Stacy Keach (Jr.) was born in Savannah, Georgia on June 2, 1941. His parents tell the story that the night he was born there was a fire at their small house due to the fact that lightning hit the chimney and it caught on fire. Stacy’s parents (who celebrate their 63rd wedding anniversary this year) have often referred to that moment as “a sign of someone special coming into the world”. The question is, was this a good sign or a bad sign. Ask Stacy’s folks and they’ll tell you it was good, except for the fact that Dad had to rush back to the house to let the firemen in while Mom was having the baby, and Dad later discovered that his fire insurance didn’t quite cover the damages.
Keach Sr. was teaching Drama at the time at Armstrong Junior College, and was making a modest salary, but he really wanted to try his luck in Hollywood.
Soon afterwards, dad was called out to the Pasadena Playhouse to join the company as both an actor and a director. So, in the early days of 1942, Mary and Stacy Sr. put their young son, Stacy, in the back of their Nash rambler and headed for Pasadena, California.
Stacy Keach, Sr., has been a successful actor, producer, writer and director for over fifty years. He created, produced and directed the legendary “Tales of the Texas Rangers” for NBC Radio in the early 1950’s. The show still airs on KNX 1070 on Thursday nights. The Ranger Show was also included in the Smithsonian Archive Presentation of the most famous Radio Detective shows of the 20th Century. In the world of commercials, Stacy Sr. recently played the crotchety old chairman of the board for Psi.net after his success as the grouchy Mercury patriarch, and was seen as Clarence Birdseye for over five years. Active as a Rotarian and a member of the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters, Stacy Sr. gives back to the community, is a loving husband, father and grandfather, and serves as a great role model for both Stacy Jr. and his brother, James.
In addition to his motion picture and television accomplishments, Stacy is one of America’s most acknowledged Shakespearean actors, also celebrated in England where the Bard is in the blood. A New York Time’s review dubbed him “The Finest American classical actor since John Barrymore.” He’s received a Best Actor Golden Globe, been nominated for Emmy and Tony awards, won three Obie’s, three Vernon Rice awards, the Helen Hayes Award, and the Prestigious Millineum Recognition Award for his outstanding contribution to the classical theatre. Understandably, his Shakespearean readings (sold on his popular website (www.StacyKeach.com) are among the nation’s best-selling classical CD’s.
In fact, sales skyrocketed after Stacy took his current co-starring role on Fox’s raucous series, Titus, just finishing it’s third season. The actor’s gleeful take on the role of Ken Titus in the hit Titus sitcom, an imposing father from hell, was recently celebrated by Tom Carson in Esquire Magazine.
He started acting in theatre at an early age. He came to prominence on stage in the 1960’s, and entered films in 1968, landing a solid supporting role in The Heart is a Lonely Hunter. He appeared in many counterculture-driven films of the early 1970’s, including End of the Road, Brewster McCloud, Doc and John Huston’s Fat City, among them. He contributed a funny cameo to Huston’s The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean. Keach also notably portrayed an LA cop inThe New Centurions. Another of his acclaimed film characterizations was the title role in John Osborne’s Luther. He was chilling as an easy-going homicidal sheriff in The Killer Inside Me, a stunning adaptation of Jim Thompson’s novel that went virtually unnoticed until its later release on video. He became a youth audience icon with his comedic portrayal in both Cheech and Chong’s Up in Smoke and Nice Dreams. Other top portrayals occurred in The Traveling Executioner, That Championship Season, The Ninth Configuration, Escape From LA, and American History X.