Harvey Keitel Poster


Jump to: Overview (2)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trade Mark (4)  | Trivia (59)  | Personal Quotes (16)  | Salary (1)

Overview (2)

Born in Brooklyn, New York, USA
Height 5' 7½" (1.71 m)

Mini Bio (1)

American actor and producer Harvey Keitel was born on May 13, 1939 in Brooklyn, New York City, to Miriam (Klein) and Harry Keitel. An Oscar and Golden Globe Award nominee, he has appeared in films such as Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973) and Taxi Driver (1976), Ridley Scott's The Duellists (1977) and Thelma & Louise (1991), Peter Yates' Mother, Jugs & Speed (1976), Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992) and Pulp Fiction (1994), Jane Campion's The Piano (1993), Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant (1992), Robert Rodriguez's From Dusk Till Dawn (1996), James Mangold's Cop Land (1997), Paolo Sorrentino's Youth (2015). He is regarded as one of the greatest method actors ever. Along with actors Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn, he is the current co-president of the Actors Studio.

Keitel studied under both Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg and at the HB Studio, eventually landing roles in some Off-Broadway productions. During this time, Keitel auditioned for filmmaker Martin Scorsese and gained a starring role as "J.R.", in Scorsese's first feature film, Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967). Since then, Scorsese and Keitel have worked together on several projects. Keitel had the starring role in Scorsese's Mean Streets (1973), which also proved to be Robert De Niro's breakthrough film. Keitel re-teamed with Scorsese for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), in which he had a villainous supporting role, and appeared with Robert De Niro again in Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), playing the role of Jodie Foster's pimp.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Pedro Borges

Spouse (1)

Daphna Kastner (7 October 2001 - present) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (4)

Heavy Brooklyn accent
Frequently plays violent characters with a deep seated moral center
Intense emotional acting style

Trivia (59)

Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#95) (1995).
Served 3 years in the United States Marine Corps. In 1958, he was sent to Lebanon during a U.S. military intervention aimed at defusing a major political crisis there.
Worked as a court stenographer in New York City for about 10 years while he was a struggling actor.
Worked as a salesman in a women's shoestore.
Ranked #37 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list. [October 1997]
Has demonstrated extraordinary enthusiasm for working with first-time directors, from Martin Scorsese in 1968 to Ridley Scott, Paul Schrader, James Toback, Quentin Tarantino, and in 1999, Vietnamese-American Tony Bui.
His last name is pronounced "ky-tel".
Listed as one of Entertainment Weekly magazine's 25 Best Actors (1998).
Was in a long-term relationship with actress Lorraine Bracco (1982-1993). They had one daughter, Stella Keitel (born 1985).
Met wife, Daphna Kastner at the Toronto film festival on 11 September 2001 and married her in a secret ceremony in Jerusalem, Israel three weeks later (7 October).
Has one son from his then girlfriend with Lisa Karmazin, a potter in California: Hudson Keitel (born 2001).
Is a member of the Actors Studio, had studied with Frank Corsaro, Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler.
Operates his own film production company, The Goatsingers, with partner Peggy Gormley.
Shares two roles with Dennis Farina. At the end of Get Shorty (1995), he plays the Dennis Farina character in the movie-within-a-movie. Farina also originated the role of Jack Crawford in Manhunter (1986), a role that Keitel played in the remake Red Dragon (2002).
He was originally cast as Captain Willard in Apocalypse Now (1979). He was let go from the film, just two weeks into filming due to creative differences with director Francis Ford Coppola. Martin Sheen replaced him.
Has appeared in the crime drama Get Shorty (1995) and its sequel, Be Cool (2005), but in two completely different roles.
Like his good friend Robert De Niro, Keitel is usually very uncomfortable during interviews, often nervously laughing through them.
Although he frequently plays U.S. Italian characters, Keitel is the son of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe. His mother, Miriam (Klein), was from Romania, and his father, Harry Keitel, was from Poland.
Is one of three actors to play Jack Crawford in the Hannibal Lecter films. He played the role in Red Dragon (2002), while Scott Glenn played the role in The Silence of the Lambs (1991), and Dennis Farina played the role in Manhunter (1986).
Received his Bachelor's degree in Fine Arts from the prestigious Actors Studio, New School University in New York City, under Dean James Lipton.
He was honored with a lifetime achievement award at the 24th Istanbul Film Festival on April 16, 2005.
Has one son with wife Daphna Kastner: Roman Keitel. [August 2004]
Apocalypse Now (1979), from which he was fired, was loosely based on Joseph Conrad's novel, "Heart of Darkness". Although Keitel did not appear in the final film, he does appear in The Duellists (1977), which is based on another Conrad story.
Presented good friend and fellow actor Michael Madsen with the inaugural Rebel Award for his past, present and ongoing commitment to independent film at Rebelfest 2005, Toronto.
Godfather to good friend Michael Madsen's son Max.
Has played a "cleaner" in both Point of No Return (1993) (Victor the Cleaner) and in Pulp Fiction (1994) (Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe).
Has appeared in Puerto Vallarta Squeeze (2004) opposite Scott Glenn, with whom he shared the role of Jack Crawford in the Hannibal Lecter films.
Resides in New York City. Also owns a home in California.
He studied drama at HB Studio in Greenwich Village, New York City.
Has played both a criminal pursuing a woman who is disguised as a nun by a police lieutenant in Sister Act (1992), and a police lieutenant pursuing two criminals who raped a nun in Bad Lieutenant (1992).
As of 2020, has appeared in 7 films that were nominated for the Best Picture Oscar: Taxi Driver (1976), Bugsy (1991), The Piano (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), Inglourious Basterds (2009), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and The Irishman (2019).
His singing voice in The Bridge of San Luis Rey (2004) was dubbed by the actor and baritone Emilio Gavira.
Has starred in the debuts of two iconic directors of different generations: Martin Scorsese's Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967) and Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (1992). He also starred in the movies that would launch their careers: Mean Streets (1973) and Pulp Fiction (1994).
Harvey's favorite actor is Pauly Shore and he claimed in an interview with Larry King that Shore's performance in Son in Law (1993) nearly made him leave the business to make way for new talent.
Has starred in the debuts of four directors: Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967) by Martin Scorsese, The Duellists (1977) by Ridley Scott, Fingers (1978) by James Toback and Reservoir Dogs (1992) by Quentin Tarantino.
As of 2017, he appeared in three films that won that Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival: Taxi Driver (1976), The Piano (1993) and Pulp Fiction (1994).
During the shoot of See You Soon (2019) in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Keitel took some time off and visited his mother's birthplace, Leordina, Maramures county, northern Romania. His mother lived in the Leordina commune until the age of twelve. After visiting the house where his mother grew up, Keitel also visited the Jewish cemetery where his ancestors are buried. Keitel was welcomed with traditional food and drinks and received a traditional costume. The authorities in Leordina named him an honorary citizen of the commune, and promised to restore his mother's old house. [July 2017].
He has appeared in four films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Thelma & Louise (1991) and Pulp Fiction (1994).
In January 2008, he played Jerry Springer in the New York City premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall.
Since 2014, he has reprised his role of Winston Wolfe from Pulp Fiction (1994) as part of a £40 million television advertising campaign for British insurance company Direct Line.
He was Sylvester Stallone's original choice to play Paulie in Rocky (1976).
He was originally cast as Sydney Pollack in Eyes Wide Shut (1999) but he left the long production due to his obligations to another project. The role was recast with Sydney Pollack.
He was approached to play God in God Has a Rap Sheet (2003).
He was considered for Mr. Horowitz in Clueless (1995), but was deemed too expensive for the part.
He filmed a cameo in It's Pat: The Movie (1994) as a priest, but it ended up on the cutting room floor.
He was offered the role of Dorothy Macha in Revolver (2005) that went to Ray Liotta.
He was considered for the role of Max in Once Upon a Time in America (1984) that went to James Woods.
He was considered for the role of Jimmy Serrano in Midnight Run (1988) that went to Dennis Farina.
He auditioned for the role of Curly in City Slickers (1991). Jack Palance subsequently won an Oscar for the role.
He was considered for the role of Jack Horner in Boogie Nights (1997) that went to Burt Reynolds.
He was the first choice to replace Mandy Patinkin on Criminal Minds (2005).
He was considered for the role of Frank "Cooch" Coutelle in Thunderheart (1992) that went to Sam Shepard.
He was considered for the role of Vicenzo in Sydney Pollack that went to Philip Bosco.
He was considered for the role of Warden Norton in The Shawshank Redemption (1994) that went to Bob Gunton.
Worked with Martin Scorsese in 6 movies: Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967), Mean Streets (1973), Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) and The Irishman (2019). Although he was the main star in the first two, he wasn't the first name in credits.
His parents ran a refreshment stand on Brighton Beach.
After his Marine Corps service he attended NYU and The Actors Studio.
He appeared in Summer Stock and Off Broadway productions before making his film debut in 'Who's That Knocking at My Door.
Alumnus of Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Personal Quotes (16)

Everyone wants to learn something; maybe not everyone makes the effort, because they get discouraged. I certainly was like that as a teenager in Brooklyn, always trying to hide my ignorance. But you have to find the strength to acknowledge that ignorance within yourself, otherwise you are going to remain stagnant. I learnt a valuable lesson with Ridley Scott. My agent kept insisting that I go watch the show-reel of this commercial director and I kept turning him down, thinking there was no way that I was even going to consider working with a commercial director. In the end I saw his reel and I was blown away by how great it was.
Fear is a marker I need to rise above, otherwise I would drown in my fear of myself.
I don't want people to think that awards amount to the value of an actor. Real success means involvement - to engage oneself totally in something. Unless you become involved, you will stay uninvolved. If money is your god, you will accumulate money, but little else. If you seek out the experience of something... you have a good chance to have a full life.
Existence is a struggle.
[explaining why he supports a mandatory military draft] We, the people, should participate in the privileges we have in this democracy that we live in, and we should all share in the dangers and the risks with our lives to protect the freedoms that we have. I don't see how our young men can feel they're part of the country if they don't participate in the defense of the country - in the defense of our values - when it's necessary to do so. I feel, strongly, that by excluding themselves, they sacrifice something integral. They separate themselves from the hero's journey - this journey we all must take to find ourselves.
Violence has its own texture, and it needs to be respected, prayed to, idolized, swallowed, digested.
I'm learning to enjoy living because I'm learning to cope with sadness and loneliness. I'm learning not to run away from those things into other places... I don't want to pretend to know why, but living is difficult, and living is beautiful; without difficulty there would be no beauty.
My characters aren't nasty; they're troubled. I don't see these these guys as bad guys at all. There's no difficulty for me in keeping them human.
Acting is religious... great acting can be worshiped because it descends into the subconscious, into the soul and somewhere in there must be God.
Making The Irishman (2019) was a bit like a school reunion without the booze! I've worked a lot with Martin Scorsese. We have a lot in common in our growing up -- me in Brooklyn, him in Lower East Side. That bonded our friendship.
Fame is a funny thing. The upside is easy access to good restaurants. The downside is the bill! "Movie star" is a nice term, because it's poetic and fairytaleish, but it has no truth about it.
Success isn't about awards. Success is continuity, a process of discovery. I've been very lucky to be a part of movies that were widely appreciated, but there are lesser known movies I'm just as proud of.
If I could tell my younger self anything, it would be to broaden my field of study to include more art outside of acting. Writing, for example. In my mind I'm always writing, but I don't really.
A lot of people ask me why I'm always playing violent characters. I feel I've never played a violent character; I've played characters that were in deep conflict, despair and chaos.
Friendship has been one of the most important things in my life. That love, regard, caring for, being amused by... that something ethereal in friendship is the ultimate.
I'm so lucky over my career to have met the people I have met. Any word of ingratitude from me would be disgusting.

Salary (1)

Saturn 3 (1980) $90,000

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