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Veteran actor Michael Keaton has been a member of the entertainment industry since the 1970s, most recently garnering global attention for his 2015 Oscar-nominated leading performance in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu‘s Birdman.
But beyond his recognition as Jack in 1983’s Mr. Mom, Bruce Wayne in 1989’s Batman or Betelgeuse in 1988’s Beetlejuice, The Hollywood Reporter looks at five facts you probably didn’t know about Keaton.
Real Name: Michael Douglas
Michael Keaton was born Michael John Douglas in Coraopolis, Penn. and has six siblings: three brothers and three sisters. He opted to change his last name to Keaton (not because he liked Diane Keaton‘s last name, despite rumors) because there were two other actors with his birth name: “Yeah, I had to change my name because there were two other actors registered at Equity with that name. One of them is doing quite well from what I understand, the other is making cheap porn movies,” he said, according to the Golden Globes website.
Doesn’t Get Drunk
Though he enjoys a good time, the actor admitted that he doesn’t get drunk. “I don’t get drunk. It’s not that I don’t have a drink now and again, but I’ve had my days. I’ll tell you, though, when I did it was always fun,” he said in an interview with Empire Magazine. When asked what he would like to have written on his tombstone, he replied: “He was always a good time.”
Keaton owns a ranch in Montana and spends portions of his summers visiting his land and fly-fishing the local streams, a hobby he picked up around the age of 25.
“My favorite fishing is this: Your day’s kind of complete. You did everything you had to get done and you’ve got about an hour left of, it’s dusk. You walk and say, ‘I’m going to take a walk down to the creek.’ You grab your rods, just take a walk down. You look. There might be a hatch. You catch one nice fish and go home,” he told fly-fishing website MidCurrent.com. “What an unbelievable luxury I have that I can even think about doing that. Go down and catch a wild trout out of a stream in the evening? I mean, come on, that’s like a little kid’s dream.”
His Self-Admitted “Unpredictability” Is Hard to Live With
When asked by Elle what the hardest thing about living with him is, he said “Unpredictability … Unpredictability means what it means. I don’t know how you define it. It is what it is.” He continued, “If I knew what it was, I guess that would mean I wasn’t actually unpredictable.”
Worked on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood
Before becoming a household name and scoring an Oscar nomination, one of Keaton’s early career steps was working on Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. “Back in the late 1970s when I still lived in my hometown of Pittsburgh, Penn., I worked for a couple of years at WQED, the public television station there. I was on the floor crew for a lot of shows, including Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood,” Keaton said in a special interview about the late TV host. “I was even on the program a couple of times, but that was back when I was a serious actor,” he said sarcastically.
“Yes, I knew Fred Rogers and I worked with Fred Rogers and he was essentially the same guy off camera as he was on camera,” Keaton said.
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