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Michael Keaton

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Title: Michael Keaton  
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Subject: Jamie Foxx, Batman Returns, Birdman (film), Daniel Day-Lewis, Sean Penn
Collection: 1951 Births, 20Th-Century American Male Actors, 21St-Century American Male Actors, American Film Directors, American Film Producers, American Male Comedians, American Male Film Actors, American Male Television Actors, American Male Voice Actors, American People of English Descent, American People of German Descent, American People of Irish Descent, American People of Scotch-Irish Descent, American People of Scottish Descent, American Roman Catholics, Best Actor Aacta International Award Winners, Best Musical or Comedy Actor Golden Globe (Film) Winners, Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead Winners, Kent State University Alumni, Living People, Male Actors from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award Winners, People from Coraopolis, Pennsylvania
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton
Keaton at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con
Born Michael John Douglas
(1951-09-05) September 5, 1951
Robinson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Residence Montana
Alma mater Kent State University
  • Actor
  • comedian
  • director
  • producer
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) Caroline McWilliams (m. 1982–90)
Children Sean Maxwell Douglas

Michael John Douglas (born September 5, 1951), better known by his stage name Michael Keaton, is an American actor, producer and director. He is currently a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.[1]

Keaton first rose to fame for his comedic film roles in Night Shift (1982), Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Beetlejuice (1988), and he earned further acclaim for his dramatic portrayal of Bruce Wayne / Batman in Tim Burton's Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992). Since then, he has appeared in a variety of films ranging from dramas and romantic comedies to thriller and action films, such as Clean and Sober (1988), The Dream Team (1989), Pacific Heights (1990), Much Ado About Nothing (1993), My Life (1993), The Paper (1994), Multiplicity (1996), Jackie Brown (1997), The Other Guys (2010), Need for Speed (2014) and RoboCop (2014), and also provided voices for characters in the animated films Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Minions (2015).

Keaton's critically praised lead performance in Birdman (2014) earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, the Critics' Choice Award for Best Actor and was nominated for a Screen Actors Guild Award, British Academy Film Award and Academy Award for Best Actor. 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 was awarded a Career Achievement Award from both the Hollywood Film Festival and Zurich Film Festivals.


  • Early life 1
  • Career 2
    • 1975–1988 2.1
    • 1989–1999 2.2
    • 2000–present 2.3
  • Personal life 3
  • Filmography 4
    • Film 4.1
    • Television 4.2
  • Awards and nominations 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life

Keaton, the youngest of seven children, was born in Forest Grove,[2] in surveyor, and his mother, Leona Elizabeth (née Loftus), a homemaker, came from McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.[3][4][5][6] Keaton was raised in a Catholic family.[7] His mother was of Irish descent, and his father was of English, Scottish, Scotch-Irish, and German ancestry.[8][9][10] 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 public television programs, including Where the Heart Is and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1975), as one of the "Flying Zookeeni Brothers."[11] He also served as a full-time production assistant on the show.[12] In 2004, following Fred Rogers' 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.[13]

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 a stage name 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.[14] He chose Keaton because of an affinity for the physical comedy of Buster Keaton. Keaton's film debut came in a small non-speaking role in Joan Rivers film Rabbit Test.[15]

His next 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 earned Keaton some critical acclaim, and he scored leads in the subsequent comedy hits Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously and Gung Ho.

He played 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.


Keaton as Batman

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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] However, Keaton's dramatic performance earned widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike,[19] and Batman became one of the most successful films of the year.[20]

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.[21] Keaton later reprised the role for the sequel Batman Returns (1992), which was another critically acclaimed success, though also controversial for being both darker and more violent than the previous film.[22] He was initially 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 as well. He was reportedly dissatisfied with the screenplay approved by the new director, Joel Schumacher, which Keaton considered to be too lighthearted 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.[23] 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 and Christopher Reeve (who, like Keaton, had also previously portrayed a famous DC Comics superhero on film: Superman).


Keaton at the 2004 Dallas Comic Con

In the early 2000s, Keaton 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 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.[24][25]

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.[26]

Keaton provided the voice of Ken in Toy Story 3 (2010). The film received overwhelmingly positive acclaim and grossed over $1 billion worldwide, making it one of the most financially successful films ever.[27] He announced in June 2010 his interest in returning for a Beetlejuice sequel.[28] He also played the supporting role of Captain Gene Mauch in the comedy The Other Guys.

Keaton starred alongside Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts and Zach Galifianakis in Birdman (2014), a comedy helmed by 21 Grams and Biutiful 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.[29] He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of Thomson as well as an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.

Personal life

Keaton was married to actress Caroline McWilliams from 1982 until 1990. They have one son, Sean Maxwell Douglas. He also had a relationship with "Friends" actress Courteney Cox from 1989 to 1995.[30]

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 and is a diehard Pittsburgh Steelers fan.[31]

In the 1980s, Keaton bought a ranch near Big Timber, Montana, on which he spends most of his time.[32][33] An avid fisherman, Keaton can often be seen on the saltwater fishing series Buccaneers & Bones on Outdoor Channel, along with Lefty Kreh, Tom Brokaw, Zach Gilford, Thomas McGuane and Yvon Chouinard.[34]



Year Title Role Notes
1978 Rabbit Test Sailor
1978 A Different Approach Filmmaker Short
1982 Night Shift Bill Blazejowski
1983 Mr. Mom Jack Butler
1984 Johnny Dangerously Johnny Kelly / Johnny Dangerously
1986 Gung Ho Hunt Stevenson
1986 Touch and Go Robert "Bobby" Barbato
1987 The Squeeze Harold "Harry" Berg
1988 She's Having a Baby Himself Cameo
1988 Beetlejuice Betelgeuse
1988 Clean and Sober Daryl Poynter
1989 The Dream Team William "Billy" Caufield
1989 Batman Bruce Wayne / Batman
1990 Pacific Heights Carter Hayes
1991 One Good Cop Arthur "Artie" Lewis
1992 Batman Returns Bruce Wayne / Batman
1993 Much Ado About Nothing Dogberry
1993 My Life Robert "Bob" Jones
1994 The Paper Henry Hackett
1994 Speechless Kevin Vallick
1996 Multiplicity Douglas "Doug" Kinney/"Two"/"Three"/"Four"
1997 Inventing the Abbotts Narrator/Older Doug Uncredited
1997 Jackie Brown Raymond "Ray" Nicolette
1998 Desperate Measures Peter J. McCabe
1998 Out of Sight Raymond "Ray" Nicolette
1998 Jack Frost Jack Frost
2000 A Shot at Glory Peter Cameron
2003 Porco Rosso Porco Rosso (voice) English dub
2003 Quicksand Martin Raikes
2004 First Daughter President Mackenzie
2005 White Noise Jonathan Rivers
2005 Game 6 Nicholas "Nicky" Rogan
2005 Herbie: Fully Loaded Raymond "Ray" Peyton, Sr.
2006 Cars Chick Hicks Voice role
2006 The Last Time Ted "Theodore" Also executive producer
2009 The Merry Gentleman Franklin "Frank" Logan Also director
2009 Post Grad Walter Malby
2010 Toy Story 3 Ken Voice role
2010 The Other Guys Captain Gene Mauch
2011 Hawaiian Vacation Ken (voice) Short
2012 Noah's Ark: The New Beginning Noah Voice role
2013 Penthouse North Hollander Also executive producer
2014 RoboCop Raymond Sellars
2014 Need for Speed Monarch
2014 Birdman Riggan Thomson/Birdman
2015 Minions Walter Nelson Voice role
2015 Spotlight Walter V. Robinson
2016 The Founder Ray Kroc In post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Volunteer Episode: "1,435"
1976–1977 All's Fair Lannie Wolf 5 episodes
1977 Klein Time Various roles Television film
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
1982, 1992, 2015 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) 3 episodes
1990 The Earth Day Special Charles McIntyre TV special
2001 The Simpsons Jack Crowley (voice) Episode: "Pokey Mom"
2002 Frasier Blaine Sternin Episode: "Wheels of Fortune"
2002 Live from Baghdad Robert Wiener Television film
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) TV special
2007 The Company James Angleton 6 episodes
2011 30 Rock Tom Episode: "100"
2013 Clear History Joe Stumpo Television film
Video games
Year Title Voice role
2006 Cars Chick Hicks
2009 Cars Race-O-Rama
2012 Call of Duty: Black Ops II Jason Hudson

Awards and nominations


  1. ^ Kelly, Saavedra (January 12, 2015). "Actor Michael Keaton Discusses His New Role at the ETC". The Piper. Retrieved February 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ {He stated in his Golden Globe Acceptance speech his real name and that he was born in Forest Grove, Pennsylvania. This is the Forest Grove neighborhood in Robinson Township, Pennsylvania, not the town of Forest Grove near Philadelphia}
  3. ^ "Michael Keaton Biography (1951–)". Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  4. ^ A Leading Man Without Pause. The Record (Bergen County, NJ)
  5. ^ Vancheri, Barbara (November 13, 2002). "Obituary: Leona Douglas / Actor Michael Keaton's mother doted on her seven children". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved July 11, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Actor Michael Keaton is another who insists he is half-Scottish". Sunday Express. September 25, 2005. Retrieved December 12, 2007. 
  7. ^ and went to St. Malachy Church "News for Louisville, Kentucky", Entertainment News, WHAS-11.
  8. ^ Fulton, Rick (June 11, 2010). "Michael Keaton: I dropped my phone in surprise when I was offered the role of Barbie's Ken in Toy Story 3".  
  9. ^ "CANOE - JAM! Movies - Artists - Keaton, Michael : Michael Keaton directs 1st film". 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  10. ^ "Michael Keaton : Biography". IMDb. Retrieved 2015-04-05. 
  11. ^ "Keaton offers advice to young actors." April 14, 2008.
  12. ^ "15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever." July 28, 2008.
  13. ^ Conner, Lynne (2007). Pittsburgh In Stages: Two Hundred Years of Theater.  
  14. ^ Kellison, Daniel. "Dinner With Daniel: Michael Keaton". Retrieved July 13, 2012. 
  15. ^ Keaton, Eleanor; Vance, Jeffrey (2001). Buster Keaton Remembered. Harry N. Abrams Inc. pp. 124. ISBN 9780810942271. Retrieved July 24, 2012.
  16. ^ "The Making of Batman". Empire Magazine. August 1989. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Nancy Griffin; Kim Masters (1997). "Hit Men". Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony For A Ride In Hollywood. Simon & Schuster. pp. 158–174. ISBN 0-684-80931-1.
  18. ^ Hilary de Vries (1989-02-05). "Batman Battles for Big Money". The New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  19. ^ Alison McMahan (2005). "Burton's Batman: Myth, Marketing, and Merchandising." The Films of Tim Burton: Animating Live Action in Contemporary Hollywood. Farmington Hills, Michigan: Gale. ISBN 978-0-8264-1566-0. 121–156.
  20. ^ Staff (1989-06-27). "Batman Sets Record And So Does Hollywood". The New York Times. Retrieved October 26, 2008.
  21. ^ Les Daniels (2000). Batman: The Complete History. Chronicle Books. p. 164. ISBN 0-8118-2470-5.
  22. ^ Salisbury, Burton, p.102-114
  23. ^ "Batman 3". Entertainment Weekly. October 1, 1993. Retrieved August 16, 2008. 
  24. ^ ^ J.J. Abrams (Director), Lloyd Braun (Director) (2004). Lost Season 1 DVD (DVD). Los Angeles: Buena Vista Home Entertainment. 
  25. ^ Jensen, Jeff (November 24, 2006). "When Stephen King met the 'Lost' boys". Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  26. ^ "'"Michael Keaton STILL Interested in 'Beetleuice 2. June 7, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  27. ^ """Keaton would do Beetlejuice 2 "in a heartbeat. June 6, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Michael Keaton REALLY Interested in Resurrecting Beetlejuice for a Sequel". June 7, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  29. ^ "Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Keaton to Star in 'Birdman' (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. March 5, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013. 
  30. ^ "PAGE REPORT DISPLAY FOR 24961466800". Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  31. ^ Nightengale, Bob (July 28, 2011). "Pirates are talk of baseball with captivating run". USA Today. 
  32. ^ Foundas, Scott (October 16, 2014). "Interview: Michael Keaton Goes From Batman to ‘Birdman’". Variety. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  33. ^ "What Famous Celebrities Live in Montana?". June 5, 2014. 
  34. ^ "Buccaneers & Bones". 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2015-04-05. 

External links

Preceded by
Howard Hesseman
Saturday Night Live host
October 30, 1982
Succeeded by
Robert Blake
Preceded by
Catherine O'Hara
Saturday Night Live host
November 14, 1992
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Dwayne Johnson
Saturday Night Live host
April 4, 2015
Succeeded by
Taraji P. Henson
Preceded by
Adam West
Actors to portray Batman
1989 - 1995
Succeeded by
Val Kilmer
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