Keith Carradine

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Keith Carradine
Aspettando Clint Keith Carradine fcm.jpg
Carradine in 2006 at Torino Film Festival
BornKeith Ian Carradine
(1949-08-08) August 8, 1949 (age 65)
San Mateo, California, United States
Years active1971–present
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Keith Carradine
Aspettando Clint Keith Carradine fcm.jpg
Carradine in 2006 at Torino Film Festival
BornKeith Ian Carradine
(1949-08-08) August 8, 1949 (age 65)
San Mateo, California, United States
Years active1971–present

Keith Ian Carradine (born August 8, 1949) is an American actor who has had success on stage, film and television. He is perhaps best known for his roles as Tom Frank in Robert Altman's Nashville, Wild Bill Hickok in the HBO series Deadwood and FBI agent Frank Lundy in Dexter. In addition, he is a Golden Globe and Academy Award winning songwriter. As a member of the Carradine family, he is part of an acting dynasty that began with his father, John Carradine.

Early life[edit]

Keith Carradine was born in San Mateo, California. He is the son of actress and artist Sonia Sorel (née Henius), and actor John Carradine.[1] His paternal half-brothers are Bruce and David Carradine, his maternal half-brother is Michael Bowen, and his full brothers are Christopher and Robert Carradine. His maternal great-grandfather was biochemist Max Henius, and his maternal great-grandmother was the sister of historian Johan Ludvig Heiberg.[2]

Carradine's childhood was difficult. He said that his father drank and his mother “was a manic depressive paranoid schizophrenic catatonic—she had it all.”[3] His parents were divorced in 1957, when he was eight years old. A bitter custody battle led to his father gaining custody of him and his brothers, Christopher and Robert, after the children had spent three months in a home for abused children as wards of the court. Keith said of the experience, "It was like being in jail. There were bars on the windows, and we were only allowed to see our parents through glass doors. It was very sad. We would stand there on either side of the glass door crying."[4] He was raised primarily by his maternal grandmother, and he rarely saw either of his parents.[5] His mother was not permitted to see him for eight years following the custody settlement.[3]

After high school, Carradine entertained the thought of becoming a forest ranger but opted to study drama at Colorado State University. He dropped out after one semester and drifted back to California, moving in with his older half-brother, David. David encouraged Keith to pursue an acting career, paid for his acting and vocal lessons, and helped him get an agent.[5]



As a youth, Carradine had opportunities to appear on stage with his father, John Carradine, in the latter's productions of Shakespeare.[6] Thus, he had some background in theater when he was cast in the original Broadway run of Hair (1969), which launched his acting career. In that production he started out in the chorus and worked his way up to the lead roles[7] playing Woof and Claude. He said of his involvement in Hair, "I really didn't plan to audition. I just went along with my brother, David, and his girlfriend at the time, Barbara Hershey, and two of their friends. I was simply going to play the piano for them while they sang, but I'm the one the staff wound up getting interested in."[8]

His stage career is further distinguished by his Tony-nominated performance, for Best Actor (Musical) as the title character in the Tony Award winning musical, the Will Rogers Follies in 1991, for which he also received a Drama Desk nomination. He won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Foxfire with Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy, and appeared as Lawrence in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Imperial Theater. In 2008, he appeared as Dr. Farquhar Off-Broadway in Mindgame, a thriller by Antony Horowitz, directed by Ken Russell, who made his New York directorial debut with the production.[9] In March and April 2013, he starred in the Broadway production of Hands on a Hardbody. He was nominated for the Tony Award and the Drama Desk Award for his work.


Carradine's first notable film appearance was in director Robert Altman's McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971). His next film, Emperor of the North Pole (1973), was re-released with a shorter title Emperor of the North. Carradine played a young aspiring hobo. The film was directed by Robert Aldrich and also starred Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine. Carradine then starred in Altman's film Thieves Like Us (1974), then played a principal character, a callow, womanizing folk singer, Tom Frank, in Altman's critically acclaimed film Nashville (1975; see "Music and song writing"). He had difficulty shaking the image of Tom Frank following the popularity of the film. He felt the role gave him the reputation of being "a cad".[10]

In 1977, Carradine starred opposite Harvey Keitel in Ridley Scott's The Duellists. Pretty Baby followed in 1978. He has acted in several offbeat films of Altman's protege Alan Rudolph, playing a disarmingly candid madman in Choose Me (1984), an incompetent petty criminal in Trouble in Mind (1985), and an American artist in 1930s Paris in The Moderns (1988).

He appeared with brothers David and Robert as the Younger brothers in Walter Hill's film The Long Riders (1980). Keith played Jim Younger in that film. In 1981, he appeared again under Hill's direction in Southern Comfort. In 1994, he had a cameo role as Will Rogers in Rudolph's film about Dorothy Parker, Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. He co-starred with Daryl Hannah as homicidal sociopath John Netherwood in the thriller The Tie That Binds (1995). In 2011, he starred in Cowboys and Aliens , an American science fiction western film directed by Jon Favreau also starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. Carradine traveled to Tuscany in 2012 to executive produce and star in John Charles Jopson's Edgar Allan Poe inspired film Terroir. In 2013, he starred in Ain't Them Bodies Saints, which won the 2013 Sundance Film Festival award for cinematography.

Music and song writing[edit]

In addition to acting, the Carradine family is musically gifted. This is particularly true of Keith. His brother, David, said in an interview that Keith could play any instrument he wanted, including bagpipes and the French horn.[7] Like David, Keith integrated his musical talents with his acting performances. In 1975, he performed a song he'd written, "I'm Easy", in the movie Nashville. It was a popular hit, and Carradine won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Original Song for the tune. This led to a brief singing career; he signed a contract with Asylum Records and released two albums – I'm Easy (1975) and Lost & Found (1978). In 1984, he appeared in the music video for Madonna's single "Material Girl". In the early 1990s, he played the lead role in the Tony Award winning musical, The Will Rogers Follies.[citation needed]


In 1972, Carradine appeared briefly in the first season of the hit television series, Kung Fu, which starred his brother, David. Keith played a younger version of David's character, Kwai Chang Caine. In 1987, he starred in the highly rated CBS miniseries Murder Ordained with JoBeth Williams and Kathy Bates. Other TV appearances include My Father My Son (1988), a television film. In 1983, he appeared as Foxy Funderburke, a murderous pedophile, in the television miniseries Chiefs, based on the Stuart Woods novel of the same name. His performance in Chiefs earned him a nomination for an Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or a Special" category.[11] Carradine also starred in the ABC sitcom Complete Savages, and he played Wild Bill Hickok in the HBO series Deadwood.

Carradine hosted the documentary Wild West Tech series on the History Channel in the 2003–2004 season, before handing the job over to his brother, David. In the 2005 miniseries Into the West, produced by Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks, Carradine played Richard Henry Pratt. During the second and fourth seasons of the Showtime series Dexter, he appeared numerous times as FBI Special Agent Frank Lundy. Carradine is credited with guest starring twice on the suspense-drama Criminal Minds, as the psychopathic serial killer Frank Breitkopf. Other shows he appeared in include The Big Bang Theory (as Penny's father), Star Trek: Enterprise ("First Flight" episode) and the Starz series Crash. Carradine has also made two guest appearances on NCIS in 2012 and 2014. Also, in 2014, he had a recurring role as Lou Solverson in the FX series Fargo.

Video Games[edit]

In 2012, Carradine lent his voice to the video game Hitman: Absolution, voicing the primary antagonist Blake Dexter.

Personal life[edit]

Keith Carradine met Shelley Plimpton in the Broadway musical Hair. She was married to actor Steve Curry, albeit separated, and she and Carradine became romantically involved. After Carradine left the show and was in California he learned that Shelley was pregnant and had reunited with Curry. He met his daughter, Martha Plimpton, when she was four years old, after Shelley and Steve Curry had divorced. He said of Shelley, "She did a hell of a job raising Martha. I was not there. I was a very young man, absolutely terrified. She just took that in, and then she welcomed me into Martha’s life when I was ready.”[3]

Carradine married Sandra Will on February 6, 1982. They were separated in 1993,[12] before Will filed for divorce in 1999.[13] The couple had two children: Cade Richmond Carradine (born July 19, 1982) and Sorel Johannah Carradine (born June 18, 1985).[5] In 2006, Will pleaded guilty to two counts of perjury for lying to a grand jury about her involvement in the Anthony Pellicano wire tap scandal. She hired, then became romantically involved with, Pellicano after her divorce from Carradine. According to FBI documents, Pellicano tapped Keith Carradine's telephone and recorded calls between him and girlfriend Hayley DuMond at Will's request, along with DuMond's parents.[3] The case was settled before it could go to trial.[14]

On November 18, 2006, Keith Carradine married actress Hayley DuMond, in Turin, Italy.[15] They met in 1997 when they co-starred in the Burt Reynolds film The Hunter's Moon.[16]



1971McCabe & Mrs. MillerCowboy
1973Emperor of the North PoleCigaret
1973Idaho TransferArthur
1974Antoine et SébastienJohn
1974Thieves Like UsBowie
1974Run, Run, Joe!Joe
1975NashvilleTom FrankAcademy Award for Best Original Song
1975You and Me
1976Welcome to L.A.Carroll Barber
1977The DuellistsD'Hubert
1978Pretty BabyBellocq
1978Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandOur Guests At Heartland
1979Old BoyfriendsWayne Van Til
1979An Almost Perfect AffairHal Raymond
1980The Long RidersJim Younger
1981Southern ComfortPfc. Spencer
1984Choose MeMickey
1984Maria's LoversClarence Butts
1985Trouble in MindCoop
1986L'InchiestaTito Valerio Tauro
1988The ModernsNick Hart
1989Street of No ReturnMichael
1989Cold FeetMonte Latham
1990Daddy's Dyin': Who's Got the Will?Clarence
1990The BachelorDr. Emil Gräsler
1991The Ballad of the Sad CafeMarvin Macy
1992Rabbit Ears: Annie OakleyStorytellerDirect-to-Video
1992CrissCrossJohn Cross
1994AndreHarry Whitney
1994Mrs. Parker and the Vicious CircleWill Rogers
1995The Tie That BindsJohn Netherwood
19962 Days in the ValleyDetective Creighton
1997A Thousand AcresTy Smith
1998StandoffZeke Clayton
1999The Hunter's MoonTurner
1999Out of the ColdDan Scott
2001Wooly BoysSheriff Hank Dawson
2002The Angel DollAdjult Jerry Barlow
2002The OutsiderNoah Weaver
2003The Adventures of Ociee NashPapa George NashDirect-to-Video
2004Hair HighJoJoVoice Only
2004Balto III: Wings of ChangeDukeDirect-to-Video, Voice Only
2005Our Very OwnBilly Whitfield
2005The CaliforniansElton Tripp
2007Elvis and AnabelleJimmy
2007The Death and Life of Bobby ZJohnson
2007All HatPete Culpepper
2008Lake CityRoy
2009Winter of Frozen DreamsDet. Lulling
2010PeacockMayor Ray CrillDirect-to-Video
2010The Family TreeReverend Diggs
2011Cowboys & AliensSheriff Taggart
2013Ain't Them Bodies SaintsSkerritt
2014The Absinthe DrinkersBaron Amedeo di MagentaIn production


1971BonanzaErnEpisode: Bushwacked
1972Man on a StringDanny Brown
1972Love, American StyleEpisode: Love and the Anniversary
1972–1973Kung FuYoung Man Caine / Caine as teenagerUncredited; 2 episodes
1980A Rumor of WarLt. Murph McCoy
1983ChiefsFoxy FunderburkeNominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie[11]
1984Scorned and SwindledJohn Boslett
1984The Fall GuyCookEpisode: October the 31st
1985BlackoutAllen Devlin
1986Half a LifetimeJ.J.
1986A Winner Never QuitsPete Gray
1987Murder OrdainedTrooper John Rule
1987Eye on the SparrowJames Lee
1988Stones for IbarraRichard Everton
1988My Father, My SonLt. Elmo Zumwalt III
1989The Revenge of Al CaponeMichael Rourke
1989Hallmark Hall of FameRichard EvertonEpisode: Stones for Ibarra
1989The ForgottenCaptain Tom Watkins
1989ConfessionalLiam Devlin
1990JudgmentPete Guitry
1991PayoffPeter 'Mac' McAllister
1992LincolnWilliam Herndon (voice)
1994In the Best of Families: Marriage, Pride & MadnessTom Leary
1994Is There Life Out There?Brad
1995Trial by FireOwen Turner
1996Special Report: Journey to MarsCapt. Eugene T. Slader
1996Dead Man's WalkBigfoot Wallace3 episodes
1997Keeping the PromiseWilliam (Will) Hallowell
1997Last Stand at Saber RiverVern Kidston
1997Perversions of ScienceArthur BristolEpisode: Dream of Doom
1997–1998Fast TrackDr. Richard BeckettSeries Regular
1999OutreachDr. Vincent Shaw
1999Night Ride HomeNeal Mahler
1999SirensOfficer Dan Wexler
1999A Song from the HeartOliver Comstock
1999Hard Time: Hostage HotelCpl. Arlin Flynn
2000Enslavement: The True Story of Fanny KemblePierce Butler
2000BabyJohn Malone
2001The Diamond of JeruJohn Lacklan
2002American ExperienceNarratorEpisode: Public Enemy Number 1
2002FrasierCarl (voice)Episode: Frasier Has Spokane
2002ArlissLamar ScottEpisode: What You See Is What You Get
2002Street TimeFrank Dugan3 episodes
2003Monte WalshChester 'Chet' Rollins
2003EnterpriseCommander/Captain A.G. RobinsonEpisode: First Flight
2003Spider-Man: The New Animated SeriesJonah Jameson (voice)5 episodes
2003Coyote WaitsJohn McGinnis
2003–2004Wild West TechHost
2004DeadwoodWild Bill Hickock5 episodes
2004–2005Complete SavagesNick SavageSeries Regular
2005Into the WestCapt. Richard H. PrattEpisode: Casualties of War
2006Where There's a WillSheriff Clifford Laws
2007American MastersNarratorEpisode: Novel Reflections: The American Dream
2007Criminal MindsFrank Breitkopf2 episodes
2007–2009DexterSpecial Agent Frank Lundy
2008NumbersCarl McGowan3 episodes
2008CrashOwen2 episodes
2009Law & OrderMartin GarvikEpisode: Take-Out
2009DollhouseMatthew Harding3 episodes
2009DamagesJulian Decker4 episodes
2010The Big Bang TheoryWyatt (Penny's Dad)Episode: The Boyfriend Complexity
2014Raising HopeColt PalominoEpisode: Anniversary Ball
2014NCISMannheim GoldEpisode: Rock and a Hard Place
2014FargoLou Solverson8 episodes
2014Madam SecretaryPresident Conrad Dalton

Video Game[edit]

2012Hitman: AbsolutionBlake Dextervoice


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Keith Carradine Biography (1949-)". Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  2. ^ "The National cyclopaedia of American biography". Google Books. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b c d Wadler, Joyce (July 23, 2006). "Keith Carradine's Long Road to 'Dirty Rotten Scoundrels". The New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  4. ^ Diehl, Digby (November 4, 1984). "Getting Personal With Keith Carradine". Boca Raton News (The Ledger). Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  5. ^ a b c Rader, Dotson (September 29, 1991). "I didn't want to fail". Parade Magazine (Spartanburg Herald-Journal). Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  6. ^ Thomas, Bob (November 9, 1986). "John Carradine says, "I'll never quit!"". The Times-News. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Takano, Hikari. "David Carradine Interview". Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Cirelli-Heurich, Julie (April 9, 2009). "Keith Carradine back on stage as a man of the theater". New Jersey On-Line. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  9. ^ [1][dead link]
  10. ^ Harris, Art (April 30, 1978). "Nashville Role Haunts Carradine". The Milwaukee Journal. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  11. ^ a b Awards for Chiefs at the Internet Movie Database
  12. ^ Verrier, Richard (March 25, 2006). "Keith Carradine Sues Pellicano". The New York Times. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  13. ^ Patterson, Troy; Takahashi, Corey (December 3, 1999). "Michael Jackson Sued by Concert Investors". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 
  14. ^ "Keith Carradine Settles Anthony Pellicano Lawsuit". Hollywood Reporter. 2013-10-28. Retrieved 2014-07-04. 
  15. ^ Caroli, Clara (November 18, 2006). "Star Usa, nozze italiane come "must" – A Torino si sposa Keith Carradine" [Star USA, Italian wedding as a "must" – In Turin married Keith Carradine] (in Italian). la Repubblica. Retrieved December 4, 2010. 
  16. ^ Peiffer, Kim; Nudd, Tim (November 21, 2006). "Deadwood's' Keith Carradine Gets Married". People. Retrieved September 24, 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]