a Comedy, and nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award, British Academy Film Award, and Academy Award for Best Actor.

In 2015, he played a journalist in Spotlight (2015), which, like Birdman, won the Academy Award for Best Picture. In 2016, he starred as Ray Kroc, the developer of McDonald's, in the drama The Founder (2016).

He is a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: firehouse44 and Pedro Borges

Spouse (1)

Caroline McWilliams (5 June 1982 - 29 January 1990) (divorced) (1 child)

Trivia (73)

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 from 1989-95.
Has a home in Pacific Palisades (CA) plus ranches in Santa Barbara (CA) 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 television series Batman (1966).
Attended and graduated from Montour High School in Robinson Township, PA.
Is the youngest of seven siblings. Has three brothers and three sisters.
Has one son with ex-wife Caroline McWilliams: Sean Douglas (born May 27, 1983).
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.
Was the first of only three actors to reprise the role of Batman in major, live-action films (Batman (1989)/Batman Returns (1992). Adam West did only one movie (Batman: The Movie (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 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)). Most recently, Ben Affleck has appeared in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016), Suicide Squad (2016) and Justice League (2017).
Has played Agent Ray Nicolette in Jackie Brown (1997) and again in Out of Sight (1998).
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).
Turned down the role of the ill-fated mad scientist Dr. Seth Brundle in David Cronenberg's remake The Fly (1986). The role eventually went to Jeff Goldblum.
Is a Second City alumnus - a member of the Los Angeles branch.
According to Mike Myers on Revealed with Jules Asner (2001), Keaton saw him 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".
Has appeared with the late Christopher Reeve in Speechless (1994). Keaton and Reeve played DC Comics' two most iconic characters, Batman and Superman.
He was originally to play the role of Dr. Jack Shephard on the television series Lost (2004), with the understanding that the character would be killed off early on in the series. Keaton later had to walk away from the role when the creators decided not to kill off the doctor. Matthew Fox ended up playing the character.
Was parodied by Matthew Perry on Saturday Night Live (1975).
Was offered the role of either Peter Venkman or Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters (1984) but turned down both roles, which went to Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, respectively.
An avid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, he grew up about five miles from former Steelers coach Bill Cowher's hometown of Crafton, PA.
Enjoys snowboarding, golf, mountain biking, fly-fishing and riding horses on his California and Montana ranches.
One of his favorite hobbies is fly-fishing, a hobby he shares with his Night Shift (1982) co-star Henry Winkler.
Was 40 years old when filming Batman Returns (1992), which made him the oldest actor at the time to play Batman in a live-action film. He was later succeeded by Ben Affleck, who was 41 years old when cast in the role in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016).
Is the fourth--and shortest--actor to play Bruce Wayne/Batman.
His father had English, Scottish, Scots-Irish (Northern Irish), and German ancestry, while his mother was from an Irish family.
In an interview, he named Mr. Mom (1983), Gung Ho (1986), Clean and Sober (1988), Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), The Paper (1994) and Live from Baghdad (2002) as favorite films of his own, with Beetlejuice (1988) as his top pick.
Almost reprised his role as Batman/Bruce Wayne in Tim Burton's unmade "Superman Lives", even though Val Kilmer had played the role in his place in Batman Forever (1995).
When asked in an interview which historical figure he wished he could play, his choice was Hall of Fame baseball player Ted Williams.
Is an avid news junkie and at one point had considered a career in journalism. Has played a journalist in three films: The Paper (1994), Live from Baghdad (2002) and Spotlight (2015).
Has worked with three generations of actresses: Melanie Griffith and her mother Tippi Hedren in Pacific Heights (1990), and Griffith's daughter Dakota Johnson in Need for Speed (2014).
As of 2016 has appeared in three films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Toy Story 3 (2010), Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014) and Spotlight (2015). Of those, Birdman and Spotlight are winners in the category.
He was directed by Ron Howard in three films: Night Shift (1982), Gung Ho (1986) and The Paper (1994). Same goes with Tim Burton: Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
Has appeared with Geena Davis in Beetlejuice (1988) and Speechless (1994), and had he accepted the lead role in The Fly (1986), this would be their third film (and the first they would be making together).
As of 2017 he remains as the only living Bruce Wayne/Batman actor to not be directed by Terrence Malick. George Clooney appeared in The Thin Red Line (1998); Ben Affleck appeared in To the Wonder (2012); Christian Bale appeared in The New World (2005) and Knight of Cups (2015); and Val Kilmer is due to appear in Malick's upcoming film, which also stars Bale. Adam West, who played Bruce Wayne/Batman in 'Batman: The Movie' (1966) and the 60's TV series, died 9 June 2017 without ever being directed by Terrence Malick.
He was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6931 Hollywood Blvd. on July 28, 2016.
He was awarded Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by French culture minister Fleur Pellerin on January 18, 2016.
A Democrat, he endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012 and Sen. Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination in 2016.
He was considered for the role of Harry Belafonte in When Harry Met Sally... (1989), which went to Billy Crystal.
He was considered for the role of Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia (1993), which went to Tom Hanks.
He turned down the lead role in Clean Slate (1994) in favor of My Life (1993).
John McTiernan wanted him to star in The 13th Warrior (1999), but the studio did not want him.
He was considered for the role of Jack Traven in Speed (1994), which went to Keanu Reeves.
He turned down John C. Reilly's role in Kong: Skull Island (2017) due to scheduling conflicts.
He was considered for the lead role in Police Academy (1984), which went to Steve Guttenberg.
He was offered the role of Chili Palmer in Get Shorty (1995), which went to John Travolta. He would later play Ray Nicolette in Jackie Brown (1997) and Out of Sight (1998), which were also based on Elmore Leonard books.
He turned down the role of Alan Bauer in Splash (1984), which went to Tom Hanks.
He was considered for one of Jack Nicholson's roles in Mars Attacks! (1996).
He was considered for the role of Jim Garrison in JFK (1991), which went to Kevin Costner.
He was considered for the role of Roy Munson in Kingpin (1996), which went to Woody Harrelson.
He was offered the male lead in Cutthroat Island (1995), which went to Matthew Modine.
He worked on a Navajo reservation in New Mexico when he was age 21.
Is a huge fan of Katy Perry.
Has worked with all three of 'Tom Cruise' 's ex-wives: 'Mimi Rogers' in Gung Ho (1986) as boyfriend and girlfriend; Nicole Kidman in My Life (1993) as husband and wife; and Katie Holmes in First Daughter (2004) as father and daughter.
Not only did he play Bruce Wayne/Batman in Tim Burton's Batman films, he has acted alongside all three actors to play mentor figures in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy: Michael Caine (Alfred) in Quicksand (2003); Gary Oldman (James Gordon) in RoboCop (2014); and Morgan Freeman (Lucius Fox) in Clean and Sober (1988).
He was considered for Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurassic Park (1993).
He was considered for Josh Baskin in Big (1988).
He was considered for King Koopa in Super Mario Bros. (1993).
In the 1980s, Keaton bought a ranch near Big Timber, Montana, where he spends much of his time.
Was considered for the role of Lt. Col. Kazinski in Jarhead (2005).
During his appearance on the WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, he stated that he has never watched the completed version of Batman Returns (1992). He went on to explain that he only took the role because he needed money for a real-estate deal.
He was considered for Connor MacLeod in Highlander (1986).
Was considered for the role of Jack Crawford in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
He was considered for Alan Parrish in Jumanji (1995).
He was considered for Phil Connors in Groundhog Day (1993), but was deemed "too nice" for the role.
He was considered for Richard Gere's role in Internal Affairs (1990).
He was considered for Martin Riggs in Lethal Weapon (1987).
He was considered for many roles in Pulp Fiction (1994) - Vincent Vega (which went to John Travolta), Mr. Wolf (which went to Harvey Keitel) and Lance (which went to Eric Stoltz.
He was considered for Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005).
He was originally cast in the role of Sean Devine in Mystic River (2003) and filmed some scenes but he and director Clint Eastwood had creative differences on the project and Keaton opted to leave the film.
Was considered for the role of Dr. Curtis McCabe in Vanilla Sky (2001). Was considered for the role of Captain Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003).
He was considered for Axel Foley in Beverly Hills Cop (1984).
Keaton is a Democrat. He endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012 and Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination in 2016.
Was originally slated to star in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) and actually did film some scenes, but Woody Allen decided this was not working and replaced him with Jeff Daniels.

Personal Quotes (20)

[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--like Basic Instinct (1992).
[comparing making Batman Returns (1992) to the first Batman (1989) 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 [Christian Bale] and that's a really good director [Christopher Nolan]. 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 a villain role in a superhero film] No, but it would be fun. I don't think I'd take Jack's [Jack 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 (1989) 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] os 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 [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 (1982)] 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 (1988)] 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 (1992)] 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 (1988)] 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 (1993)] 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 (1994)] 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.
[on the backlash over his casting in Batman (1989)] When they hung me in effigy, that was, for me, harsh.
[on Michelle Pfeiffer] What impressed me about Michelle is that she's a California beach chick, no elevated education, but when you're smart you just get smarter.
[on being asked if he got jealous when other actors played Batman] No. Do you know why? Because I'm Batman. I'm very secure in that.
[Paying tribute to Michael Gough] To Mick--my butler, my confidant, my friend, my Alfred. I love you. God bless.
I never really thought about being famous. I always wanted to be good. That's all I really ever wanted to be, was good at what I did. When I go to work, I want to see how good I can get. And that's the great thing about my job - it's a never-ending quest.

Salary (2)

Batman (1989) $5,000,000
Game 6 (2005) $100 per day

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