Sep. 5th, 1951
Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, USA
Michael Keaton's Main TV Roles
Main Movie Roles
Guest TV Roles[none found]
Quirky, inventive and handsome US actor who first achieved major fame with his door busting performance as fast talking, ideas man Bill Blazejowski alongside nerdish morgue attendant Henry Winkler in Night Shift (1982). Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 5th, 1951 in Corapolis, Pennsylvannia and 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 in a cable station, and he came to realize he wanted to work in front of the cameras.
Keaton first appeared on TV in several episodes of "MisteRogers' Neighborhood" (1968). He left Pittsburgh and moved to Los Angeles to begin auditioning for TV. He began cropping up in popular TV shows including "Maude" (1972) and "The Mary Tyler Moore Hour" (1979). Around this time Keaton decided to use an alternative surname to remove confusion with better-known actor Michael Douglas (I). After reading an article on actress Diane Keaton, he decided that Michael Keaton sounded good. His next break was scoring a co-starring role alongside James Belushi in the short-lived comedy series "Working Stiffs" (1979), which showcased his comedic talent and led to his co-starring role in Night Shift (1982). Keaton next scored the lead in the comedy hits Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984) , Gung Ho (1986) and the Tim Burton (I) horror-comedy _Beetlejuice (1988)_.
Keaton's career was given another major boost when, in 1989, Tim Burton (I) cast him as millionaire playboy / crime-fighter Bruce Wayne in the big budget Batman (1989). To say there were howls of protest by fans of the caped crusader comic strip is an understatement! Warner Bros. was deluged with thousands of letters of complaint commenting that comedian Keaton was the wrong choice for the Caped Crusader. Their fears were proven wrong when Keaton turned in a sensational performance, and he held his own on screen with opponent Jack Nicholson playing the lunatic villain, The Joker. Keen to diversify his work, Keaton next appeared as a psychotic tenant in Pacific Heights (1990), as a hard working cop in One Good Cop (1991) and then donned the black cape and cowl once more for Batman Returns (1992).
He remained in demand during the 1990s, appearing in a wide range of films including the star-studded Shakespearian Much Ado About Nothing (1993), another Ron Howard (I) comedy The Paper (1994), with sexy Andie MacDowell in Multiplicity (1996), as a dogged cop in Jackie Brown (1997) and the mediocre thriller Desperate Measures (1998). More recently, Keaton has appeared in several productions with mixed success, including Live from Baghdad (2002) (TV), First Daughter (2004) and Herbie Fully Loaded (2005).
- Turned down the role of the ill-fated mad scientist Dr. Seth Brundle in 'David Cronenberg' (qv)'s remake _The Fly (1986)_ (qv). The part eventually went to 'Jeff Goldblum' (qv).
- Was considered for the role of Jack Crawford in _The Silence of the Lambs (1991)_ (qv).
- Decided to change his name when he began acting because there was already a 'Michael Douglas (I)' (qv) in movies and a 'Mike Douglas (I)' (qv) in broadcasting. While he uses a stage name, he has never legally changed his name to Michael Keaton.
- Is the fourth actor to play Batman.
- When he realized he needed to change his name, he remembered an article he had read with a nice picture of 'Diane Keaton' (qv). He chose her last name with the intention of changing it later. However, the name stuck. Years later, he phoned her and thanked her. The two have never actually met.
- His son Sean plays keyboard for a band called The Hatch.
- Was originally slated to play 'Jeff Daniels (I)' (qv) character in 'Woody Allen' (qv)'s _The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)_ (qv) and actually did film some scenes, but Allen decided it wasn't working and replaced him with Daniels.
- Started his career as a stagehand in _"MisteRogers' Neighborhood" (1968)_ (qv) (he operated "Picture, Picture"), and in 2004 he produced a documentary on Rogers, _Fred Rogers: America's Favorite Neighbor (2004) (TV)_ (qv).