Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Black History Month Day Ten: Keith David

Keith David among other things is responsible for the greatest 6 minutes in movie history. I speak of course of the epic battle between Keith and Roddy Piper in They Live. A fight scene that was originally suppose to be about 30 seconds long but magically increased to 6 minutes after Piper and David choreographed their own rendition- and let it happen without John Carpenter's knowledge. Pretty amazing if you ask me- that whole fight scene is like a drumstick- not a drumstick----a Drumstick!

(Mmm caramel filled center I need to get me one of those!) It just keeps getting better and better right down to the bonus fudge stored in the bottom of the cone.

Born in Harlem, Keith claims that he's wanted to be an actor since the age of two. It would seem more likely however that his true calling came when he made his stage debut at the age of 9 when he landed the role of the Cowardly Lion in the school musical of The Wizard of Oz. He then went on to attend the High School of Performing Arts (Yes of FAME! glory) and then went even further by graduating from Juliard.

When Keith isn't battling shape shifting, crazy alien monsters, or aliens that look like skeletons, he can be found doing voice over work or providing the voices for animated pictures or video games. For instance you may not have realized that Keith David is the voice behind the U.S. Army. You know, those commercials that make you feel bad for not being all you can be? (Although I'm pretty positive all I can really be is lazy- so perhaps I have achieved greatness after all) Keith has also provided his voice for many animated features, including Coraline and The Princess and the Frog. And who can forget his role on that show Gargoyles? His filmography is extensive including; Platoon, There's Something About Mary, Crash, The Chronicles of Riddick and Requiem for a Dream- but what really interests me is his singing career! He's done lots of Broadway, even going as far to earn Tony nominations, but one of his accomplishments just takes the cake for me.

It's an accomplishment that would make Emmy Doomas raise the roof--Keith David does a Nat King Cole tribute show!! Nat's Christmas Cd is a year long event for Emmy and I's apartment so this news clearly makes us happy. Take a look and listen to the video at the bottom and I'm sure you'll be just as impressed. Nat has the voice of an angel, but Keith's not too shabby.

Keith David lives in infamy as a great actor capable of great diversity in his roles. He can make us laugh and then scare the crap out of us- but he can also make us cry as he sits close by Kurt Russell whiles they breathe in the exquisite cold waiting to die. Keith surely is- a true talent.

Fun Fact: Keith David saved Charlie Sheens life during the filming of Platoon, when he almost fell out of the open door of the helicopter. Keith grabbed charlie by the back and yanked him back in.

My success is that I work. Fame is what they give you. Success is what you give yourself. I went to school. I studied to become an actor. I worked hard. I am now successful because I'm able to live my dream, living my life as an actor. It's what I feel I was born to do.


B-Movie Becky said...

I did not know that he was a VO artist for the Army. What a great choice. Hahaha.

He will forever be cemented into the hall of awesomeness for that incredibly long fight scene.

Fnord said...

This guy is so awesome that I didn't know he was so awesome! Thank you for enlightening me. And that fight scene did kick ass...

Franco Macabro said...

creepiest role he ever did was that guy in Requiem for a Dream. Creepy in deed!

Fnord said...

I don't remember him in that movie! I'll have to watch it again!

Sarah said...

Keith David would be the guy at the end of Requiem for a Dream when we see what became of Jennifer Connelly's character that says "ass to ass".

How anyone can forget that scene, I do not know.

Fnord said...

HE starts the "ass to ass" chant?! I LOVE THIS GUY! lol

Matt-suzaka said...

LOVE Keith David. He is the voice of Spawn in the awesome animated series from HBO way back in the day.

And chocolate centered Drumsticks are the only way to go.

Highly Caffeinated said...

"Rent a cops. I hate rent a cops too!"

オテモヤン said...


Matt-suzaka said...

I totally agree with オテモヤン.

the jaded viewer said...

Thank goodness he refused to put on those damn glasses

B-Sol said...

I had the exquisite opportunity to sit down with Roddy one time at a photo shoot in Utica, NY, and I picked his brain extensively about that awesome fight scene in They Live. Definitely a highlight of my career.
And as for Keith David's V-O work, he's also narrated some of Ken Burns' documentaries and does an incredible job. Especially the JAZZ and MARK TWAIN docs--amazing.

Rabid Fox said...

Ah, here it is. God bless Keith David. I just watched Coraline a couple of weeks ago and was delighted to hear his voice as the cat. Nice casting choice there. And while he's great in The Thing, I'll always remember him from They Live and that brawl with Rowdy Roddy Piper.

Anonymous said...

hey did yall know that Keith David have another movie coming out called Chainletter. its coming out on May 21 in theaters near you. i seen the trailer 2 the movie Nikki Reed is also in this movie it seem like its going to be good.

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