Stacy Keach

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Stacy Keach
Stacy Keach in May 2007
BornWalter Stacy Keach, Jr.
(1941-06-02) June 2, 1941 (age 73)
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
Years active1966–present
Spouse(s)Malgosia Tomassi (1986-present)
Jill Donahue (1981-1986: div.)
Marilyn Aiken (1975-?: div.)
Kathryn Baker (1964-?: div.)
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Stacy Keach
Stacy Keach in May 2007
BornWalter Stacy Keach, Jr.
(1941-06-02) June 2, 1941 (age 73)
Savannah, Georgia, U.S.
Years active1966–present
Spouse(s)Malgosia Tomassi (1986-present)
Jill Donahue (1981-1986: div.)
Marilyn Aiken (1975-?: div.)
Kathryn Baker (1964-?: div.)

Walter Stacy Keach, Jr. (born June 2, 1941) is an American actor and narrator. He is mostly known for his dramatic roles; however, he has done narration work for The Opie & Anthony Show on Sirius XM satellite radio, and 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 for Sergeant Stedenko in Up in Smoke) and musical roles. He is also known for portraying fictional detective Mike Hammer in a recurring series of television movies and series.

Early life[edit]

Keach was born in Savannah, Georgia, the son of Mary Cain (née Peckham), an actress, and Walter Stacy Keach, a theater director, drama teacher, and actor.[1] 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,[2] then earned two BA degrees at the University of California, Berkeley (1963), 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.



Keach played the title role in MacBird!, an Off Broadway anti-war satire by Barbara Garson staged at the Village Gate in 1966. Then, in 1967, he was cast, again Off Broadway, in George Tabori's The Niggerlovers with Morgan Freeman in his acting debut. To this day, Freeman credits Keach with teaching him the most about acting.[3] 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.[citation needed] 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, Shakespeare Theatre Company remounted the production of King Lear at Sidney Harman Hall in Washington D.C., which won him the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor.[4][5]

He has played the title role in two separate productions of Hamlet.[6]

In 2008 and 2009, Keach played Richard M. Nixon in the U.S. traveling version of the play Frost/Nixon.[4]

On December 16, 2010, Keach began performances as patriarch Lyman Wyeth in the off-Broadway premiere of Jon Robin Baitz' acclaimed new play Other Desert Cities. The production transferred to Broadway's Booth Theatre, where it opened November 3, 2011.

Keach is a founding member of L.A. Theatre Works and had held leads in many productions with them, including 'Willy Loman' in Death of a Salesman and 'John Proctor' in The Crucible.[7]

He will be returning to Broadway on December 6, 2014 playing the role of Andrew Makepeace in the revival of Love Letters at the Brooks Atkinson Theater alongside with Diana Rigg.[8]


He played a rookie cop in The New Centurions (1972), 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 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.[4] The film became a cult favorite as a "Video nasty".

One of his most convincing screen performances was as Frank James (elder brother of Jesse) in The Long Riders (1980). 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.[citation needed]. Long Riders included brothers playing brothers and Stacey's brother James Keach played Jesse James; the Carradine and Quaid brothers also starred in the film. 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.

He had also starred in the movie Planes as Skipper Riley, the flight teacher of Dusty Crophopper. He reprised the role in Planes: Fire & Rescue.

Most recently, Keach had a significant supporting role in Alexander Payne's acclaimed comedic drama Nebraska (2013).


Keach and Tanya Roberts in Murder Me, Murder You in 1983

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. His first-ever experience as a series regular on a television program was playing the lead role of Lieutenant Ben Logan in Caribe in 1975.[9] He played Barabbas in the 1977 Jesus of Nazareth (miniseries), 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 and is best known as 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 1988, he starred as Ernest Hemingway in the made-for-tv movie "Stacy Keach as Hemmingway".[10]

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.[11]

Keach's voice is featured in The Simpsons for recurring role of Duff Brewery President, Howard K. Duff VIII. His first episode was the 12th season episode, "Hungry, Hungry Homer", in which 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 had a recurring role as Warden Henry Pope in the Fox drama Prison Break. He starred in the fourth episode of the second season in 'Batman Beyond' in the episode 'Lost Soul' as the voice of an A.I computer program that was simulated through the neural impulses of a deceased computer company CEO named Robert Vance.

In November 2013, Keach appeared on the Fox comedy series Brooklyn Nine-Nine (episode "Old School").[12]


Stacy Keach is perhaps most familiar to younger television viewers for narrating episodes of Nova, National Geographic, and various other informational series. From 1992 - 1995, he became the voice-over narrator for the paranormal series Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories. 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 plays the role of John in The Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible, a 22-hour celebrity-voiced, fully dramatized audio version of the RSV-CE New Testament translation.[13]

On January 6, 2014 Stacy became the official voice of The Opie and Anthony Channel on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Sirius Channel 206, XM Channel 103).

Personal life[edit]

Keach's star at the Orpheum Theatre, 2010

Keach was born with a cleft lip and a partial cleft of the hard palate, and he 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.[14] In the 1971 film Doc, Keach impersonated the title character, John "Doc" Holliday, whom historians specializing in the American West believe might likewise have been born with a cleft palate.

In 1984, London police arrested Keach at Heathrow Airport for carrying cocaine. Keach pleaded guilty, and served six months at Reading Prison.[15] This was during the run of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer, which Keach also narrated in character, and impressionist Rich Little had to fill in as the show's narrator during Keach's imprisonment.

Keach 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 fourth marriage. He was living near Piaseczno, in Poland, as of October of 2014.

Keach was also romantically linked to singer Judy Collins in the early 1970s. She left singer Stephen Stills for him after they appeared in the New York Shakespeare Festival production of Peer Gynt in 1969, a breakup which inspired the song “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes” on the Crosby, Stills & Nash album.

He had a mild stroke in March of 2009, from which he has made a full recovery.[6][16][17]



Joy Ride1958Wechsler
Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, TheThe Heart Is a Lonely Hunter1968Blount
Brewster McCloud1970Abraham Wright
End of the Road1970Jacob Horner
Traveling Executioner, TheThe Traveling Executioner1970Jonas Candide
Doc1971Doc Holliday
New Centurions, TheThe New Centurions1972Roy Fehler
Fat City1972Billy TullyKCFCC Award for Best Actor (tied with Marlon Brando forThe Godfather)
Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, TheThe Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean1972Original Bad Bob the Albino
Wilbur and Orville: The First to Fly1973Wilbur Wright
Luther1973Martin Luther
The Dion Brothers1974Calvin
Watched!1974Mike Mandell/Sonny
Conduct Unbecoming1975Captain Harper
Street People1976Charlie Hanson
Killer Inside Me, TheThe Killer Inside Me1976Lou Ford
Squeeze, TheThe Squeeze1977Jim Naboth
Greatest Battle, TheThe Greatest Battle1978Major Mannfred Roland
Gray Lady Down1978Capt. Bennett
Up in Smoke1978Sergeant Stedanko
Two Solitudes1978Huntley McQueen
Mountain of the Cannibal God1979Professor Edward Foster
Ninth Configuration, TheThe Ninth Configuration1980Col. Vincent Kane
Long Riders, TheThe Long Riders1980Frank James
Road Games1981Patrick Quid
Nice Dreams1981Sergeant Stedanko
Butterfly1982Jess Tyler
That Championship Season1982James Daley
False Identity1990Ben Driscoll/Harlan Errickson
Class of 19991990Dr. Bob Forest
Sunset Grill1993Harrison Shelgrove
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm1993Carl Beaumont / Voice of PhantasmVoice only
New Crime City1994Wynorski
Raw Justice1994Deputy Mayor Bob Jenkins
Escape From L.A.1996Commander Malloy
Prey of the Jaguar1996The Commander
Sea Wolf, TheThe Sea Wolf1997Captain Wolf
American History X1998Cameron Alexander
Future Fear1998General Wallace
Fear Runs Silent1999Mr. Hill
Children of the Corn 666: Isaac's Return1999Dr. Michaels
Unshackled2000Warden Kelso
Icebreaker2000Bill Foster
Militia2000George Armstrong Montgomery
Mercy Streets2000Tom
Sunstorm2001General John Parker
Birds of Passage2001Captain Savienko
When Eagles Strike2003General Thurmond
Hollow, TheThe Hollow2004Claus Van Ripper
Caught in the Headlights2004Mr. Jones
Galaxy Hunter20043V3
El Padrino: The Latin Godfather2004Governor Lancaster
Man with the Screaming Brain2005Dr. Ivanov
Keep Your Distance2005Brooks Voight
Come Early Morning2006Owen Allen
Jesus, Mary and Joey2006Jack O'Callahan
Haunted Prison2006TV film
W.2008Earle Hudd
Chicago Overcoat2009Ray Berkowski
The Boxer2009Joe
Weather Wars2011Marcus Grange
Cellmates2011Warden Merville
Jerusalem Countdown2011JacksonBased on the Novel, Jerusalem Countdown
The Bourne Legacy2012Turso
The Great Chameleon2012Max
Ooga Booga2013
Planes2013SkipperVoice only
Nebraska2013Ed Pegram
Planes: Fire & Rescue2014SkipperVoice only
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For2014Wallenquist
If I Stay2014Grandpa
Ouija2014The Creepypasta Man
Cell2015Charles Ardai


All the Kind Strangers1974Jimmy WheelerTelevision film
Caribe1975Lieutenant Ben LoganTelevision series
Dynasty1976Matt BlackwoodMini series
Jesus of Nazareth1977BarabbasMini series
Rumor of War, AA Rumor of War1980Maj. BallMini series
Blue and the Gray, TheThe Blue and the Gray1982Jonas SteeleMini series
Princess Daisy1983Prince Alexander "Stash" ValenskyMini series
Yes, Dear2000Prince Alexander "Stash" ValenskyMini series
Murder Me, Murder You1983Mike HammerTelevision film
Mistral's Daughter1984Julien MistralMini series
More Than Murder1984Mike HammerTelevision film
Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer1984–1985Mike HammerNominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama
The Return of Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer1986Mike HammerTelevision film
Intimate Strangers1986Dr. Jeff BierstonTelevision film
New Mike Hammer, TheThe New Mike Hammer1986–1987Mike HammerTelevision series
Hemingway1988Ernest HemingwayMini series
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor - Miniseries or Television Film (tied with Michael Caine for Jack the Ripper)
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor - Miniseries or a Movie
The Forgotten1989Adam RothTelevision film
Mike Hammer: Murder Takes All1989Mike HammerTelevision film
The Mysteries of the Dark Jungle1991Colonel Edward CorishantMini series
Mission of the Shark: The Saga of the U.S.S. Indianapolis1991Capt. Charles Butler McVayTelevision film
Lincoln1992George McClellan (voice only)Television film
Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories1992Narrator (voice only)Television series
Revenge on the Highway1992Claude SamsTelevision film
Rio Diablo1993KansasTelevision film
Body Bags1993Richard CobertsTelevision film
In The Heat Of The Night1993Wade HattonTelevision film
Against Their Will: Women in Prison1994Jack DevlinTelevision film
Texas1994Sam HoustonABC Television film
Young Ivanhoe1995PembrookeTelevision film
Amanda & the Alien1995Emmitt MalloryTelevision film
The Pathfinder1996Compte du LeonTelevision film
Legend of the Lost Tomb1997Dr. William BentTelevision film
Murder in My Mind1997CargillTelevision film
Mike Hammer, Private Eye1997–1998Mike HammerTelevision series
The Courage to Love2000Jean BaptisteTelevision film
Titus2000–2002Ken TitusTelevision series
Lightning: Fire from the Sky2001Bart PointdexterTelevision film
Simpsons, TheThe Simpsons2001, 2003, 2006Howard Duff (voice only)Television series
The Santa Trap2002Max HurstTelevision film
Miracle Dogs2003C.W. AldrichTelevision film
Frozen Impact2003Pete CraneTelevision film
Prison Break2005–2007Henry PopeTelevision series
George Lopez2005Blaine McNamaraTelevision series
Desolation Canyon2006Samuel KendrickTelevision film
Fatal Contact: Bird Flu in America2006Secretary Collin ReedTelevision film
Blackbeard2006Captain Benjamin HornigoldTelevision film
Death Row (a.k.a. Haunted Prison)2006John EliasTelevision film
ER2007Mike GatesTelevision series
American Greed2007Narrator (voice only)Television series
Lone Rider2008Robert HattawayTelevision film
Ring of Death2008Warden GolanTelevision film
Meteor2009Sheriff CroweTelevision film
Nanny Express, TheThe Nanny Express2009Rev. McGuinessTelevision film
Two and a Half Men2009Chelsea's fatherTelevision Series
Lights Out2011Pops LearyTelevision Series
Bored to Death2011BergeronTelevision Series
Hindenburg2011Edward van ZandtTelevision film
30 Rock2012HimselfTelevision Series
Anything For Money2012NarratorSong written to promote CNBC's series "American Greed"[18]
The Neighbors2012–2013Dominick WeaverTelevision Series
Sean Saves the World2013Lee ThompsonTelevision series
1600 Penn2013Senator Frohm ThoroughgoodTelevision series
Anger Management2013RayTelevision series


  1. ^ "Stacy Keach Biography (1941-)". Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  2. ^ mentioned in
  3. ^ "James Lipton Takes on Three".Million Dollar Baby, DVD, directed by Clint Eastwood
  4. ^ a b c Marks, Peter (June 14, 2009). "Enter the King, With New Rules". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  5. ^ "The Plays - Production Details". The Shakespeare Theatre Company. Retrieved 2009-07-16. "King Lear by William Shakespeare, directed by Robert Falls, 6/16/2009 - 7/26/2009" 
  6. ^ a b Stacy Keach Suffers Mild Stroke Los Angeles Times, March 18, 2009
  7. ^ King, Susan (2002-03-31). "Much to Do in a Few Short Radio Days". L.A. Times. Retrieved 6/12/2012.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Henderson, Kathy. "His Practical Approach: Stacy Keach's Heart is With the Stage But TV Suits His Life and Family Fine," ''Los Angeles Times'', Sunday, December 6, 1992". 1992-12-06. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 
  10. ^
  11. ^ Commentary found in Titus Season 1&2 DVD.
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Stacy Keach - Links". Retrieved 2009-07-16.
  15. ^ "Keach Appeal Rejected On Cocaine Sentence". New York Times. Associated Press. December 19, 1984. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  16. ^ "Star Keach recovering from stroke". BBC. 19 March 2009. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  17. ^ Dobuzinskis, Alex; Bob Tourtellotte and Paul Simao (March 18, 2009). "Stacy Keach had mild stroke: spokesman". Reuters. Retrieved 2009-07-16. 
  18. ^ "American Greed: "Anything For Money"". YouTube. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2013-02-22. 

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