31 Mar Stacy Keach ~ Versatile Voice
Walter Stacy Keach Jr. (born June 2, 1941) is an American actor and narrator. Keach was born with a cleft lip and a partial cleft of the hard palate, and he underwent numerous operations as a child. Throughout his life he has usually worn a mustache to hide the scars. He is now the honorary chairman of the Cleft Palate Foundation, and advocates for insurance coverage for surgeries.
In 1984, police in London arrested Keach at Heathrow Airport for importation of cocaine. Keach pleaded guilty, and served six months at Reading Prison. Keach stated that his time in prison, was the lowest point of his life, and the friendship he formed with a priest during that time led to his conversion to Roman Catholicism.
He has played mainly dramatic roles throughout his career, often in law enforcement or as a private detective. His most prominent role was as Mickey Spillane‘s fictional detective Mike Hammer, which he played in numerous stand-alone television films and at least three television series throughout the 1980s and 1990s. The role earned him a Golden Globe Award nomination in 1984.
He has appeared as the lead in films such as Fat City and The Ninth Configuration. He has also performed as a narrator for programs including CNBC’S American Greed (2008–present) and various educational television programs. Comedic roles include Ken, the father of comedian Christopher Titus in the FOX sitcom Titus (2000–2002), and as Sergeant Stedenko in Cheech & Chong‘s films Up in Smoke (1978) and Nice Dreams (1981). Keach won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for the television miniseries Hemingway (1988). He is an inductee of the Theatre Hall of Fame and was honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019.
Keach was born in Savannah, Georgia, to Mary Cain (née Peckham), an actress, and Stacy Keach Sr., a theatre director, drama teacher, and actor with dozens of television and theatrical film credits billed as Stacy Keach. His brother James is an actor and television director. Keach graduated from Van Nuys High School in June 1959, where he was class president, then earned two BA degrees at the University of California, Berkeley (1963): one in English, the other in Dramatic Art. He earned a Master of Fine Arts at the Yale School of Drama in 1966 and was a Fulbright Scholar at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Stacy Keach narrated several episodes of Nova, National Geographic, and various other informational series. From 1989-92, he was host of the syndicated informational reenactment show, Missing Reward, which had a similar format to the popular Unsolved Mysteries at the time. From 1992-95, he became the voice-over narrator for the paranormal series Haunted Lives: True Ghost Stories.
Beginning in 1999, he served as the narrator for the home video clip show World’s Most Amazing Videos, which is now seen on Spike TV. He currently hosts The Twilight Zone radio series. Keach can also be heard narrating the CNBC series American Greed. For the PBS series American Experience, he narrated The Kennedys, among others.
In 2008, Keach once again reprised his famous role as Mike Hammer in a series of full-cast radio dramatisations for Blackstone Audio. (He also arranged and performed the music for the audio dramas. His wife, Malgosia Tomassi also starred in the dramas playing Maya Ricci, a yoga instructor.) Keach has also read many of Mickey Spillane‘s original Mike Hammer novels as Audiobooks.
Keach played the role of John in The Truth & Life Dramatized Audio Bible, a 22-hour audio version of the RSV-CE translation of the New Testament. He also voiced both Job and Paul the Apostle in The Word of Promise, a 2007 dramatic audio presentation based on the New King James Version.
On January 6, 2014, Keach became the official voice of The Opie and Anthony Channel on SiriusXM Satellite Radio (Sirius Channel 206, XM Channel 103). Keach is the narrator of CNBC’s American Greed, completing 15 seasons in 2022.
Keach is an accomplished pianist and composer. He sang backing vocals on the Judy Collins hit song “Amazing Grace“. He is also credited with co-writing a song, “Easy Times”, on the Judy Collins live album Living. He provided music for the film Imbued, directed by Rob Nilssen. He has also completed composing the music for the Mike Hammer audio radio series, “Encore For Murder”, written by Max Collins, directed by Carl Amari, and produced by Blackstone Audio.
Keach first appeared on Broadway in 1969 as Buffalo Bill in Indians by Arthur Kopit. Early in his career, he was credited as Stacy Keach, Jr. to distinguish himself from his father. He worked extensively in the theatre through 2018.
Keach was scheduled to play Ernest Hemingway in Jim McGrath’s one-man play Pamplona at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago from May 30 to June 25, 2017. Keach appeared in previews of Pamplona, May 19 through May 28, and was well-received by audiences. On opening night, he suffered a mild heart attack on stage and the next day, Keach had bypass surgery. On June 2, the Goodman Theatre announced that the entire run would be canceled after Keach’s doctors advised a period of rest and recuperation.
Keach returned to the role at The Goodman one year later, July 10, 2018 through August 18, 2018. Keach said it would fulfill an obligation “to the play, to the city and to myself”.
Keach played a rookie policeman in The New Centurions (1972), opposite George C. Scott. That year he also starred in Fat City, a boxing film directed by John Huston. He was the first choice for the role of Damien Karras in the 1973 movie The Exorcist, but he did not accept the role. He went on to play Kane in the 1980 movie The Ninth Configuration, written and directed by Exorcist author William Peter Blatty; this role was itself intended for Nicol Williamson.
He portrayed a white supremacist in American History X, alongside Edward Norton and Edward Furlong. In Oliver Stone‘s 2008 biographical film W., Keach portrays a Texas preacher whose spiritual guidance begins with George W. Bush‘s AA experience, but extends long thereafter.
In 2012, Keach had a supporting role in The Bourne Legacy, and in the 2013 Alexander Payne film Nebraska. In the 2017 film Gotti, Keach played the part of Neil Dellacroce, the underboss of the Gambino crime family.
Keach’s first-ever experience as a series regular on a television program was playing the lead role of Lieutenant Ben Logan in Caribe in 1975. He played Barabbas in 1977’s Jesus of Nazareth, and portrayed Jonas Steele, a psychic and Scout of the United States Army in the 1982 CBS miniseries, The Blue and the Gray. He later portrayed and is best known as Mike Hammer in the CBS television series Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer and The New Mike Hammer from 1984 to 1987. He returned to the role of Hammer in Mike Hammer, Private Eye, a new syndicated series that aired from 1997 to 1998. In 1988, he starred as Ernest Hemingway in the made-for-TV movie Hemingway.
Keach has been married four times: to Kathryn Baker in 1964, to Marilyn Aiken in 1975, to Jill Donahue in 1981, and to Małgosia Tomassi, of Polish descent, in 1986. He has two children with Małgosia: son Shannon and daughter Karolina. In 2015, Keach became a Polish citizen. Subsequently, he and his wife met Pope John Paul II. His wife, Małgosia Tomassi, had attended the same school in Warsaw as the pope.
Net worth approximately $8 million
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