|Born:||May 13, 1939 (age 70) Brooklyn, New York, U.S.|
Harvey Keitel was born on May 13, 1939. He is widely known for the "tough-guy" characters he portrays and for his memorable roles from Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, Martin Scorsese's Mean Streets and Taxi Driver, Ridley Scott's The Duellists and Thelma and Louise, Jane Campion's The Piano, Abel Ferrara's Bad Lieutenant, Satan in Little Nicky, and James Mangold's Cop Land. Keitel also starred in Red Dragon as FBI agent Jack Crawford.
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 met struggling filmmaker Martin Scorsese and gained a part in Scorsese's student production, Who's That Knocking at My Door. Since then, Scorsese and Keitel have worked together on numerous projects. Keitel had the starring role in Scorsese's Mean Streets but this proved to be Robert De Niro's breakthrough film. He later appeared with De Niro in Taxi Driver, playing the role of Jodie Foster's pimp. Originally, Keitel was to have played the role of Captain Willard in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now; however, he was fired early in the production and replaced by Martin Sheen. After this, it was many years before he would be able to get anything other than minor roles. At the end of the 1970s, Keitel was mostly working in European films for directors such as Ridley Scott, usually in sinister character parts.
Throughout the 1980s, Keitel continued to find plenty of work on both stage and screen, but was usually in the stereotypical role of a thug. Keitel starred in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs in 1992, where his performance as "Mr. White" relaunched his semi-slumping career. Ridley Scott cast Keitel as the sympathetic policeman in Thelma and Louise in 1991. That same year he landed a role in Bugsy, for which he obtained an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, then played another mobster, Deloris's gangster ex-boyfriend Vince LaRocca in Sister Act several months later. Since then, Keitel has chosen his roles with care, seeking to change his image and show off 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 also played in the movie The Piano in 1993. He also played an efficient clean-up expert Winston "The Wolf" Wolfe in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction. In 1996 he landed 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 F.B.I. 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 Eyes Wide Shut, due to scheduling conflicts. He has shown a willingness to help other start-up filmmakers by appearing in their first feature film. He did this not only for Martin Scorsese and Quentin Tarantino, but also Ridley Scott The Duellists, Paul Schrader (Blue Collar), James Toback (Fingers), and Tony Bui (Three Seasons).
Keitel in November 2009 In 2002, at the Moscow International Film Festival, Keitel was honored with the Stanislavsky Award for the 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 who either never appear nude in film or only do so once, 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. It was announced in July 2008 that Keitel had been cast in the role of Detective Gene Hunt in ABC's new series Life on Mars. In June 2009, he made a cameo appearance in the Jay-Z video for D.O.A (Death of Auto-tune), most certainly a nod to his Brooklyn origins.
- Harvey Keitel at the Internet Movie Database