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Stacy Keach (born June 2, 1941) is an Americanmarker actor and narrator. He is most famous for his dramatic roles; however, he has done narration work in educational programming on PBS and the Discovery Channel, as well as some comedy and musical roles. He is well known for his distinctive voice.

Early life

Keach was born Walter Stacy Keach, Jr. in Savannah,marker Georgiamarker, the son of Mary Cain (née Peckham), an actress, and Walter Stacy Keach, a theatre director, drama teacher, and actor. His brother James Keach is an actor and television director. Keach graduated from Van Nuys High School in June 1959, then earned two BA degrees at the University of California, Berkeleymarker (1963), one in English, the other in Dramatic Art. He earned an M.F.A. at the Yale School of Drama and was a Fulbright Scholar at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Artmarker.



In 1966 Keach played the title role, (with his take on Lyndon Johnson being MacBeth) in MacBird! an off-Broadway spoof at the Village Gatemarker. Then in 1967, he was cast, again off-Broadway, in George Tabori's The Niggerlovers with Morgan Freeman (in his first ever acting job). To this day, Freeman credits Keach with teaching him the most about acting. Keach first appeared on Broadwaymarker in 1969 as Buffalo Bill in Indians by Arthur Kopit. Early in his career, he was credited as Stacy Keach, Jr. to distinguish himself from his father Stacy Keach, Sr. He played the lead actor in The Nude Paper Sermon an avant-garde musical theatre piece for media presentation, commissioned by Nonesuch Records by composer Eric Salzman.

He has won numerous awards including Obie awards, Drama Desk Awards, and Vernon Rice Awards. In the early 1980s, he starred in the title role of the national touring company of the musical Barnum composed by Cy Coleman. In 2006, he performed the lead role in Shakespeare's King Lear at the Goodman Theatremarker in Chicagomarker. In the summer of 2009, he starred when Shakespeare Theatre Companymarker mounted that production again at Sidney Harman Hallmarker in Washington D.C.marker.

He has played the title role in three separate productions of Hamlet.

In 2008 and 2009 Keach played Richard M. Nixon in the U.S. traveling version of the play Frost/Nixon.


He played a rookie cop in The New Centurions (1972), opposite George C. Scott. That year he also starred in Fat City, a boxing film directed by John Huston. He was the first choice for the role of father Damien Karras in the 1973 movie The Exorcist, but he did not accept the role. He went on to play Kane in the 1980 movie The Ninth Configuration, written and directed by Blatty; this role was itself intended for Nicol Williamson.

Keach played Cheech and Chong's Police Department arch-nemesis Sgt. Stedenko in Up In Smoke and Nice Dreams. He also appeared as Barabbas in Jesus of Nazareth. In 1978 he played a role of explorer and scientist in The Mountain of the Cannibal God, co-starring former Bond girl Ursula Andress.The film became a cult favorite as a "Video nasty".

One of his most convincing screen performances was as Frank James (elder brother of Jesse) in The Long Riders (1980). Keach excelled in this role, portraying a character who shows maturity and perspective during the outlaws’ doomed career, but who is ultimately imprisoned by fraternal ties.

He portrayed a white supremacist in American History X, alongside Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. In Oliver Stone's" 2008 fictional biopic W.", Keach convincingly portrays a Texasmarker preacher whose spiritual guidance begins with George W. Bush's AA experience, but extends long thereafter.


One of Keach's early television roles was in 1958 on the syndicated romantic comedy, How to Marry a Millionaire, with Barbara Eden and Merry Anders. He portrayed Jonas Steele, a psychic and Scout of the United States Army in the 1982 CBS miniseries, The Blue and the Gray. He later portrayed Mike Hammer in the CBS television series Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer and The New Mike Hammer from 1984 to 1987. He returned to the role of Hammer in Mike Hammer, Private Eye, a new syndicated series that aired from 1997 to 1998.

In 2000, he played the cantankerous father Ken Titus in the title family of Fox's short-lived sitcom Titus. Cast members of Titus have commented they enjoyed working with Keach because, even with the dryest line the writers could invent, Keach would find a way to make the line funny..

Fans of The Simpsons may also recognize Keach's voice in the recurring role of Duff Brewery President, Howard K. Duff VIII, beginning with the 12th season episode, "Hungry, Hungry Homer", wherein Homer attempts to stop Howard K. Duff from moving the Springfield Isotopes baseball team to Albuquerque by staging a hunger strike.

He also had a recurring role as Warden Henry Pope in the Fox drama Prison Break. In 1984, he was convicted of smuggling cocaine into the United Kingdommarker and spent six months imprisoned in Reading Prisonmarker. The governor of that prison would serve as the basis for his character.


Stacy Keach is perhaps most familiar to younger television viewers for narrating episodes of Nova, National Geographicmarker, and various other informational series. Beginning in 1999, he served as the narrator for the home video clip show World's Most Amazing Videos, which is now seen on Spike TV. He currently hosts The Twilight Zone radio series. Keach can also be heard narrating the CNBCmarker series American Greed. For the PBS series American Experience, he narrated The Kennedys, among others.

Personal life

Keach was born with a cleft lip and a partial cleft of the hard palate and underwent numerous operations as a child. Throughout his adult life he has often worn a mustache to hide the scars. He is now the honorary chairman of the Cleft Palate Foundation, and advocates for insurance coverage for such surgeries. In the 1971 film Doc, Keach played the title character, John "Doc" Holiday, who was born with a cleft palate.

In 1984, London police arrested Keach at Heathrow Airportmarker for carrying cocaine. Keach pleaded guilty, and served a nine month sentence at Reading Prisonmarker.

He has been married four times: to Kathryn Baker in 1964, to Marilyn Aiken in 1975, to Jill Donahue in 1981, and to Malgosia Tomassi around 1986. He has two children from his third marriage. He was also romantically linked to singer Judy Collins in the early 1970s.

He had a mild stroke in March 2009 but is expected to make a full recovery.


Year Film Role Notes
1968 The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter Blount
1970 Brewster McCloud Abraham Wright
1971 Doc Doc Holliday
1972 The New Centurions Roy Fehler
Fat City Billy Tully KCFCC Award for Best Actor (tied with Marlon Brando for The Godfather)
1973 Luther Martin Luther
1975 Conduct Unbecoming Captain Harper
1976 The Killer Inside Me Lou Ford
1977 Jesus of Nazareth Barabbas
1978 Up in Smoke Sergeant Stedanko
1979 Mountain of the Cannibal God Professor Edward Foster
1980 The Ninth Configuration Col.Vincent Kane
The Long Riders Frank James
1981 Roadgames Patrick Quid
Nice Dreams Sergeant Stedanko
1982 Butterfly Jess Tyler
That Championship Season James Daley
1990 Class of 1999 Dr. Bob Forest
1993 Batman: Mask of the Phantasm Carl Beaumont / Voice of Phantasm Voice only
1996 Escape From L.A. Commander Malloy
1997 The Sea Wolf Captain Wolf
1998 American History X Cameron Alexander
Future Fear General Wallace
2004 The Hollow Claus Van Ripper
Caught in the Headlights Mr. Jones
El Padrino: The Latin Godfather Governor Lancaster
2006 Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America Secretary Collin Reed
2007 Honeydripper Sheriff
2008 W. Earle Hudd
2009 Chicago Overcoat Ray Berkowski
Year Title Role Notes
1982 The Blue and the Gray Jonas Steele Mini series
1983 Princess Daisy Prince Alexander "Stash" Valensky Mini series
Murder Me, Murder You Mike Hammer Television film
1984 Mistral's Daughter Julien Mistral Mini series
More Than Murder Mike Hammer Television film
1984-1985 Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Mike Hammer
Nominated - Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
1986 The Return of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer Mike Hammer Television film
1986-1987 The New Mike Hammer Mike Hammer
1988 Hemingway Ernest Hemingway Mini series
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film (tied with Michael Caine for Jack the Ripper)
Nominated - Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie

1991 The Mysteries of the Dark Jungle Colonel Edward Corishant Mini series
Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis Capt. Charles Butler McVay Television film
1997-1998 Mike Hammer, Private Eye Mike Hammer Television series
2000-2002 Titus Ken Titus Television series
2003 Frozen Impact Pete Crane Television film
2005-2007 Prison Break Henry Pope Television series
2006 Desolation Canyon Samuel Kendrick Television film
Blackbeard Capt. Benjamin Hornigold Television film
2008 Lone Rider Robert Hattaway Television film
Ring of Death Warden Golan Television film
2009 The Nanny Express Rev. McGuiness Television film
Meteor Sheriff Crowe Mini series


  2. "James Lipton Takes on Three".Million Dollar Baby, DVD, directed by Clint Eastwood
  3. [1]
  4. Commentary found in Titus Season 1&2 DVD.
  5. Stacy Keach Battles Flu, Prison Fugitives TV Guide. May 8, 2006. Retrieved on May 13, 2006.
  7. Stacy Keach Suffers Mild Stroke Yahoo News, March 18, 2009

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