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Brian Keith

Brian Keith

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Also Known As: Robert Brian Keith Jr. Died: June 24, 1997
Born: November 14, 1921 Cause of Death: self-inflicted gunshot wound
Birth Place: Bayonne, New Jersey, USA Profession: actor

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A handsome, burly character actor with a distinctive, gruff voice, Brian Keith established a reputation early in his career with tough guy roles. He was so effective at playing various shady types in Westerns and crime thrillers, it was to his credit as a performer that he was also able to portray characters of warmth and humor with equal aplomb. After some stage work, Keith earned secondary assignments in genre pictures as either he-men or villains, but leading roles would come mostly later in his career when he was hired by the Walt Disney Company. After the huge success of "The Parent Trap" (1961) helped to give him a softer image, Keith was cast on "Family Affair" (CBS, 1966-71) as a bachelor forced by circumstance to take care of a teenager and a pair of young children. While it generally did not offer him many challenges, Keith projected warmth and approachability on the series and "Uncle Bill" was one of his best loved characters. The actor claimed that he did not have any particular goal in mind for his career and accepted what was available to him. Nonetheless, Keith was offered a good variety of parts over his career and made an impression whether he was playing a loving parental figure or...

A handsome, burly character actor with a distinctive, gruff voice, Brian Keith established a reputation early in his career with tough guy roles. He was so effective at playing various shady types in Westerns and crime thrillers, it was to his credit as a performer that he was also able to portray characters of warmth and humor with equal aplomb. After some stage work, Keith earned secondary assignments in genre pictures as either he-men or villains, but leading roles would come mostly later in his career when he was hired by the Walt Disney Company. After the huge success of "The Parent Trap" (1961) helped to give him a softer image, Keith was cast on "Family Affair" (CBS, 1966-71) as a bachelor forced by circumstance to take care of a teenager and a pair of young children. While it generally did not offer him many challenges, Keith projected warmth and approachability on the series and "Uncle Bill" was one of his best loved characters. The actor claimed that he did not have any particular goal in mind for his career and accepted what was available to him. Nonetheless, Keith was offered a good variety of parts over his career and made an impression whether he was playing a loving parental figure or essaying colorful characters in fare like "The Russians are Coming! The Russians are Coming!" (1966) and "The Wind and the Lion" (1975).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Second Civil War, The (1997) General Buford
3.
 National Lampoon's Favorite Deadly Sins (1995) Noble Hart ("Greed")
4.
 Return of Hunter, The (1995) Pete Morgan
5.
 Wind Dancer (1993) Truman Richards
6.
 Lady in a Corner (1989) David Henderson
7.
 Perry Mason: The Case of the Lethal Lesson (1989) Frank Wellman Sr
8.
 Welcome Home (1989) Harry
9.
 After the Rain (1988) Byron Monroe
10.
 Young Guns (1988) Buckshot Roberts
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Appeared in three silent films as a child actor including "The Pied Piper of Malone" (1925)
1942:
Was aerial gunner in the Marine Corps.
1946:
Made stage debut, "Heyday", in New Haven, CT
1948:
Made Broadway debut, "Mister Roberts"
1953:
Made feature film debut as adult, "Arrowhead"
:
Starred on TV as "The Crusader" (CBS)
1959:
Played Mike Flanagan in feature "The Young Philadelphians"
1960:
Starred on NBC in "The Westerner" series
:
Played 'Uncle Bill' to Cissy, Buffy and Jody on "Family Affair" (CBS)
:
Played a pediatrician on "The Little People/The Brian Keith Show" (NBC)
1972:
Made TV-movie debut in "Second Chance" (ABC)
1975:
Returned to series TV in "Archer" (NBC)
1975:
Played Theodore Roosevelt in the feature "The Wind and the Lion"
1977:
Played General Stonecipher in the ABC miniseries "How the West Was Won"
1978:
Returned to Broadway in the title role of "Da"
1980:
Played Mauritz Stiller in "Moviola: The Silent Lovers" (NBC)
:
Was macho Judge Hardcastle on "Hardcastle & McCormick" (ABC)
1987:
Returned to sitcoms on "Pursuit of Happiness" (ABC)
1989:
Played a lovable bigot on "Heartland" (CBS)
:
Played a grandpa hubby to Cloris Leachman on "Walter & Emily" (NBC)
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Keith's Honolulu-based company, Miguel Productions, is not just involved in TV production, but has extensive real estate, mineral and agricultural holdings as well.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Victoria Lei Aloha Young. Artist. Married 1968; survived him.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Keith. Actor, playwright.
mother:
Helena Keith. Actor.
son:
Michael Keith.
daughter:
Mimi Keith.
son:
Robert Keith.
daughter:
Daisy Keith. Born c. 1969; shot herself on April 16, 1997 and died April 17, 1997.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

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