Michael Keaton

Michael Keaton
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres

Keaton at the 2013 San Diego Comic Con
Born Michael John Douglas
(1951-09-05) September 5, 1951
Coraopolis, Pennsylvania U.S.
Residence Big Timber environs, Sweet Grass County, Montana, U.S.
Alma mater Kent State University
  • Actor
  • Producer
  • Director
Years active 1975–present
Spouse(s) Caroline McWilliams (m. 1982; div. 1990)
Children Sean Maxwell Douglas

Michael John Douglas (born September 5, 1951),[1] known professionally as Michael Keaton, is an American actor, producer, and director. 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 the title character 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), RoboCop (2014), Birdman (2014) and Spotlight (2015), and he has also provided voices for characters in animated films such as Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Minions (2015).Keaton will play the role of Vulture , in Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) , set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe .

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 Best Actor in a Comedy, and nominations for the Screen Actors Guild Award, British Academy Film Award, and Academy Award for Best Actor. He previously received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his performance in Live from Baghdad (2002) and a 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.

On January 18, 2016, he was named Officer of Order of Arts and Letters in France.[2] He is also a visiting scholar at Carnegie Mellon University.[3]

Early life

Keaton, the youngest of seven children, was born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. His father, George A. Douglas, worked as a civil engineer and surveyor, and his mother, Leona Elizabeth (née Loftus), a homemaker, came from McKees Rocks.[1][4]

Keaton was raised in a Roman Catholic family. His mother was of Irish descent, and his father was of English, Scottish, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry.[5][6] He attended Montour High School in Pennsylvania. Keaton studied speech for two years at Kent State before dropping out and moving to 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."[7] He also served as a full-time production assistant on the show.[8] 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.[9]

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. He decided to use a stage name to satisfy SAG rules, as there were already an actor (Michael Douglas) and daytime host (Mike Douglas) with the same or similar names. The claim that Keaton selected his new surname due to an attraction to actress Diane Keaton is incorrect.[10] 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.[11]

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, 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.


Keaton as Batman, with Kim Basinger in the 1989 Batman film

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.[12][13] Warner Bros. received thousands of letters of complaint by fans who believed Keaton was the wrong choice to portray Batman.[14] However, Keaton's performance in the role ultimately earned widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences,[15] and Batman became one of the most successful films of that year.[16]

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.[17] Keaton later reprised the role for the sequel Batman Returns (1992), which was another critically acclaimed success.[18] 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. 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 and was replaced by Val Kilmer in Batman Forever (1995).[19]

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 starred in The Paper and Multiplicity, and twice in the same role, that of Elmore Leonard character Agent Ray Nicolette, in the films Jackie Brown and Out of Sight. He made the family holiday movie Jack Frost and the thriller Desperate Measures. Keaton starred as a political candidate's speechwriter in 1994's Speechless.


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, 2004. In 2006, he starred in Game 6, about the 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 reportedly was cast as 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 Shephard role continuing throughout.[20][21]

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. 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.[22] He announced in June 2010 his interest in returning for a Beetlejuice sequel.[23] He played Captain Gene Mauch in the comedy The Other Guys.

Keaton starred alongside Zach Galifianakis, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, and Naomi Watts in Birdman (2014), playing 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.[24] He won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for his portrayal of Thomson and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor. In 2015, Keaton appeared as Walter V. Robinson in the film Spotlight. In February 2015, Keaton was cast as Ray Kroc in the biopic The Founder. In 2016, Keaton entered negotiations to appear as a villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will be released in 2017.[25] Producer Kevin Feige confirmed that November that Keaton would be playing the supervillain the Vulture.[26]

On July 28, 2016, Keaton received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6931 Hollywood Boulevard.[27][28]

Personal life

Keaton was married to the late actress Caroline McWilliams from 1982 to 1990. They have one son, Sean Maxwell Douglas. He also had a relationship with actress Courteney Cox from 1989 to 1995. Keaton, a long-time Pittsburgh resident, is an avid Pittsburgh Pirates fan and negotiated a break in his Batman movie contract in case the Pirates made the playoffs that year (they did not). 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 often seen at Pittsburgh Penguins games and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan.[29]

In the 1980s, Keaton bought a ranch near Big Timber, Montana, where he spends much of his time.[30] An avid fisherman, he is often seen on the saltwater fishing series Buccaneers & Bones on Outdoor Channel, along with Lefty Kreh, Tom Brokaw, Zach Gilford, Thomas McGuane and Yvon Chouinard.[31]

Keaton is a Democrat. He endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012[32] and Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination in 2016.[33]



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 (uncredited)
1988 Beetlejuice "Betelgeuse" (Beetlejuice)
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
2015 Minions Walter Nelson Voice role
2015 Spotlight Walter "Robby" Robinson
2016 The Founder Ray Kroc
2017 Spider-Man: Homecoming Adrian Toomes / Vulture In post-production[34]
TBA American Assassin Stan Hurley Filming


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 Characters Movie
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 Characters 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
Saturday Night Live Himself/host 3 episodes
1990 The Earth Day Special Charles McIntyre Special
2001 The Simpsons Jack Crowley (voice) Episode: "Pokey Mom"
2002 Frasier Blaine Sternin Episode: "Wheels of Fortune"
2002 Live from Baghdad Robert Wiener Movie
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 Special
2007 The Company James Angleton Miniseries
2011 30 Rock Tom Episode: "100"
2013 Clear History Joe Stumpo Movie

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. 1 2 "Michael Keaton profile". Filmreference.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  2. "Michael Keaton Gets France's Order of Arts and Letters Honor". Variety. January 18, 2016. Retrieved January 20, 2016.
  3. Kelly, Saavedra (January 12, 2015). "Actor Michael Keaton Discusses His New Role at the ETC". The Piper. Retrieved February 23, 2015.
  4. Vancheri, Barbara (November 13, 2002). "Obituary: Leona Douglas". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Archived from the original on April 13, 2013. Retrieved July 11, 2010.
  5. 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". Daily Record. Retrieved September 19, 2010.
  6. "Michael Keaton directs 1st film". Jam.canoe.ca. 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  7. "Keaton offers advice to young actors", ABC.com. April 14, 2008.
  8. "15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever", CNN.com, July 28, 2008.
  9. Conner, Lynne (2007). Pittsburgh In Stages: Two Hundred Years of Theater. University of Pittsburgh Press. p. 178. ISBN 978-0822943303.
  10. Kellison, Daniel. "Dinner With Daniel: Michael Keaton". grantland.com. Retrieved July 13, 2012.
  11. Keaton, Eleanor; Vance, Jeffrey (2001). Buster Keaton Remembered. Harry N. Abrams Inc.; ISBN 9780810942271; retrieved July 24, 2012.
  12. "The Making of Batman". Empire Magazine. August 1989. Retrieved June 5, 2015.
  13. 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.
  14. Hilary de Vries (1989-02-05). "Batman Battles for Big Money", The New York Times; retrieved October 26, 2008.
  15. 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. pp. 121–56.
  16. Staff (1989-06-27). "Batman Sets Record And So Does Hollywood", The New York Times; retrieved October 26, 2008.
  17. Les Daniels (2000). Batman: The Complete History. Chronicle Books. pg. 164; ISBN 0-8118-2470-5.
  18. Salisbury, Burton, pp. 102-14
  19. "Batman 3". Entertainment Weekly. October 1, 1993. Retrieved August 16, 2008.
  20. ^ J.J. Abrams (2004). Lost Season 1 DVD (DVD). Los Angeles, California: Buena Vista Home Entertainment.
  21. Jensen, Jeff (November 24, 2006). "When Stephen King met the 'Lost' boys". Ew.com. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  22. "Keaton would do Beetlejuice 2 "in a heartbeat"". Moviehole.net. June 6, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  23. "Michael Keaton REALLY Interested in Resurrecting Beetlejuice for a Sequel". Dreadcentral.com. June 7, 2010. Retrieved January 24, 2012.
  24. "Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Michael Keaton to Star in 'Birdman' (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. March 5, 2013. Retrieved June 21, 2013.
  25. Hipes, Patrick (May 20, 2016). "Michael Keaton Joins 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' After All – Is He The Vulture?; 'Thor: Ragnarok' Beefs Up Cast". Deadline.com. Retrieved November 9, 2016. Michael Keaton, who in April was in early talks for a villainous role in the Sony-Marvel collaboration/reboot Spider-Man: Homecoming before falling out, is back in the mix again and we’ve been told his deal has closed.
  26. Daniell, Mark (November 2, 2016). "Marvel's Kevin Feige on 'Doctor Strange', replacing Downey and the blueprint for the MCU". Toronto Sun. Canada. Postmedia Network. Retrieved November 9, 2016.
  27. "Michael Keaton: Hollywood Walk of Fame". www.walkoffame.com. Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  28. "Michael Keaton receives his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame". Retrieved 2016-10-06.
  29. Nightengale, Bob (July 28, 2011). "Pirates are talk of baseball with captivating run". USA Today.
  30. Foundas, Scott (October 16, 2014). "Interview: Michael Keaton Goes From Batman to 'Birdman'". Variety. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  31. "Buccaneers & Bones". Outdoorchannel.com. 2013-11-07. Retrieved 2015-04-05.
  32. "The Same Week That Hollywood Admits Liberal Bias, Stars Empty Their Pockets for Obama". July 16, 2011.
  33. Smith, Emily (February 8, 2016). "Michael Keaton feels the Bern".
  34. "Michael Keaton's Spider-Man: Homecoming Role Confirmed".

External links

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Michael Keaton.
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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