Keir Dullea

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Keir Dullea
Keir Dullea Denver Pyle 1962.JPG
Dullea (left) with Denver Pyle in Kraft Mystery Theatre's "Cry Ruin" (1962)
Born(1936-05-30) May 30, 1936 (age 78)
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Years active1960–present
Spouse(s)Margot Bennett
(m. 1960–1968)
Susan Lessons
(m. 1969–1970)
Susie Fuller
(m. 1972–1998, her death)
Mia Dillon
(m. 1999–present)
ChildrenTwo stepdaughters
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Keir Dullea
Keir Dullea Denver Pyle 1962.JPG
Dullea (left) with Denver Pyle in Kraft Mystery Theatre's "Cry Ruin" (1962)
Born(1936-05-30) May 30, 1936 (age 78)
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Years active1960–present
Spouse(s)Margot Bennett
(m. 1960–1968)
Susan Lessons
(m. 1969–1970)
Susie Fuller
(m. 1972–1998, her death)
Mia Dillon
(m. 1999–present)
ChildrenTwo stepdaughters

Keir Dullea (/ˈkɪər dˈl/; born May 30, 1936) is an American actor[1] best known for the character of astronaut David Bowman, whom he portrayed in the 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and in 1984's 2010: The Year We Make Contact. Other film roles include Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) and Black Christmas (1974).[2]

Personal life[edit]

Dullea was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of Margaret (née Ruttan) and Robert Dullea.[3] Dullea was reared 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 in New Jersey and San Francisco State University in San Francisco, California, before he decided to pursue acting.[4]

Dullea has been married four times. His first marriage was to stage and film actress Margot Bennett from 1960 until their divorce in 1968. He was married from 1969 to 1970 to Susan Lessons. 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 children lived in London for several years. The marriage ended with her death in 1998. Dullea married the actress Mia Dillon in 1999. They divide their time between an apartment in Manhattan and a house in Connecticut.


Early career[edit]

Dullea made his film debut in 1961's Hoodlum Priest,[5] in which he played a juvenile delinquent, though he had had an earlier role as the German pilot in a 1960 television adaptation of Mrs. Miniver starring Maureen O'Hara. In 1962, he starred with Janet Margolin in David and Lisa, a film based on the book by Theodore Isaac Rubin, M.D.,a psychiatrist who treated the two adolescent schizophrenics portrayed in the film. He played a number of emotionally disturbed youths in films such as the first screen adaptation of James Jones' The Thin Red Line (1964), and Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), which co-starred Dullea with Laurence Olivier, Carol Lynley, and Noël Coward. Although they shared no scenes together in the film, when Coward initially met Dullea on the set, he uttered the often quoted line, 'Keir Dullea, gone tomorrow.'

Dullea also appeared 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. In 1965, he guest-starred as Lieutenant Kurt Muller in episode 20, "To Heinie, With Love", of 12 O-Clock High (TV series). 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.

In 1968 he appeared as astronaut David Bowman in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey,[6] which became a box-office success and was eventually recognized by critics, filmmakers, and audiences as one of the greatest and most influential films ever made. His line, "Open the pod bay doors please, HAL," is #78 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 movie quotes.

Later career[edit]

Since the great success of 2001, Dullea has had difficulty reproducing a similar success on film, although he was a regular vocal performer on CBS Radio Mystery Theater, which ran from 1974 to 1982. 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). He had a major role in the Canadian production, 1974 cult classic Black Christmas.

In 1984, he reprised his role as David Bowman in 2010: The Year We Make Contact,[7] Peter Hyams' sequel to 2001. 2010 was nominated for five Academy Awards.[8]

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 also had a long and successful career on stage in New York City and in regional theaters; he has stated that despite being more recognized for his film work, he prefers the stage.[4] His first Broadway appearance was in 1967 in Ira Levin's Dr. Cook's Garden with Burl Ives. Two years later he starred in the 1969 hit Broadway comedy, Butterflies Are Free alongside Eileen Heckart and 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). In 1974, he played Brick in the Tennessee Williams classic Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opposite Elizabeth Ashley. The production featured the now definitive rewrite of the play.[citation needed] He also starred in the 1975 Broadway play, P. S. Your Cat Is Dead!. In 1982, Dullea starred in an Off-Broadway production of AE Hotchner's Sweet Prince, under the direction of his wife, Susie Fuller.[9] The following year, the couple co-founded the Theater Artists Workshop of Westport.[4]

In July 1984, Dullea was guest artist aboard the ocean liner Queen Elizabeth 2. On July 11, he performed Anton Chekov's one-act play "The Harmfulness of Tobacco" in the QE2 Theatre.

In December, 2004, for their annual birthday celebration to "The Master", The Noel Coward Society invited Dullea as the guest celebrity to lay flowers in front of Coward's statue at New York's Gershwin Theatre, thereby commemorating the 105th birthday of Sir Noel. Around the same time, Sony Home Video released Bunny Lake Is Missing for the first time on DVD.

In April 2010, Dullea performed the role of Tom Garrison in the off-Broadway production of the Robert Anderson play, I Never Sang For My Father co-starring Oscar-nominated actress Marsha Mason (as Margaret Garrison) and film and stage actor Matt Servitto (as Gene Garrison).

In October 2012, Dullea performed the role of Heinrich Mann in the Guthrie Theater production of "Tales from Hollywood" by Christopher Hampton.


1961Hoodlum PriestBilly Lee Jackson
1962David and LisaDavid Clemens
1964Le Ore NudeAldo
Mail Order BrideLee Carey
The Thin Red LinePvt. Doll
1965Bunny Lake Is MissingStephen Lake
1966Madame XClayton Anderson Jr.
1967The FoxPaul Grenfel
19682001: A Space OdysseyCommander Dave Bowman
1969De SadeLouis Alphonse Donatien, Marquis de Sade
1972Devil in the BrainOscar Minno
Pope JoanDr. StevensUncredited Role
1973Paperback HeroRick Dylan
1974Paul and MichelleGarry
Black ChristmasPeter Smythe
1977Three Dangerous LadiesDavidSegment: The Mannikin
Welcome to Blood CityLewis
Full CircleMagnus Lofting
1978Leopard in the SnowDominic Lyall
1983BrainwavesJulian Bedford
1984Blind DateDr. Steiger
The Next OneGlenn/The Next One
2010Dr. David Bowman
1992Oh, What a NightThorvaldReleased Direct-to-Video
2000The Divine InspirationShort film
2003Three Days of Rain
Alien HunterSecretary Bayer
2006The Day My Towers FellHarry GoldShort film
A Lonely SkyOlder ManShort film
The Good ShepherdSenator John Russell, Sr.
2008The Accidental HusbandKarl Bollenbecker
2009FortuneJonah Pryce
All Me, All the TimeJake
2012HENRiHenri (voice)Short film
2013Isn't It DeliciousBill Weldon
2014Infinitely Polar BearMurray Stuart
Space Station 76Mr. Marlowe
1960Westinghouse Desilu PlayhouseTim DrydenEpisode: Cry Ruin
Mrs. MiniverGerman PilotCBS TV-Movie
1961Route 66PaulEpisode: Black November
Hallmark Hall of FameElishaEpisode: Give Us Barabbas!
Play of the WeekEpisode: All Summer Long
The New BreedFrankEpisode: Prime Target
1961, 1962, 1963The United States Steel Hour

Donald 'Don' McCabe
Episode: The Big Splash
Episode: The Golden Thirty
Episode: Far from the Shade Tree
Episode: The Young Avengers
Alcoa PremiereMaples
Linc Ketterman
Tommy Miller
Eric Green
Episode: People Need People
Episode: The Tiger
Episode:Ordeal in Darkness
Episode: The Broken Year
1961, 1963Naked CityJoey Ross
Les Gerard
Episode: Murder Is a Face I Know
Episode: The Apple Falls Not Far from the Tree
1962CheckmateEddie PhillipsEpisode: A Very Rough Sketch
Cain's HundredAlec BendenEpisode: A Creature Lurks in Ambush
Kraft Mystery TheaterEpisode: Cry Ruin
The DuPont Show of the WeekLieutenantEpisode: The Outpost
The Eleventh HourJerry BullockEpisode: Cry a Little for Mary Too
1963EmpireSkip WadeEpisode: Stopover on the Way to the Moon
BonanzaBob JolleyEpisode: Elegy for a Hangman
Going My WayDennis BradyEpisode: One Small Unhappy Family
1964ChanningEpisode: The Trouble with Girls
The Wednesday PlayEpisode: Pale Horse, Pale Rider
1965Twelve O'Clock HighLt. MullerEpisode: To Heine - With Love
1970Black Water GoldChristofer PerdegerABC TV-Movie
1971MontserratMontserratPBS TV-Movie
1972McMillan & WifeBuzz SimmsEpisode: Blues for Sally M
1973–1974The StarlostDevon
1975SwitchAnthony KirkEpisode: The James Caan Con
1976Law and OrderJohnny MorrisonNBC TV-Movie
1978Because He's My FriendEricABC TV-Movie
1979The Legend of the Golden GunGeneral CusterNBC TV-Movie
1980Brave New WorldThomas GrambellNBC TV-Movie
The Hostage TowerMr. SmithCBS TV-Movie
1981No Place to HideCliff LettermanCBS TV-Movie
1983Loving Friends and Perfect Couples
1986Guiding LightDr. Mark Jarrett
1989Murder, She WroteJason ReynardEpisode: Test of Wills
2000The Audrey Hepburn StoryJoseph HepburnABC TV-Movie
Songs in Ordinary TimeSam FermoyleCBS TV-Movie
2001WitchbladeDr. ImmoEpisode: Convergence
2001, 2006Law & OrderPaul Lyman
Andrew Keener
Episode: Hubris
Episode: Cost of Capital
2002EdRobert StanleyEpisode: Nice Guys Finish Last
Law & Order: Special Victims UnitJudge Walt ThornburgEpisode: Justice
2009CastleJonathan TisdaleEpisode: Flowers for Your Grave
2011DamagesJuliusEpisode: I'm Worried About My Dog

Awards and nominations[edit]

BAFTA Awards

Golden Globe Awards

Laurel Awards

San Francisco International Film Festival

See also[edit]


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]