Real name: Michael John Douglas
Birthdate: September 9, 1951
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Michael John Douglas (born September 5, 1951), better known by the stage name Michael Keaton, is an American actor, perhaps best known for his early comedic roles in films such as Night Shift, Beetlejuice, and his portrayal of Batman in the two Tim Burton directed films of the series.
His next key break was scoring a co-lead alongside James Belushi in the short-lived comedy series Working Stiffs (1979), which showcased his comedic talent and got him into the casting for the co-lead in Night Shift (1982). His role as the hilariously fast-talking schemer Bill "Blaze" Blazejowski alongside nerdish morgue attendant Henry Winkler earned Keaton some critical acclaim, and he scored leads in the subsequent comedy hits Mr. Mom (1983), Johnny Dangerously (1984), and Gung Ho (1986).
Keaton's career was given another major boost when in 1989 he was again cast by Burton, this time as billionaire playboy and crime-fighter Bruce Wayne in the big budget film Batman. Tim Burton cast him in the title role of Batman (1989) because he thought that Keaton was the only actor who could believably portray someone who has the kind of darkly obsessive personality that the character demands. After the Keaton casting, Warner Bros. received thousands of letters of complaint by fans commenting that the comedic Keaton was the wrong choice for Gotham City's creature of the night, given his prior work in comedies and the fact that he lacked the suave, handsome features and tall, muscular physicality often attributed to the character in the comic books. However, Keaton gained acclaim with his sophisticated and landmark performance, making Batman the highest-grossing film of the year.
He was prepared to return for Batman Forever (1995), even going so far as to show up for costume fitting. However, when Burton was dropped by Warner Bros. (slated to co-producer), Keaton left the series after being dissatisfied with the screenplay the new director, Joel Schumacher, approved, which Keaton considered to be lighter in tone in comparison to the past two Batman movies. According to the A&E Biography episode on Michael Keaton, after he had refused the first time (due to analysis of the script and meetings with Schumacher), Warner Brothers then offered him $35,000,000 (one of the highest salaries offered to an actor at the time), but Keaton steadfastly refused. In marked contrast to their initial reaction, many fans complaining about the following two Batman films often demanded not only that Tim Burton be rehired as director but that Keaton play Batman again.
In 2006, Keaton starred in an independent film called Game 6, a semi-thriller based around the infamous 1986 World Series bid by the Boston Red Sox. Keaton has also just been announced to be the lead in Media 8 Entertainment's upcoming film Reaper, a supernatural thriller, expected for a 2008 release. He has also recently agreed to star as John Target in the Matt Evans scripted No Rule To Make Target. He is directing the drama movie The Merry Gentleman. Keaton was also cast as Dr. Jack Shephard in the series Lost, with the understanding that Jack would have been a small role and only in the show for a short time, however the character was given a large role and Keaton couldn't commit to it because of other commitments, the role was later given to actor Matthew Fox.