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Michael John Douglas (born September 5, 1951), better known as Michael Keaton, is an Americanmarker actor, well known for his early comedic roles in films such as Night Shift, Mr. Mom, Beetlejuice, and for his portrayal of Batman in Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, as well as lead roles in other films including The Paper, Jackie Brown, and White Noise.

Personal life

Keaton, the youngest of seven children, was born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvaniamarker, and lived in Robinson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvaniamarker. His father worked as a civil engineer and surveyor and his mother, Leona, a homemaker, came from a Scots-Irish community in Pennsylvania. Keaton was raised in a large Catholic family and attended Montour High Schoolmarker in Pennsylvaniamarker. He studied speech for two years at Kent Statemarker, before dropping out and moving to Pittsburgh. Keaton was married to actress Caroline McWilliams from 1982 until 1990. They have one son, Sean Maxwell (born May 27 1983). He also had a six-year relationship with actress Courteney Cox (1989-1995).

Keaton often returns to his hometown to attend sporting events to cheer on his favorite sports teams the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Career

1970s and 1980s

An unsuccessful attempt at stand-up comedy led Keaton to working as a TV cameraman at public television station WQED marker in Pittsburgh. Keaton first appeared on TV in the Pittsburgh-based public television program Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1975), as one of the "Flying Zucchini Brothers." He also served as a full-time production assistant on the show. (In 2003, following Rogers' death, Keaton hosted the PBS memorial tribute program, Fred Rogers: Everybody's Favorite Neighbor.)

Before his biggest break (while still credited as Michael Douglas), Keaton did a billboard ad for the Architect Jeans Company. In an interview in 2003 for Live from Baghdad, Keaton recalled how he and the director of the Architect commercial, Spike Jonze, became fast friends.

Keaton left Pittsburgh and moved to Los Angelesmarker 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 an alternative surname to remove confusion with well known actor Michael Douglas, as well as satisfying SAG rules, and after reading an article on actress Diane Keaton, he decided on "Michael Keaton."

His next key 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 hilariously fast-talking schemer Bill "Blaze" Blazejowski alongside nerdish morgue attendant Henry Winkler earned Keaton some critical acclaim, and he scored leads in the subsequent comedy hits Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously, and Gung Ho.

Keaton's role as the title character in the 1988 Tim Burton 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 was originally turned down for the title role in Beetlejuice but was reconsidered by director Burton. Keaton now considers Beetlejuice his favorite of his own films. That same year, Keaton also gave an acclaimed dramatic performance as a drug-addicted businessman in Clean and Sober. Newsweek featured him in a story during this time.

Batman

Michael Keaton's career was given another major boost when he was again cast by Tim Burton, this time as the title superhero of the 1989 blockbuster Batman. Burton cast him 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 demands. Warner Bros. received thousands of letters of complaint by fans commenting that the comedic Keaton was the wrong choice for Gotham City's creature of the night, 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. However, Keaton's sophisticated performance earned universal acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and Batman became the highest-grossing film of the year.

According to Keaton, he was astounded when he was first considered as Batman since he was only familiar with the 1960s Batman television series starring Adam West, but it was not until Burton introduced Keaton to Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns that Keaton really understood the dark and brooding side of Batman that he portrayed to much fan approval. Keaton later returned to wear the cape and cowl again in Batman Returns (1992), which was another financial success, though controversial for being darker than the original.

He was prepared to return for Batman Forever (1995), even going so far as to show up for costume fitting. However, when Burton was dropped by Warner Bros., Keaton left the franchise. He was reportedly dissatisfied with the screenplay approved by the new director, Joel Schumacher, which Keaton considered to be lighter in tone than the past two Batman movies. According to the A&E Biography episode on Keaton, after he had refused the first time (after meetings with Schumacher), Warner Brothers offered him $35,000,000 (one of the highest salaries offered to an actor at the time), but Keaton steadfastly refused. He was subsequently succeeded as Batman by Val Kilmer and later on by George Clooney in Batman & Robin (1997), which became the least successful Batman film both critically and commercially. It was not until the success of Batman Begins (2005), a reboot starring Christian Bale as the Dark Knight, that the film series was continued.

1990s and 2000s

Keaton remained in demand during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films including Pacific Heights, One Good Cop, My Life, and the star-studded Shakespearian 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 Jack Frost and the thriller Desperate Measures.

Keaton starred in Speechless with Geena Davis (his co-star in Beetlejuice) and Christopher Reeve, as a political candidate's speechwriter. As with Keaton and Batman, Christopher Reeve had gained notoriety for playing an iconic comic superhero, in his case Superman. Out of Sight starred George Clooney, who succeeded Keaton in the role of Batman in Batman & Robin.

Since 2000, Keaton has 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 approach the box-office success of Batman until the release of Cars, in which he played the part of Chick Hicks, in 2006. On New Years 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, 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 given to actor Matthew Fox.

Keaton starred in the 2007 TV mini-series 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 (the Boy Wonder was absent from the two Batman films that Keaton starred in) in Batman Forever and Batman & Robin.

Keaton is slated to join the Toy Story animated film's cast for the upcoming Toy Story 3, providing the voice of Ken, Barbie's friend.

Filmography

Film

-
Year Film Role Notes
1982 Night Shift Bill Blazejowski Kansas City Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actor
1983 Mr. Mom Jack
1984 Johnny Dangerously Johnny Kelly (AKA Johnny Dangerously)
1986 Gung Ho Hunt Stevenson
Touch and Go Bobby Barbato
1987 The Squeeze Harry Berg
1988 She's Having a Baby Himself uncredited cameo
Beetlejuice Betelgeuse National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor (also for Clean and Sober)
Nominated - Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actor
Clean and Sober Daryl Poynter National Society of Film Critics Award for Best Actor (also for Beetlejuice)
1989 The Dream Team Billy Caufield
Batman Bruce Wayne/Batman
1990 Pacific Heights Carter Hayes
1991 One Good Cop Artie Lewis
1992 Batman Returns Bruce Wayne/Batman
Porco Rosso Porco Rosso voice in 2003 English dubbed version
1993 Much Ado About Nothing Dogberry
My Life Bob Jones
1994 The Paper Henry Hackett
Speechless Kevin Vallick
1996 Multiplicity Doug Kinney
1997 Inventing the Abbotts narrator/Older Doug uncredited
Jackie Brown Ray Nicolette
1998 Desperate Measures Peter McCabe
Out of Sight Ray Nicolette Cameo
Jack Frost Jack Frost
2000 A Shot at Glory Peter Cameron
2003 Quicksand Martin Raikes
2004 First Daughter President Mackenzie
2005 White Noise Jonathan Rivers
Game 6 Nicky Rogan
Herbie: Fully Loaded Ray Peyton Sr.
2006 Cars Chick Hicks voice
The Last Time Ted
2009 The Merry Gentleman Frank Logan
Post Grad Walter Malby
Noah's Ark: The New Beginning Noah voice
2010 Toy Story 3 Ken voice
The Other Guys Captain Mauch


Television

Year Production Role Other notes
1976 All's Fair Lannie Wolf
1977 Klein Time Various
Maude Chip Winston
1978 Mary (1978) Skit characters
The Tony Randall Show Zeke
1979 The Mary Tyler Moore Hour Kenneth Christy
Working Stiffs Mike O'Rourke
1982 Report To Murphy Murphy
2002 Frasier Blaine Sternin
Live from Baghdad Robert Wiener Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
2001 "The Simpsons" Jack Crowley 1 episode guest star
2002 "King of the Hill" Trip Larsen 1 episode guest star
2004 Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor Host Nominated - Emmy Award for Outstanding Nonfiction Special
2007 The Company James Angleton Nominated - Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie


References

  1. Batman (Michael Keaton) - Batman Wiki
  2. Michael Keaton Biography (1950-)
  3. A LEADING MAN WITHOUT PAUSE - The Record (Bergen County, NJ) - HighBeam Research
  4. and went to St. Malachy Church ENTERTAINMENT NEWS | WHAS11.com | News for Louisville, Kentucky
  5. "Keaton offers advice to young actors." ABC.com. April 14, 2008.
  6. "15 reasons Mr. Rogers was best neighbor ever." CNN.com. July 28, 2008.
  7. Batman (Michael Keaton)
  8. When Stephen King met the 'Lost' boys...


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