Brian Keith

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Brian Keith, 1961

Brian Keith (November 14, 1921 – June 24, 1997) was an American film, television, and stage actor who in his six decade-long career gained recognition for his work in movies such as the 1961 Disney family film The Parent Trap, the 1966 comedy The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, and the 1975 adventure saga The Wind and the Lion, in which he portrayed Theodore Roosevelt.


  • I've made I don't know how many pictures. Forty, I guess. I've seen only about a half dozen of them. We made Reflections in a Golden Eye in Rome last spring. I really enjoyed working with Liz and Brando and that great director, John Huston. But the kind of picture I enjoy seeing is something like The Parent Trap. That was a charming thing with Hayley Mills playing my twin daughters. I saw that four times. I even took my wife's parents to see it. I like it so much I forgot I was in it, as a matter of fact.
  • If I live to be a hundred--and I hope I do--I won't have time to read all the books I want to read, or talk to the people I want to know. Not party talk. That's a waste of time. Real talk.
  • What for? I don't go to the Daisy or any of that. We don't give parties under a striped awning out over the lawn for two hundred people, four of whom we like.
  • This is the type of show I love, because it reminds me of what happiness I have with my wife and our children.
    •[specific citation needed]
    • Brian Keith in 1969 on playing the role of an onscreen uncle, as he played the role of a real-life father
  • Family Affair, to spend time with his family in Hawaii, before casting as Hardcastle: "I get tired of sitting home and doin' nothing. If I'm doing something eight months of the year, I don't mind loafing the other four. But, lately, I've been finding fewer and fewer movies I'd like to do. And when that happens, I get hard to live with. Then this thing came along. I read it. I liked it. This character Hardcastle: I figured I could live with him for five years if I had to. There was something going on there. You don't get a helluva lot of character in series TV. They're more likely to star the car.
  • I don't pay any attention. The stunt people take care of all that. All I do is get in and out of the Coyote [the car Skid drove, which required anyone riding in it to enter and exit through the window], which is no mean trick. You can't get into the S.O.B. without bending yourself into a pretzel. Me, I'd rather drive a pickup.
  • I never heard of these guys. Of course, I can be talking to 40 Academy Award winners and never know the difference. People in Muncie, Indiana, probably know more about them than I do. But I figure what the hell, if they're smart enough to hire me, they must have something.
  • The only attraction is the time. I work just 70 days a year on the show. I can still make two, three movies a year if I want to... If it were Bonanza , walking around the Ponderosa, tied up nearly all year, no-o-o chance. That's a fate worse than death.

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