Happy birthday to Michael Keaton, comedy genius and Dark Knight. Keaton was born Michael John Douglas on September 5, 1951. He adopted his better known stage name, Keaton, to avoid confusion with actor Michael Douglas, and because he was a fan of the comedy of Buster Keaton. Keaton turned up in various shows throughout the 1970s, such as Maude, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show. After a brief stint in a short-lived comedy series called Working Stiffs alongside Jim Belushi, Keaton was chosen for his comedic talent to co-star along with Henry Winkler in the Ron Howard-helmed film Night Shift, a dark comedy about two morgue attendants, which led to widely acclaimed roles in Johnny Dangerously, Mr. Mom, and Gung Ho.
But it would be his role as the title character in Tim Burton’s 1988 horror-comedy Beetlejuice that would rocket him to the midst of Hollywood’s A-list. One year later, Tim Burton would approach Keaton again, this time to take the lead in Burton’s Batman, the first time anyone had seen the character since the Adam West days, and again in the sequel Batman Returns.
Having achieved popularity, the multi-talented Keaton stayed busy throughout the ’90s, in such notable films as Pacific Heights, One Good Cop, and the modern re-telling of the Shakespearean comedy Much Ado About Nothing. Nothing after Batman, however, would allow him to re-claim that kind of success, until he was cast as Chick Hicks in Disney/Pixar’s Cars in 2000.
In 2010, Keaton voiced the character of Ken in Toy Story 3, and expressed an interest in doing a sequel to Beetlejuice, said by Keaton to be his favorite film. And in 2014, Keaton added to his superhero film resume with his role in the remake of Robocop, and his upcoming project titled Birdman, in which, oddly enough, he portrays an actor famous for portraying an iconic superhero who puts on a Broadway play to regain his former glory. Keaton will star alongside Emma Stone and Zach Galifianakis.
Krypton Radio would like to wish a very happy birthday to the uber-talented Mr. Michael Keaton with many more to follow.