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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:||Cast ... actor|
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).
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