Brian Keith

Biography

Brian Keith (November 14, 1921 – June 24, 1997) was an American stage, film and television actor. After the war, Keith became a stage actor, branching out into films and then television. A strong and capable actor, Keith spent many years playing second leads and gruff sidekicks. He won much acclaim for his starring role in Sam Peckinpah's short-lived The Westerner (1960). His biggest break, however, came in 1966 when he landed the role of "Uncle Bill" Davis on the popular television situation comedy Family Affair, a role that earned him three Emmy nominations for Best Actor. The show made him a household name. When CBS requested that he pose for Christmas publicity shots connected with Family Affair, Keith refused on the basis that this was exploitative of the holiday. He was offered the role of Deke Thornton in The Wild Bunch by Sam Peckinpah, but turned down due to his commitment on Family Affair, leading to a falling-out between the two former friends. He is also fondly remembered for his role as the father of twins in the 1961 film The Parent Trap, costarring Hayley Mills and Maureen O'Hara. His performance as Theodore Roosevelt in The Wind and the Lion (1975) is also particularly well-remembered and regarded, being considered among the best portrayals of an American president on film. Ironically, Keith would also portray Roosevelt's predecessor, William McKinley. Keith went on to star in such television series as The Brian Keith Show, Heartland, and Hardcastle and McCormick. He also starred in the six-part television series The Zoo Gang, about a group of former underground freedom fighters from World War II, as "Stephen 'The Fox' Halliday". The show also starred Sir John Mills, Lilli Palmer, and Barry Morse. Keith spoke fluent Russian, which led to his casting as a Russian in two roles: the Soviet Premier in World War III with Rock Hudson; and as a Soviet scientist in Meteor with Natalie Wood. In The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, where he played the unexcitable police chief of an island where a Soviet submarine runs aground, however, his character had to have Russian translated to him by Alan Arkin's character. In his last film, Keith played President William McKinley in Rough Riders (1997). Director John Milius dedicated Rough Riders to "Brian Keith, Actor, Marine, Raconteur." On June 26, 2008, the Hollywood Walk of Fame installed a star in Brian Keith's honor on the world famous sidewalk in California.

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Known For
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The Parent Trap

Mitch Evers

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The Rare Breed

Bowen

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Sharky's Machine

Papa

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The Mountain Men

Henry Frapp

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The Deadly Companions

Yellowleg

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The Mckenzie Break

Capt. Jack Connor

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Hooper

Jocko Doyle

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Nevada Smith

Jonas Cord

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Krakatoa: East of Java

Connerly

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Nightfall

John - a gangster on the loose

Starring In
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Beware of the Klowns

Danny Jabber

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That Evening Sun

Deputy Keith

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The Second Civil War

Maj. Gen. Charles Buford

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Rough Riders

President William McKinley

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Entertaining Angels: The Dorothy Day Story

Cardinal

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Auf der Spur des großen Bären

Narrator (voice)

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National Lampoon's Favorite Deadly Sins

'Noble Hart' / Himself

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Wind Dancer

Truman Richards

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The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw

The Westerner

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Lady in the Corner

David Henderson

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Welcome Home

Harry Robins

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Young Guns

Buckshot Roberts

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Death Before Dishonor

Col. Halloran

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The Alamo: Thirteen Days to Glory

Col. Davy Crockett

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Cry for the Strangers

Chief Whalen

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Sharky's Machine

Papa

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Charlie Chan and The Curse of the Dragon Queen

Police Chief Baxter

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The Mountain Men

Henry Frapp

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Meteor

Dr. Dubov

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Moonraker

U.S. Shuttle Captain

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Hooper

Jocko Doyle

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Nickelodeon

H.H. Cobb

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The Wind and the Lion

Theodore Roosevelt

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The Yakuza

George Tanner

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Hot Lead

Johnny Wade (archive footage)

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Scandalous John

John McCanless

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The Mckenzie Break

Capt. Jack Connor

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Suppose They Gave a War and Nobody Came?

Officer Michael M. Nace

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Krakatoa: East of Java

Connerly

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With Six You Get Eggroll

Jake Iverson

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Reflections in a Golden Eye

Lt. Col. Morris Langdon

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The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming

Police Chief Link Mattocks

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Nevada Smith

Jonas Cord

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The Rare Breed

Bowen

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Way... Way Out

Gen. 'Howling Bull' Hallenby

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The Hallelujah Trail

Frank Wallingham

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Those Calloways

Cam Calloway

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A Tiger Walks

Sheriff Pete Williams

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Savage Sam

Uncle Beck Coates

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Moon Pilot

Maj. Gen. John M. Vanneman

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The Parent Trap

Mitch Evers

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The Deadly Companions

Yellowleg

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Ten Who Dared

William 'Bill' Dunn

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The Young Philadelphians

Mike Flanagan

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Fort Dobbs

Clett

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Violent Road

Mitch Barton

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Nightfall

John - a gangster on the loose

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Crimen, S.A.

Dist. Atty. Jim Fremont

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Run of the Arrow

Capt. Clark

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Hell Canyon Outlaws

Happy Waters

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Storm Center

Paul Duncan

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Tight Spot

Vince Striker

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The Violent Men

Cole Wilkison

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5 Against the House

Brick

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Jivaro

Tony

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The Bamboo Prison

Cpl. Brady

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Alaska Seas

Jim Kimmerly

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Arrowhead

Capt. Bill North

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Tales of Tomorrow, Collection 3

Peters / ... (3 episodes, 1952)

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Fourteen Hours

Extra (uncredited)

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Portrait of Jennie

Ice-skating extra (uncredited)

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Boomerang!

Man in Mob Behind Courthouse (uncredited)

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Knute Rockne All American

Student at Train Station (uncredited)

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