Happy Birthday Michael Keaton!
Happy Birthday Michael Keaton! The eccentric, Golden Globe-winning actor turns 64 years young today. Over the years he's amassed an impressive resume on the big screen, appearing in more than 40 films since breaking into the business with bit parts in number of TV shows including "Mr. Rogers Neighborhood," "Maude" and "The Mary Tyler Moore Hour."
Born Michael John Douglas, he decided on a name change to avoid any confusion between himself and fellow actor Michael Douglas, who was very popular at the time. A lot has changed since those days for the Coraopolis, Pennsylvania native, who has carved out quite a niche for himself in Hollywood, while giving some of the quirkiest, craziest, performances that have always entertained us.
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And, with his recent return to the spotlight in the critically acclaimed Oscar-winning film Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), he's showed no signs of slowing down anytime soon. In celebration of his big day, DoYouRemember looks back at some of our favorite Michael Keaton from yesteryear.
Mr. Mom (1983)
Keaton shines in his role as recently laid-off automobile engineer Jack Butler, who is forced into diaper duty as a stay-at-home-dad when his wife Caroline (Teri Garr) lands a job and starts bringing home the bacon. Initially he struggles to adapt to his new responsibilities but eventually finds his balance, while resisting the advances of Joan (Ann Jillian), the desperately horny housewife next door.
Johnny Dangerously (1984)
Keaton plays Johnny Kelly, a good Irish boy turned gangster in order to help cover the costs of his neurotic mother's medical expenses. He rises quickly through the ranks to become the leader of the Dundee crime mob, engaging in a war with the Moronie gang, while keeping his criminal enterprise ties secret from his mother and brother, who, happens to be the District Attorney. Anyone who didn't enjoy this one is probably just one big "fargin icehole bastage."
One of the most beloved, bizarre characters from the mind of director Tim Burton, Keaton's portrayal of the creepy, arrogant bio-exorcist ghost Betelgeuse, who is summoned by a recently deceased couple to rid their home of its new, living inhabitants was ghoulishly good. An instant cult classic, this dark comedy dealt with life after death, death after death and featured one of the most hilarious dinner table lip-sync-a-longs ever seen. There is reportedly a sequel in the works.
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Before Christian Bale, Val Kilmer and George Clooney, and a few decades after Adam West TV incarnation, Michael Keaton hooked up once again with Tim Burton, this time to bring the Dark Knight to the big screen in Batman. Diehard fans and comic book geeks were originally skeptical that he could pull it off, but Keaton's cool as a cucumber portrayal of the suave, billionaire, caped crusader proved he had the chops to hold his own in the role. And that was most certainly no easy task considering Jack Nicolson's unforgettable performance as the Joker, which could've easily made him an afterthought.
Pacific Heights (1990)
When yuppie lovebirds Drake Palmer (Matthew Modine) and Pattie Palmer (Melanie Griffith) buy a home in a well-off San Francisco neighborhood, their plan is to fix up the property and rent out a portion of it for some extra cash. Unfortunately, they get way more than they bargained for when tenant-from-hell Carter Hayes (Keaton) moves in and decides that he's not particularly interested in honoring the terms of his lease, paying rent, or allowing them to keep possession of the place. This film certainly didn't break any new ground, but it allowed Keaton to explore his sinister, darker side, which proved just how well rounded an actor he really is.
Proving too much Keaton is never a bad thing, the actor got a chance to tackle multiple roles (and personalities) in the underrated comedy about blue-collar, construction working husband/father Doug Kinney, who struggles to find time to balance his busy work schedule with spending time with his wife and daughter. After being presented with a unique solution to his problem, which involves a scientist cloning him, Doug embraces the idea, giving him some much-needed time for the important things in life, like his golf game. Unfortunately for him, chaos soon ensues when the clones, each complete with their own unique personality, begin to multiply leaving original Doug feeling squeezed out at his place of work and his bed.
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