Michael Keaton is an American actor, producer and director. His real name is Michael John Douglas but he is better known by his stage name Michael Keaton. He was born September 5, 1951 in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania near Pittsburgh. He comes from a family of six siblings: three brothers and three sisters.
Keaton first rose to fame for his comedic film roles in Night Shift (1982), Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984) and Beetlejuice (1988), and he earned further acclaim for his dramatic portrayal of the title character in Tim Burton’s Batman (1989) and Batman Returns (1992).
He has appeared in a variety of films ranging from dramas and romantic comedies to thriller and action films. Let’s find out some interesting facts about him!
1. Michael Keaton is the fourth actor to take on the role of “Batman”. He was director Tim Burton’s first choice to play the part in his 1989 film adaptation of the comic book series. The film gave his career a major boost.
2. Keaton was originally asked to play the popular role of Dr. Jack Shephard on the television series “Lost”. The character was supposed to be killed off during the first episode. However, when the producers decided to keep the character long-term, Keaton had to turn down the part because of prior commitments.
3. Doesn’t get drunk. Though he enjoys a good time, the actor admitted that he doesn’t get drunk. “I don’t get drunk. It’s not that I don’t have a drink now and again, but I’ve had my days. I’ll tell you, though, when I did it was always fun,” he said in an interview with Empire Magazine. When asked what he would like to have written on his tombstone, he replied: “He was always a good time.”
4. His self-admitted “unpredictability” is hard to live with. When asked by Elle what the hardest thing about living with him is, he said “Unpredictability … Unpredictability means what it means. I don’t know how you define it. It is what it is.” He continued, “If I knew what it was, I guess that would mean I wasn’t actually unpredictable.”
5. Keaton’s critically praised lead performance in Birdman earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy, the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Actor.
6. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance in Live from Baghdad and Screen Actors Guild Award nomination for The Company.
7. An unsuccessful attempt at stand-up comedy led Keaton to working as a TV cameraman at public television station WQED (TV) in Pittsburgh.
8. Around the time he popped up in various popular TV shows Keaton decided to use a stage name to avoid confusion with well-known actor Michael Douglas and daytime host Mike Douglas, as well as to satisfy SAG rules.
9. Keaton can often be seen on the saltwater fishing series Buccaneers & Bones on Outdoor Channel, along with Lefty Kreh, Tom Brokaw, Zach Gilford, Thomas McGuane and Yvon Chouinard.
10. Keaton is a bit of a rancher. He has a home in Pacific Palisades plus ranches in Santa Barbara, California, and Montana. The 1000 acre Montana ranch, where he grows hay and raises cattle, features a four-bedroom cedar-and-stone ranch house.
11. Keaton was raised in a Roman Catholic family. His mother was of Irish descent, and his father was of English, Scottish, Scots-Irish, and German ancestry.
12. Warner Bros. received thousands of letters of complaint by fans who believed Keaton was the wrong choice to portray Batman. However, Keaton’s performance in the role ultimately earned widespread acclaim from both critics and audiences, and Batman became one of the most successful films of that year.
13. He did the voice over for two of Pixar’s animation movies, both of which went to be huge hits. The movies were “Toy Story” and “Cars”.
14. Keaton is a Democrat. He endorsed President Barack Obama for re-election in 2012 and Senator Bernie Sanders for the Democratic nomination in 2016.