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Stacy Keach (1941)

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  Summary  

Stacy Keach is an American 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 (particularly his role in the FOX sitcom Titus as Ken, the hard-drinking, chain-smoking, womanizing father of comedian Christopher Titus) and musical roles.

  Biography  

 early life
Keach was born Walter Stacy Keach, Jr. in Savannah, Georgia, the son of Mary Cain (née Peckham), an actress, and Walter Stacy Keach, a theater 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, where he was class president, then earned two BA degrees at the University of California, Berkeley , 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 Art.

 career
 Theater
In 1966 Keach played the title role, in MacBird! an Off Broadway spoof at the Village Gate. Then in 1967, he was cast, again Off Broadway, in George Tabori's The Niggerlovers with Morgan Freeman . To this day, Freeman credits Keach with teaching him the most about acting. Keach first appeared on Broadway 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 Theatre in Chicago. In 2008, he played Merlin in Lerner and Loewe's "Camelot", done with the NY Philharmonic. In the summer of 2009, he starred when Shakespeare Theatre Company mounted that production again at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington D.C..

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.

 Films
He played a rookie cop in The New Centurions , 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.

Stacy Keach's storytelling talent as narrator was given worldwide exposure in the 1973 Formula One racing documentary "Champions Forever, The Quick and the Dead" by Claude du Boc.

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 in The Long Riders . 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.. Long Riders famously included brothers playing brothers and Stacey's Brother James Keach played Jesse James .
In 1982 Keach starred in Butterfly with Pia Zadora.

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

Keach also starred in the TV film Ring of Death playing a sadistic prison warden who runs an underground fight club where prisoners compete for their lives.

Keach was also recently seen in Toronto, Canada during the filming of the comedy movie The Chameleon.

 Television
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 a federal police agency officer fighting crime in the Caribbean in the 1977 TV series Caribe. He played Barabbas in the 1977 Jesus of Nazareth , and 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 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.

Keach guest starred in the sitcom Will & Grace. 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 Kingdom and spent six months imprisoned in Reading Prison. The governor of that prison would serve as the basis for his character.

 Narrator
Stacy Keach is perhaps most familiar to younger television viewers for narrating episodes of Nova, National Geographic, 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 CNBC series American Greed. For the PBS series American Experience, he narrated The Kennedys, among others.

Keach portrays the role of "John" in "The Truth & Life Dramatized audio New Testament Bible," a 22-hour celebrity-voiced, fully dramatized audio version of the RSV-CE New Testament translation.

 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 may have been born with a cleft palate.

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

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 has made a full recovery.

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Whole or part of the information contained in this card come from the Wikipedia article "Stacy Keach", licensed under CC-BY-SA full list of contributors here.