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Keir Dullea ( ; born May 30, 1936) is an Americanmarker actor best known for the character of astronaut David Bowman he portrayed in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey and in 1984's 2010: The Year We Make Contact, as well as his role in the cult film Bunny Lake is Missing.


Early life

Dullea was born in Cleveland, Ohiomarker, the son of Margaret (née Ruttan) and Robert Dullea. Dullea was raised in the Greenwich Villagemarker section of New York Citymarker where his parents ran a bookstore. He graduated from George Schoolmarker in Pennsylvaniamarker. After graduating from high school he attended both Rutgers Universitymarker and San Francisco Statemarker before deciding to pursue acting.

Personal life

Dullea has been married four times. His first marriage was to stage and film actress Margot Bennett in 1960. Their marriage lasted until 1968. He was married the following year to Susan Lessons, however their marriage only lasted a year before they divorced in 1970. In 1972, Dullea married a third time to Susie Fuller, who had two daughters from a previous relationship. The couple had met during the Londonmarker run of Butterflies Are Free. After their marriage, Dullea, Fuller and her two daughters from a previous marriage lived in London for several years. The two would remain married until she died in 1998. Dullea has been married to actress Mia Dillon since 1999. They split their time between an apartment in Manhattanmarker and a house in Connecticutmarker.


Early career

Dullea made his film debut in 1961's Hoodlum Priest, in which he played a juvenile delinquent, though he had an earlier role as the German pilot in a 1960 television adaptation of Mrs. Miniver starring Maureen O'Hara. He played a number of emotionally disturbed youths in films such as David and Lisa (1962), the first screen adaptation of James Jones' The Thin Red Line (1964), and Bunny Lake is Missing (1965), as well as on television in shows such as Naked City, a police drama about New York Citymarker, The Eleventh Hour, a medical drama about psychiatry, and Channing, a drama about life on a college campus starring Jason Evers and Henry Jones. He appeared with John Huston in the movie De Sade (1969), playing the title role (the Marquis de Sade). He also appeared with Anne Heywood and Sandy Dennis in the 1967 film The Fox.

Later career

Since the great success of 2001, Dullea has had difficulty reproducing a similar success on film, although he was a regular vocal performer on CBS Radio Mystery Theater, which ran from 1974 to 1982. Dullea has also had a long and successful career on stage in New York City and in regional theaters. Dullea's other notable roles include Devon in the short-lived 1973 science fiction series The Starlost, Clayton Anderson Jr. in Madame X, Paul Renfield in The Fox, and Thomas Grambell in Brave New World (1981). In 2000, he appeared in The Audrey Hepburn Story as Hepburn's father Joseph.

In 2006, he had a role as a US Senator and a "major influence and mentor" to Matt Damon's character, in Robert De Niro's film The Good Shepherd.


Dullea has stated that despite being more recognized for his film work, he prefers the stage. His first Broadwaymarker appearance was in 1967 in Dr. Cook's Garden with Burl Ives. Two years later he starred in the 1969 hit Broadwaymarker comedy, Butterflies Are Free alongside Blythe Danner. The play detailed a blind youth's desire to break free from his overprotective mother and pursue love with a free spirited girl. In the play, he introduced the title song written by Stephen Schwartz (later recording the tune on an album for Platypus Records). In 1974 he played Brick Pollitt in the Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. The production featured the now definitive rewrite of the play. He also starred in the 1975 Broadway playmarker, P. S. Your Cat Is Dead!. In 1983, he co-founded the Theater Artists Workshop of Westport alongside his wife Susie Fuller.


Year Film Role Notes
1961 Hoodlum Priest Billy Lee Jackson
1962 David and Lisa David Clemens
1964 Le Ore Nude Aldo
Mail Order Bride Lee Carey
The Thin Red Line Pvt. Doll
1965 Bunny Lake Is Missing Stephen Lake
1966 Madame X Clayton Anderson Jr.
1967 The Fox Paul Renfield
1968 2001: A Space Odyssey Dr. Dave Bowman
1969 De Sade Louis Alphonse Donatien, Marquis de Sade
1972 Diavolo nel cervello, II Oscar Minno
Pope Joan Dr. Stevens Uncredited Role
1973 Paperback Hero Rick Dylan
1974 Paul and Michelle Garry
Black Christmas Peter Smythe
1977 Three Dangerous Ladies David Segment: The Mannikin
Welcome to Blood City Lewis
Full Circle Magnus Lofting
1978 Leopard in the Snow Dominic Lyall
1983 Brainwaves Julian Bedford
1984 Blind Date Dr. Steiger
The Next One Glenn/The Next One
2010 Dr. David Bowman
1992 Oh, What a Night Thorvald Released Direct-to-Video
2000 The Divine Inspiration Short film
2003 Three Days of Rain
Alien Hunter Secretary Bayer
2006 The Day My Towers Fell Harry Gold Short film
A Lonely Sky Older Man Short film
The Good Shepherd Senator John Russell, Sr.
2008 The Accidental Husband Karl Bollenbecker
2009 Fortune Jonah Pryce awaiting release
All Me, All theTime Jake post-production
Year Title Role Notes
1960 Westinghouse Desilu Playhouse Tim Dryden Episode: Cry Ruin
Mrs. Miniver German Pilot CBS TV-Movie
1961 Route 66 Paul Episode: Black November
Hallmark Hall of Fame Elisha Episode: Give Us Barabbas!
Play of the Week Episode: All Summer Long
The New Breed Frank Episode: Prime Target
1961, 1962, 1963 The United States Steel Hour

Donald 'Don' McCabe

Episode: The Big Splash
Episode: The Golden Thirty
Episode: Far from the Shade Tree
Episode: The Young Avengers

Alcoa Premiere Maples
Linc Ketterman
Tommy Miller
Eric Green

Episode: People Need People
Episode: The Tiger
Episode:Ordeal in Darkness
Episode: The Broken Year

1961, 1963 Naked City Joey Ross
Les Gerard
Episode: Murder Is a Face I Know
Episode: The Apple Falls Not Far from the Tree
1962 Checkmate Eddie Phillips Episode: A Very Rough Sketch
Cain's Hundred Alec Benden Episode: A Creature Lurks in Ambush
Kraft Mystery Theater Episode: Cry Ruin
The DuPont Show of the Week Lieutenant Episode: The Outpost
The Eleventh Hour Jerry Bullock Episode: Cry a Little for Mary Too
1963 Empire Skip Wade Episode: Stopover on the Way to the Moon
Bonanza Bob Jolley Episode: Elegy for a Hangman
Going My Way Dennis Brady Episode: One Small Unhappy Family
1964 Channing Episode: The Trouble with Girls
The Wednesday Play Episode: Pale Horse, Pale Rider
1965 Twelve O'Clock High Lt. Muller Episode: To Heine - With Love
1970 Black Water Gold Christofer Perdeger ABC TV-Movie
1971 Montserrat Montserrat PBS TV-Movie
1972 McMillan and Wife Buzz Simms Episode: Blues for Sally M
1973–1974 The Starlost Devon
1975 Switch Anthony Kirk Episode: The James Caan Con
1976 Law and Order Johnny Morrison NBC TV-Movie
1978 Because He's My Friend Eric ABCmarker TV-Movie
1979 The Legend of the Golden Gun General Custer NBC TV-Movie
1980 Brave New World Thomas Grambell NBC TV-Movie
The Hostage Tower Mr. Smith CBS TV-Movie
1981 No Place to Hide Cliff Letterman CBS TV-Movie
1983 Loving Friends and Perfect Couples
1986 Guiding Light Dr. Mark Jarrett
1989 Murder, She Wrote Jason Reynard Episode: Test of Wills
2000 The Audrey Hepburn Story Joseph Hepburn ABC TV-Movie
Songs in Ordinary Time Sam Fermoyle CBS TV-Movie
2001 Witchblade Dr. Immo Episode: Convergence
2001, 2006 Law & Order Paul Lyman
Andrew Keener
Episode: Hubris
Episode: Cost of Capital
2002 Ed Robert Stanley Episode: Nice Guys Finish Last
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Judge Walt Thornburg Episode: Justice
2009 Castle Jonathan Tisdale Episode: Flowers for Your Grave

Awards and nominations

BAFTA Awards
  • 1964: Nominated, "Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles" - David and Lisa

Golden Globe Awards
  • 1964: Won, "Most Promising Male Newcomer"

Laurel Awards
  • 1963: Nominated, "Top New Male Personality"

San Francisco International Film Festival
  • 1962: Won, "Best Actor" - David and Lisa



Further reading

External links

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