Harvey Keitel (// ky-TEL; born May 13, 1939) is an American actor, known for his portrayal of morally ambiguous and "tough guy" characters. He first rose to prominence during the New Hollywood movement, and has held a long-running association with director Martin Scorsese, starring in six of his films since 1973.
|Partner(s)||Lorraine Bracco (1982–1993)|
|Allegiance||United States of America|
|Service/||United States Marine Corps|
Keitel has played in such films as Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Blue Collar (1978), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Thelma & Louise (1991), Bugsy (1991), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Bad Lieutenant (1992), The Piano (1993), Pulp Fiction (1994), From Dusk till Dawn (1996), Cop Land (1997), Red Dragon (2002), National Treasure (2004), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Youth (2015), and The Irishman (2019). He has been nominated for a number of accolades, including Academy and Golden Globe nominations for Bugsy (1991), and won an AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Piano (1993).
Keitel was born in New York City, on May 13, 1939, the son of Ashkenazi Jewish immigrants; his mother, Miriam (née Klein), was from Romania, and his father, Harry Keitel, was from Poland. His parents owned and ran a luncheonette, while his father worked as a hat maker. He grew up in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn, with his sister, Renee, and brother, Jerry. He attended Abraham Lincoln High School. He enlisted in the Marines at the age of 16, a decision that took him to Lebanon during Operation Blue Bat. After his return, he worked as a court stenographer for several years before beginning his acting career.
Keitel studied under both Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg and at the HB Studio, eventually landing roles in some Off-Broadway productions. During this time, Keitel auditioned for filmmaker Martin Scorsese and gained a starring role as "J.R.", in Scorsese's first feature film, Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967). Since then, Scorsese and Keitel have worked together on several projects. Keitel had the starring role in Scorsese's Mean Streets, which also proved to be Robert De Niro's breakthrough film. Keitel re-teamed with Scorsese for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), in which he had a villainous supporting role, and appeared with Robert De Niro again in Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), playing the role of Jodie Foster's character's pimp.
In 1977 and 1978, Keitel starred in the directorial debuts of Paul Schrader (Blue Collar, co-starring Richard Pryor and Yaphet Kotto), Ridley Scott (The Duellists, co-starring Keith Carradine), and James Toback (Fingers, in which Keitel played a street hood with aspirations of being a pianist – a role Toback wrote for Robert De Niro to play).
Cast as Captain Willard in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979), Keitel was involved with the first week of principal photography in the Philippines. Coppola was not happy with Keitel's take on Willard, stating that the actor "found it difficult to play him as a passive onlooker". After viewing the first week's footage, Coppola replaced Keitel with a casting session favorite, Martin Sheen.
Keitel drifted into obscurity through most of the 1980s. He continued to do work on both stage and screen, but usually in the stereotypical role of a thug. Keitel played a corrupt police officer in the 1983 thriller Copkiller (co-starring musician John Lydon), before taking a supporting role in the romantic drama Falling in Love (1984), starring Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep. Between 1985 and 1988, he was one of the busiest character actors around, appearing in 16 films and telefilms, including Brian De Palma's mobster comedy Wise Guys (1986), starring Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo, and as Judas in Martin Scorsese's controversial The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).
He co-starred with Jack Nicholson in the Chinatown sequel The Two Jakes (1990), directed by Jack Nicholson. Ridley Scott cast Keitel as the sympathetic policeman in Thelma & Louise in 1991; that same year, Keitel landed a role in Barry Levinson's Bugsy, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The following year, Keitel played another mobster in the Whoopi Goldberg-starring comedy Sister Act.
Keitel starred in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (which he co-produced) in 1992, where his performance as "Mr. White" took his career to a different level. Since then, Keitel has chosen his roles with care, seeking to change his image and show a broader acting range. One of those roles was the title character in Bad Lieutenant, about a self-loathing, drug-addicted police lieutenant trying to redeem himself. He co-starred in the Jane Campion film The Piano in 1993, and played Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, an apparent reprise of his Victor the Cleaner character from 1993's Point of No Return. Keitel starred as a police detective in Spike Lee's Clockers (an adaptation of Richard Price's novel, co-produced by Martin Scorsese). In 1996, Keitel had a major role in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's film From Dusk till Dawn, and in 1997, he starred in the crime drama Cop Land, which also starred Sylvester Stallone, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro.
His later roles include the fatherly Satan in Little Nicky, a wise Navy man in U-571, diligent FBI Special agent Sadusky in National Treasure and the latter's sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets. In 1999, Keitel was replaced by Sydney Pollack on the set of Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, due to shooting conflicts, and appeared in Tony Bui's award-winning directorial debut, Three Seasons (which Keitel also executive produced). Keitel also re-teamed with Jane Campion for Holy Smoke! (co-starring Kate Winslet).
In 2002, at the 24th Moscow International Film Festival, Keitel was honored with the Stanislavsky Award for his outstanding achievement in the career of acting and devotion to the principles of Stanislavsky's school.
He also appeared in the Steinlager Pure commercials in New Zealand in 2007. Unlike many American male actors, Keitel has appeared nude in several films, including full frontal nudity in Bad Lieutenant and The Piano.
In January 2008, Keitel played Jerry Springer in the New York City premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall. In 2008, Keitel was cast in the role of Detective Gene Hunt in ABC's short-lived US remake of the successful British time-travel police drama series Life on Mars.
Keitel was in a long-term relationship with American actress Lorraine Bracco from 1982 to 1993, but the relationship ended acrimoniously and included a prolonged custody battle over their daughter, Stella (born 1985). He married Canadian actress Daphna Kastner in 2001. He had two more children after Stella: a son from his relationship with Lisa Karmazin, and a son from his marriage to Kastner.
Keitel is an honorary citizen of Romania.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|1966||Hogan's Heroes||German Soldier||Uncredited|
Episode: "The Great Impersonation"
|1966||Dark Shadows||Blue Whale customer||Uncredited|
|1968||N.Y.P.D.||Ramby||Episode: "Case of the Shady Lady"|
|1971||Great Performances||Jerry||Episode: "A Memory of Two Mondays"|
|1973||Kojak||Jerry Talaba||Episode: "Siege of Terror"|
|1974||The F.B.I.||Ernie||Episode: "Deadly Ambition"|
|1974||A Memory of Two Mondays||Jerry||Television film|
|1984||La bella Otero||Ernest Jurgens||Television film|
|1985||Amazing Stories||Byron Sullivan||Episode: "Vanessa in the Garden"|
|1986||The Ellen Burstyn Show||Frank Tanner||Episode: "Reading Between the Lines"|
|1988||The Play on One||Carl||Episode: "Down Where the Buffalo Go"|
|1989||This Ain't Bebop||Television short|
|2000||Fail Safe||Brigadier General Warren A. Black||Television film|
|2002||Saturday Night Live||Siegfried||Episode: "Robert De Niro/Norah Jones"|
|2006||The Path to 9/11||John O'Neill||2 episodes|
|2008–2009||Life on Mars (U.S.)||Lieutenant Gene Hunt||17 episodes|
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Supporting Actor – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|2012||Fatal Honeymoon||Tommy Thomas||Television film|
|2016||Inside Amy Schumer||Proposition Man||Episode: "Fame"|
- Wartofsky, Alona (September 13, 1995). "DARK SIDE OF THE ACTOR HARVEY KEITEL, PLUMBING THE DEPTHS OF THE SOUL". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
- "Harvey Keitel on his uneasy relationship with Hollywood". www.cbsnews.com. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
- "Harvey Keitel". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 27, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- "AFI Past Winners - 1993 Winners & Nominees". AFI-AACTA. Archived from the original on October 27, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
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- Inside the Actors Studio. The Actors Studio, Bravo Network, Betelgeuse Productions. 1998. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
- HB Studio Alumni
- Cowie, Peter (1990). Coppola: A Biography. New York: Scribner. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-6841-9193-5.
- Cohn, Lawrence (October 5, 1988). "Acting Jobs Steadiest Since Studio Era". Variety. p. 1.
- "24th Moscow International Film Festival (2002)". MIFF. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
- Mitovich, Matt (July 24, 2008). "Scoop! Keitel Lands on Mars as Homicide Boss". TV Guide. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
- Dolan, Jon (December 13, 2013). "'Beyonce' Breakdown: The Ultimate Guide to Bey's Surprise New Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- De Coster, Ramzi (October 17, 2013). "Monterey Media Acquires Three Films, Including Works Starring Gerard Depardieu and Harvey Keitel". IndieWire. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
- Brownsell, Alex (August 29, 2014). "Direct Line challenges rivals with Harvey Keitel 'fixer' ads". Campaign. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- "Meet Winston Wolfe". directline.com. August 30, 2014. Archived from the original on December 30, 2020. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
- Plunkett, Paul (October 21, 2021). "Newport Beach Film Festival Returns Live with Events and Honorees Including Harvey Keitel and Regina Hall". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
- Lombardi, John (January 12, 1998). "Scenes From a Bad Movie Marriage". New York.
- "Scenes from a Bad Barriage". The Independent. London. March 7, 1998. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
- Pinto, Goel (October 7, 2001). "American-Jewish Actor Harvey Keitel Gets Married in Jerusalem". Haaretz. Tel Aviv. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
- "DISTINCȚIE – Actorul american Harvey Keitel a venit în Leordina pentru a primi titlul de cetățean de onoare al comunei maramureșene" [DISTINCTION - American actor Harvey Keitel came to Leordina to receive the title of honorary citizen of Maramures commune]. News from Maramureș (in Romanian). July 7, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
- "'By The Gun': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. December 5, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
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