Keith David

Keith David

Birth name: Keith David Williams
Born: June 4, 1956
Age: 61
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, United States
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Biography

Keith David Williams (born June 4, 1956), known professionally as Keith David, is an American film and television, voice actor, and singer. He is known for his co-starring role as Childs alongside Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's The Thing. He has acted in many mainstream films, such as Crash, There's Something About Mary, Barbershop, and Men at Work.

He had memorable roles in numerous cult favorites, including John Carpenter's films The Thing (as Childs) and They Live (as Armitage), the Riddick films Pitch Black and The Chronicles of Riddick (as the Imam), General Kimsey in Armageddon, King in Oliver Stone's Platoon, and Big Tim in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream. David last starred as Elroy Patashnik in the sixth season of the comedy series, Community. In 2016, he began starring as Bishop James Greenleaf in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf.

His Emmy Award-winning voice-over career includes work as the narrator of numerous Ken Burns films such as The War. Characters that he has voiced include the Arbiter Thel 'Vadam in Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 5, Goliath on the Disney series Gargoyles, Spawn/Al Simmons on Todd McFarlane's Spawn which aired on HBO, David Anderson in the Mass Effect series, the Decepticon Barricade in Transformers: The Game, Julius Little in Saints Row, Saints Row 2, and Saints Row IV (as well as making a major guest appearance in the last game voicing himself), Sgt. Foley in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog, the Flame King in Adventure Time, and Chaos in the English versions of Dissidia Final Fantasy, Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy and Solovar in The Flash.

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Early life and education

David was born in Harlem and raised in Corona, Queens, both in New York City. His mother, Dolores (née Dickenson), was a manager at New York Telephone, and his father, Lester Williams, worked as a director of payroll operations.

He initially intended to become an actor after playing the Cowardly Lion in a school production of The Wizard of Oz and went on to study at Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. He attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division (1975-1979, Group 8) where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1979.

Film and television acting

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In 1980-81, David honed his craft touring the country with John Houseman's The Acting Company in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Less than two years later, he went on to star as Childs, opposite Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's The Thing, and his lengthy on-screen career had begun. In the 1980s run of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he portrayed Keith the Southwood Carpenter in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe segments. He also played Keith, the game coin collector in an episode where Rogers and a small child learn to play the arcade game Donkey Kong.

He went on to appear in films such as Oliver Stone's Platoon, The Quick and the Dead, They Live (reuniting with The Thing director, John Carpenter), Men at Work, Marked for Death, and Stars and Bars. He played Kirby in the 1995 film Dead Presidents, and he appeared in the 1995 Spike Lee's film Clockers. He followed this up with roles in other films such as Volcano, Armageddon, There's Something About Mary, Pitch Black, Barbershop, Agent Cody Banks, The Chronicles of Riddick, Crash, ATL, Delta Farce and First Sunday.

He portrayed "Father" in the romantic comedy action film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. At the same time, he has appeared in numerous independent films including the critically acclaimed Requiem for a Dream, playing the role of Big Tim. He has also appeared extensively in television productions since the 1980s and as a regular character Lieutenant Williams on the short-lived television series The Job. He was a regular on another shoot made for ABC entitled The Big House in 2004. David portrayed Detective Jim Crenshaw in the 2010 horror film Chain Letter.

In 2010, David was cast as Max Malini for the NBC television series The Cape. On April 18, 2011, Keith appeared in the 21st episode of season one of Hawaii Five-0 as criminal tycoon Jimmy Cannon. In 2012, he appeared in the horror film Smiley and the science-fiction drama Cloud Atlas. In 2013, David appeared in the controversial drama Boiling Pot which is based on true events of racism. In 2014, David portrayed Command Sergeant Major Donald Cody in the Fox comedy series Enlisted. Later in 2014, David was cast as Elroy Patashnik in the sixth season of the sitcom Community.

In 2015, David was cast in the leading role alongside Lynn Whitfield in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf.

Voice acting

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David was the voice of Goliath from Gargoyles, the title character in the Spawn animated series and Lemuel Kane in Archer. In the English dub of Princess Mononoke, David played the narrator and Okkoto. He played the role of Mama in the English dub of 3x3 Eyes. He provided the voice for the character Decker in the role-playing video game Fallout and the voice for the character Vhailor in Planescape: Torment. He provided the voice of the Arbiter for the video game Halo 2, released in 2004; later, he reprised that role in the Xbox 360 follow-up Halo 3. He portrayed the character again in Halo: The Master Chief Collection and also in Halo 5: Guardians, released in 2014 and 2015 respectively. He played the role of Captain David Anderson in BioWare's Mass Effect series.

David did voice work in the Xbox 360 title Saints Row playing gang leader Julius. He is also heard on the intro of several Ice Cube projects, including Westside Connection's 2003 release Terrorist Threats, Cube's 2008 solo album Raw Footage, Cube's 2010 solo album I Am the West, and he narrated the documentary Beef II, which also featured Ice Cube.

He provides the voice for the UPS "What Can Brown Do for You" commercials. His voice can be heard in the Justice League cartoons. He has done voice work for early Adult Swim commercials for Inuyasha.

He has worked with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns several times, narrating Burns' Jazz, Mark Twain, The War, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, and Jackie Robinson. David won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work in The War and Unforgivable Blackness. He performs the narration duties in the BBC documentary, World War II: Behind Closed Doors.

The 2004 PBS documentary Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land and the 2005 History Channel documentary Crusades: Crescent & the Cross focusing on the medieval Crusades were both narrated by him, as well as the 2003 National Geographic documentary Inside Mecca. He later parodied his documentary work by narrating the 2012 episode of Community, "Pillows and Blankets", a mockumentary revolving around a pillow fight between rival blanket forts.

David has done voice-over work for many other documentaries including several for National Geographic and the documentary Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked for the History Channel. He replaced Paul Winfield as narrator for the A&E show City Confidential, taking over after Winfield's death in 2004. He voiced the trailer for the movie Primeval, which was released in the United States on January 12, 2007.

David provided the voice of police detective Alex Cross for the audiobook versions of three novels by James Patterson: Cat and Mouse (1997), Pop Goes the Weasel (1999), and Roses are Red (2000). Other voice roles include Bebe Proud Clone from The Proud Family Movie, Atlas from the Teen Titans animated series, the lone renegade male gorilla Tublat in The Legend of Tarzan, and the Decepticon Barricade in Transformers: The Game.

He did the voices of the Black Cat in Coraline, Sergeant Foley in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog, and the Big Man for The Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Survival of the Fittest".

On May 25, 2008, he narrated Kansas City's Celebration at the Station, a Memorial Day service held annually at the World War I Memorial across from Union Station. During the ceremony, he announced the attendance of Frank W. Buckles, the last living veteran of World War I. He was the voice of Frederick Douglass in the third episode of the PBS documentary God in America: How Religious Liberty Shaped America in 2010.

David returned in the Saints Row series' newest title Saints Row IV and voices himself and Julius as well. It is mentioned repeatedly during SR4, however, that he and Julius share more than a passing resemblance, much to the chagrin of Keith (the character). He is the narrator of the History Channel series The Bible which premiered on March 3, 2013.

David will voice the superhero gorilla Solovar in the two-part Gorilla City episode of The Flash.

Stage acting

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In 1992, David received a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his performance in Jelly's Last Jam. David received raves for his Shakespeare work on stage in Central Park, New York City. In 1995, he played the lead as Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton in August Wilson's Seven Guitars on Broadway.

In May 2006, he appeared in the musical Hot Feet on Broadway in New York. David appeared in the 2013 revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Theater in Los Angeles. Directed by Phylicia Rashad, he played the part of innkeeper Seth Holly.

His performance in Ebony Repertory Theatre's 2014 Paul Robeson by Phillip Hayes Dean previewed Wednesday, March 12, 2014, and opened on Friday, March 21, 2014.

From April 21, 2015, to May 10, 2015, Keith David starred as “Dolomite“ in the Off-Broadway play ToasT. The play (produced by Lemon Andersen and co-starred Hill Harper) was set in the Attica Prison around the time of its 1971 prison riot and told of the lives of its prisoners using poetic prose.

Personal life

He has married twice. He has one son from his first marriage and two daughters from his second marriage.

Selected filmography

Films and television

  • Disco Godfather (1979) (uncredited)
  • The Thing (1982)
  • Mister Rogers' Neighborhood (1982-1984)
  • Terror in the Aisles (1984)
  • Platoon (1986) as King
  • Hot Pursuit (1987)
  • Braddock: Missing in Action III (1988)
  • Off Limits (1988)
  • Stars and Bars (1988)
  • Bird (1988)
  • They Live (1988)
  • A Man Called Hawk (1989)
  • Road House (1989)
  • Always (1989)
  • Men at Work (1990)
  • Marked for Death (1990)
  • Final Analysis (1992)
  • Article 99 (1992)
  • Nails (1992)
  • The Last Outlaw (1993)
  • There Are No Children Here (1993)
  • Reality Bites (1994)
  • The Puppet Masters (1994)
  • Clockers (1995)
  • Dead Presidents (1995)
  • The Quick and the Dead (1995)
  • Blue in the Face (1995)
  • Loose Women (1996) (cameo)
  • The Grave (1996)
  • Eye for an Eye (1996)
  • Larger than Life (1996)
  • Johns (1996)
  • Vanishing Point (1997)
  • Volcano (1997)
  • Murder, She Wrote: South by Southwest (1997)
  • Don King: Only in America (1997)
  • The Tiger Woods Story (1998)
  • Armageddon (1998)
  • There's Something About Mary (1998)
  • A.T.F. (1999)
  • Dark Summer (a.k.a. Innocents) (2000)
  • Pitch Black (2000)
  • Requiem for a Dream (2000)
  • Where the Heart Is (2000)
  • The Replacements (2000)
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001)
  • Law & Order (2001) 1 episode
  • Novocaine (2001)
  • Pretty When You Cry (2001)
  • 29 Palms (2002)
  • Barbershop (2002)
  • Agent Cody Banks (2003)
  • Head of State (2003)
  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (2003)
  • Hollywood Homicide (2003)
  • Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London (2004)
  • The Chronicles of Riddick (2004)
  • Crash (2004)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
  • Transporter 2 (2005)
  • Dirty (2005)
  • The Oh in Ohio (2006)
  • Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil (2006)
  • ATL (2006)
  • If I Had Known I Was a Genius (2007)
  • Delta Farce (2007)
  • The Last Sentinel (2007)
  • Beautiful Loser (2008)
  • First Sunday (2008)
  • Superhero Movie (2008)
  • Chasing 3000 (2008)
  • My Mom's New Boyfriend (2008)
  • The Fifth Commandment (2008)
  • The Sensei (2008)
  • Psych (2008)
  • Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia (2009)
  • Against the Dark (2009)
  • Charlie Valentine (2009)
  • Don McKay (2009)
  • The Butcher (2009)
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009)
  • Gamer (2009)
  • All About Steve (2009)
  • Pastor Brown (2010)
  • Death at a Funeral (2010)
  • Lottery Ticket (2010)
  • Stomp the Yard: Homecoming (2010)
  • Chain Letter (2010)
  • The Cape (2010)
  • Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
  • Meet Monica Velour (2010)
  • Spork (2010)
  • The Book of Matthew (2011)
  • The Inheritance (2011)
  • Hopelessly In June (2011)
  • Cloud Atlas (2012)
  • Community (2012-2015)
  • Smiley (2012)
  • Don't Pass Me By (2012)
  • Touch (2013)
  • Field of Lost Shoes (2013)
  • Assault on Wall Street (2013)
  • Enlisted (2014)
  • Rick and Morty (2015)
  • Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight (2015)
  • Big Time in Hollywood, FL (2015)
  • Kids vs Monsters (2015)
  • Black Jesus (2015)
  • Extant (2015)
  • Boiling Pot (2015)
  • The Nice Guys (2016)
  • Range 15 (2016)
  • Greenleaf (2016)
  • Person of Interest (2016)
  • The Gettysburg Address (2017)

Voice work

  • Christmas in Tattertown (1988) - Saxophone, additional voices
  • 3x3 Eyes (1991) - Additional voices
  • Aladdin (1994) - Minos (ep. "Seems Like Old Crimes")
  • Fantastic Four (1995) - Black Panther
  • Gargoyles (1994-1997) - Goliath, Thailog, Officer Morgan
  • Hercules (1997) - Apollo
  • Todd McFarlane's Spawn (1997-1999) - Al Simmons/Spawn
  • Fallout (1997) - Decker
  • Hercules: The Animated Series (1998) - Apollo
  • Planescape: Torment (1999) - Vhailor
  • Princess Mononoke (1999) - Okkoto/Okkotonushi
  • WrestleMania 2000 (2000) - Opening Video Voiceover
  • The Race for the Poles (2000) - Narrator
  • Jazz (2001) - Narrator
  • The Legend of Tarzan (2001) - Tublat
  • The Silent Service (2001) - Narrator
  • Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001) - Council Member #1
  • House of Mouse (2001-2002) - Mufasa
  • The Hard Road (2003) - Narrator
  • Lords of EverQuest (2003) - Lord Vekk
  • Justice League (2003) - Despero
  • Spider-Man: The New Animated Series (2003) - Agent Mosely
  • Inside Mecca (2003) - Narrator
  • Kaena: The Prophecy (2003) - Voxem
  • Westside Connection: Terrorist Threats (intro) (2003) (featured in "A Threat to the World", "Potential Victims", and "Gangsta Nation")
  • Kingdom of David: The Saga of the Israelites (2003)
  • Beef II (2004) - Narrator
  • The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury (2004) - Imam
  • Teen Titans (2004) - Atlas (Ep. "Only Human")
  • Halo 2 (2004) - The Arbiter
  • City Confidential (2004) - Narrator
  • The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (2005) - Narrator
  • The Proud Family Movie (2005) - Bebe Proud Clone
  • Saints Row (2006) - Julius Little
  • Transformers: The Game (2007) - Barricade
  • Halo 3 (2007) - The Arbiter
  • Mass Effect (2007) - David Anderson
  • The War (2007) - Narrator
  • Justice League: The New Frontier (2008) - The Centre
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man (2008) - L. Thompson Lincoln/Tombstone (Ep. "Survival of the Fittest")
  • Ice Cube: Raw Footage (intro) (2008) (featured in "What Is a Pyroclastic Flow?", "Hood Mentality", "Jack N the Box", "Get Use to It", and "Take Me Away")
  • Saints Row 2 (2008) - Julius Little
  • Coraline (2009) - The Cat
  • World War II: Behind Closed Doors (2009) - Narrator
  • The Princess and the Frog (2009) - Dr. Facilier
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) - Sergeant Foley
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy (2009) - Chaos
  • Mass Effect 2 (2010) - David Anderson
  • Ken Burns' Baseball: The Tenth Inning (2010) - Narrator
  • Ice Cube: I Am the West (2010) - (featured in "Too West Coast")
  • PBS Documentary God in America: How Religious Liberty Shaped America (2010) - Frederick Douglass (Ep. 3)
  • Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (2011) - Chaos
  • WWE The True Story of WrestleMania (2011) - Narrator
  • Allen Gregory (2011) - Carl Trent
  • Adventure Time (2012) - Flame King
  • Mass Effect 3 (2012) - David Anderson
  • WWE WrestleMania XXVIII (2012) - Narrator
  • Robot Chicken (2012) - Narrator, Steam Train Hijacker
  • Young Justice: Invasion (2013) - Mongul
  • The Bible (2013) - Narrator
  • Marvel Heroes (2013) - Nick Fury
  • Saints Row IV (2013) - Himself and Julius Little
  • Free Birds (2013) - Chief Broadbeak
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection (2014) - The Arbiter
  • The Monday Night War: WWE vs. WCW (2014-2015) - Narrator
  • Halo 5: Guardians (2015) - The Arbiter
  • Archer (2015) - Lemuel Kane
  • Rick and Morty (2015) - Reverse Giraffe, the President
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2015) - Commander G'Throkka/Sal Commander
  • The Frog Kingdom (2015) - King
  • Mr. Robot (2015) - Qwerty
  • Kulipari: An Army of Frogs (2016) - Lord Marmoo
  • United States Navy - Recruiting TV Spots
  • The Flash (2017) - Solovar

[ Source: Wikipedia ]