Most of the time, they’re not headlining movies nor TV shows.  They’re not regulars on TMZ, Entertainment Tonight
nor other Hollywood hype machines.  And they’re not reality
show attention whores who are famous for simply being famous…or trying
to be famous.  What they are is all too frequently the
unheralded; the people whose solidly consistent work affects and often
delights us.  They’re the ones who don’t always get the credit
when the credit is due.  We aim to change that.

Name: David Keith / Keith David Williams

Vital Stats:
– Born: May 8, 1954 / June 4, 1956
– From: Knoxville, TN / Harlem, NY
– 6′ tall / 6’2″ tall
– Caucasian / Black

David Keith IMDB Page, Keith David IMDB Page

Notable Roles:

David Keith: Sid Worley, Will McLean, Andy McGee, Elvis Presley, Jack Parkman, Maj. Matthew Coonan, Mason Rand, Jack Murdock, John Allen

Keith David: Childs, King, Frank Armitage, Max, Sgt. Cantrell, Goliath, General Kimsey, Spawn, Abu “Imam” Al-Walid, Big Tim, The Centre, The Cat.

Career Hiccup(s): Ernest Goes To School / Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood

Notable Quotes:

David Keith:
– “Hi baby. How’d you like a hot flesh injection with the old pork-sword,
huh? Nine inches of steaming conga up that tight little…”
– “You’re blind.”
– “Son, you’re talking to Elvis Presley! Do I look like a dating service?”
– “I got picked up for vagrancy – a misdemeanor. Next morning, the toilet’s
broke clean off the damn wall. There’s six men in the cell, and they
stick me with destruction of city property over $50. Felony number

Keith David:

“I just cannot believe any of this voodoo bullshit!”
– “I’m glad I ain’t going with them. Somewhere out there is the beast and he’s hungry tonight.”
– “You dirty motherfucker!”
– “We spend 250 billion dollars a year on defense. And here we are. The
fate of the planet is in the hands of a bunch of retards I wouldn’t
trust with a potato gun.”

Why We’re Saluting: To look at these two gentleman, there would be little chance of ever mistaking them.  To write about them or speak of them is another story, as they are quite often mistaken for one another.  Nevertheless, as similar as the mirror image names are, there is also a body of work for both actors that stretches back better than 30 years.  From early television appearances to roles in highly-regarded blockbuster or cult genre, mainstream and dramatic films.  Both are known generally for fine supporting and utility roles, and both have managed a couple of noteworthy portrayals that stand out in the minds of the fans that have grown up on their work. 

David Keith started off with notable guest roles in Brubaker, The Rose, An Officer and a Gentleman and The Great Santini.  He’s probably best known early on for his back-to-back portrayals of a military academy cadet, Will McLean, in The Lords of Discipline, as well as the Andy McGee in Firestarter.  In the former film, he was a senior cadet at a military academy in 1964 tasked with watching over the first black cadet.  The job led to his having to confront “The Ten,” a shadow group within the academy who take it upon themselves to enforce the school’s tradition, by any means necessary. 

As McGee, Keith was a former government test subject and frazzled father of Charlie (Drew Barrymore), who gained incredible pyrokinetic abilities via those experiments.  Since those portrayals, Keith has been equally adept at playing an assholes, such as Jack Parkman in Major League II, a historical figure, such as Elvis in Heartbreak Hotel, and various other supporting roles in films like U-571, Behind Enemy Lines and Daredevil.  He had starring roles in the sci-fi films, Epoch and Epoch: Evolution.  His most recent role is as Jack Allen, the father of con man Bob Allen (James Wolk) on the series Lone Star.

Similarly, Keith David has been a reliable supporting actor in a variety of roles in film, TV and animation.  He probably has more notable roles than Keith, as his list of credits is quite a bit longer.  Characters of note include that of King in Platoon, and later portrayals in major films such as The Quick and the Dead, Volcano, Armageddon, Pitch Black and Chronicles of Riddick and Crash.  David has has capitalized on his distinctive voice in animation, and has acted in a multitude of projects including voicing Spawn in the animated series and Goliath in Gargoyles.  He’s also voiced characters in a couple of Justice League projects including The New Frontier.  He’s been in Coraline, Spider-Man and The Spectacular Spider-Man, Teen Titans, The Legend of Tarzan, Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within and The Princess and the Frog among many others.  Likewise, he’s done characters in several video games including Mass Effect, Mass Effect 2, Halo 2, Halo 3, Saints Row, Saints Row 2, and Lords of Everquest.

But personal favorites will always be his projects with John Carpenter: The Thing and They Live.  The fight scene in that latter film should be on any all-time greatest lists concerning cinematic combat. 

David Keith / Keith David Factoids:

– Keith was friends with former Dallas Cowboy, Bill Bates, and got to see many games from the sidelines.
– Charlie Sheen credits Keith David with saving his life during a helicopter flight while on the set of Platoon.

David Keith / Keith David Homework:

Mr. Keith, Mr. David, we salute you both.