Michael Keaton Biography
Michael John Douglas born on September 5, 1951, better known as Michael Keaton, is an American actor, well known for his early comedic roles in films such as Night Shift, Mr. Mom, Johnny Dangerously, Beetlejuice, and for his dramatic portrayal of Batman, in Tim Burton's Batman and Batman Returns, as well as lead roles in other films including The Paper, Jackie Brown, Jack Frost, White Noise, Cars, The Other Guys and Toy Story 3.
Keaton, the youngest of seven children, was born in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, and lived in Robinson Township, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. His father, George A. Douglas, worked as a civil engineer and surveyor, and his mother, Leona Elizabeth (née Loftus), a homemaker, came from a Scots-Irish community in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania.Keaton was raised in a large Catholic family and attended Montour High School in Pennsylvania. He studied speech for two years at Kent State 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 from 1989 to 1995. Michael was a contributor to the John Kerry for President campaign in 2004.
Career &1970s and 1980s:
An unsuccessful attempt at stand-up comedy led Keaton to working as a TV cameraman at public television station WQED (TV) in Pittsburgh. Keaton first appeared on TV in the Pittsburgh-based public television programs, including "Where the Heart Is" and 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.) Keaton left Pittsburgh and moved to Los Angeles 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 and newsman Mike 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 originally turned down the title role in Beetlejuice but of course reconsidered. 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 as 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 widespread acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and Batman became one of the most successful films of the year.
According to Keaton, he was surprised when he was first considered as Batman, as he was only familiar with the campy 1960s Batman TV series starring Adam West, which he initially believed the film would be similar to. It was only after 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 the sequel Batman Returns (1992), which was another financial success, though controversial for being darker than the first film.
He was prepared to return for Batman Forever (1995), even going as 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 previous Batman films. According to the A&E Biography episode on Keaton, after he had refused the first time (after meetings with Schumacher), Warner Brothers offered him $15,000,000, 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 franchise was continued.
1990s and 2000s & Keaton at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival:
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 (who, like Keaton, also portrayed a famous DC Comics superhero on film; Superman), as a political candidate's speechwriter. 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 most recently provided the voice of Ken, Barbie's friend, in Toy Story 3, and will return as Chick Hicks in Cars 2. He announced in June 2010 his interest in returning for a Beetlejuice sequel.