Keir Dullea Biography
Keir Dullea is an American actor perhaps 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 in the cult film Bunny Lake is Missing.
Dullea was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Margaret (née Ruttan) and Robert Dullea. Dullea was raised in the Greenwich Village section of New York City where his parents ran a bookstore. He graduated from George School in Pennsylvania. After graduating from high school he attended both Rutgers University and San Francisco State before deciding to pursue acting.
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 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 London 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 Manhattan and a home in Connecticut.
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 City, 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.
Since the great success of 2001, Dullea has had difficulty reproducing a similar success on film, though he has 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 Broadway appearance was in 1967 in Dr. Cook's Garden with Burl Ives. Two years later he starred in the 1969 hit Broadway 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). He also starred in the 1975 Broadway play, P. S. Your Cat Is Dead!. In 1983, he co-founded the Theater Artists Workshop of Westport alongside his wife Susie Fuller.