Michael Keenan, 'Picket Fences' Actor and Longtime USC Professor, Dies at 80

Michael Keenan OBIT - Publicity - H 2020
Courtesy of Keenan Family

He played Mayor Pugen on the 1990s series and appeared in a revival of 'Amadeus' on Broadway.

Michael Keenan, who portrayed Mayor Bill Pugen on the 1990s CBS series Picket Fences and taught acting and directing at USC for more than 25 years, has died. He was 80.

Keenan died Thursday at the Motion Picture & Television Fund Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, his family announced. 

Keenan also appeared in 1999-2000 as Baron van Swieten in Peter Hall's Tony-nominated revival of Amadeus on Broadway and showed up on episodes of Quincy M.E.WKRP in CincinnatiHill Street BluesCheersDallas and the Star Trek series The Next GenerationVoyager and Deep Space Nine.

Born on Dec. 12, 1939, in Los Angeles and raised in Pasadena, Keenan got his first taste of the arts as a boy chorister with the San Francisco Opera in 1951. He graduated from Loyola High School and then earned a bachelor's degree from Santa Clara University. 

Keenan appeared in more than 100 productions for the likes of South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, the San Diego Shakespeare Festival, the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum and directed for the Old Globe Theatre, the Pasadena Playhouse, the Asolo State Theatre, Occidental College and the Tiffany Theater. 

At the USC School of Dramatic Arts, he helmed his first play in 1987 and continued to direct at least one stage production a year through 2015. 

Survivors include his sisters-in-law Diana, Sally and Jan and their children Kathleen, Paul, Kevin Keenan, Colleen, Margaret, Jeffry, Eileen and Elizabeth.

A memorial celebration of his life will be held at a future date. Those wishing to share remembrances and regards or to receive information on the celebration on his life may send them to his family at MichaelKeenanRBBH@gmail.com.