Michael Keaton - Biography
When he's not filming or collecting awards, Michael Keaton can be found fly fishing or hunting on his 1500-acre ranch in Montana.
Despite being one of the biggest stars of his generations, the actor doesn't feel the need to be in the limelight constantly. In fact, he's been known to take as long as five years between lead roles.
His supreme self-confidence comes from growing up the youngest in a family of seven. As he explained at the 2015 Golden Globes where he won best actor for Birdman, in this household "the themes were pretty simple".
"Work hard, don't quit, be appreciative, be thankful, be grateful, be respectful," he added. "Also don't whine ever. Don't complain and always, for crying out loud, keep a sense of humour."
That mischievous wit is in evidence when he explains why he never used his birth name, Michael Douglas, in his professional life.
He once told Michael Parkinson that by the time he went pro the name Michael Douglas had already been registered with Equity twice over. "One of them I hear is doing quite well, and the other is making cheap porn movies," he said. "Like Basic Instinct."
Michael was born on 5 September, 1951. He attended Kent State University studying speech and drama, before dropping out to a variety of jobs: cab driving, construction work, TV cameraman and stand up comic.
His big break came when he was cast in zany 1982 comedy Night Shift as a morgue attendant, who starts a prostitution ring. He stole the limelight from his then better known co-star Henry Winkler of Happy Days fame.
Other roles followed such as Mr Mom,Clean and Sober, about a drug-addicted businessman and Beetlejuice directed by Tim Burton.
In 1989, his career was boosted by another Burton picture Batman. Fans wrote in to Warner Bros studio in their droves to complain – 50,000 at one count – at his casting because he wasn't a typical musclebound hero. But the finished product surpassed expectation, earning $400 million at the box office.
The director never had any doubts that he'd picked the right lead because of Michael's eyes. “They’re piercing, they’re penetrating, they’re crazy, " he explains. "He’s got a lot of things going on in his eyes at one time.”
He starred in the sequel before hanging up his cape for good.
While not particularly secretive, the star cherishes his privacy. However, he is quite happy to talk about his pride in his son, Sean, a songwriter, who is from his marriage in the Eighties to actress Caroline McWilliams. From 1989 to 1995, Michael also dated Courteney Cox.