Don Keefer - Rotten Tomatoes

Don Keefer



Pennsylvania-born actor Don Keefer enjoyed a 60-year-plus career on stage and screen that saw him range freely across character parts and leading roles in both fields. An actor from his youth, he started early playing leads, portraying the title role in The Adventures of Marco Polo for a production of the Child Study Association. He won the Clarence Derwent Award for his early work on Broadway, and spent his early career working alongside the likes of Ethel Barrymore, Helen Hayes, and José Ferrer, and under such directors as Moss Hart, Elia Kazan, and Margaret Webster (including the famed production of Othello starring Paul Robeson). Keefer was a charter member of the Actors' Studio, and originated the role of Bernard, the studious neighbor son-turned-lawyer in Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman. He was the only actor to remain with the production for its entire Broadway run, and subsequently made his screen debut in 1951 in the movie adaptation of the play produced by Stanley Kramer and directed by Laslo Benedek. From that beginning, he went on to appear in more than 130 movie and television productions, in between theatrical work on both coasts (including a stint at the Theatre Group at UCLA under John Houseman). Highlights of his stage career include a highly acclaimed touring production of Anton Chekhov: The Human Comedy, focusing on the lighter side of Chekhov's work. On screen as on stage, Keefer played a wide variety of parts -- he made a fine villain-turned-neutral in "Winchester Quarantine," an early (and very powerful) episode of Have Gun Will Travel, but was equally good as Ensign Twitchell, the comically (yet tragically) over-eager and officious junior officer in Joseph Pevney's Away All Boats, during this same period. Don Keefer was still working in the late '90s, in movies such as Liar Liar and an episode of Profiler. But amid hundreds of portrayals, Keefer's single most memorable role for most viewers -- other than Bernard in Death of a Salesman -- is almost certainly that of Dan Hollis, the doomed neighbor whose birthday celebration comes to a hideous end (his head popping out of a giant jack-in-the-box) in the 1961 Twilight Zone show "It's a Good Life."

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT YEAR
No Score Yet Death of A Salesman
  • Actor
2013
81% Liar Liar
  • Beggar at Courthouse
1997
10% The Marrying Man
  • 3rd Justice
1991
No Score Yet Lucy and Desi: Before the Laughter
  • Grandpa Ball
1991
No Score Yet Amos
  • Winston Beard
1985
No Score Yet Who Will Love My Children?
  • Mr. Henry
1983
69% Creepshow
  • Janitor
1982
No Score Yet The Kid from Not-So-Big
  • Actor
1981
No Score Yet Mirrors
  • Peter
1978
57% The Incredible Hulk
  • Mr. MacIntire
1977
27% The Car
  • Dr. Pullbrook
1977
100% Sleeper
  • Dr. Tyron
1973
63% The Way We Were
  • Radio Actor
1973
No Score Yet The Young Nurses
  • Actor
1973
75% Walking Tall
  • Dr. Lamar Stivers
1973
67% The Grissom Gang
  • Doc
1971
No Score Yet R.P.M.
  • Dean Cooper
1970
No Score Yet Rabbit, Run
  • Mr. Springer
1970
89% Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • Fireman
1969
84% The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming
  • Irving Christiansen
1966
No Score Yet The Last Of The Secret Agents?
  • Over-Vain Spy
1966
No Score Yet Incident In An Alley
  • Swanson
1962
No Score Yet The Clown And The Kid
  • Moko
1961
No Score Yet Torpedo Run
  • Ensign Ron Milligan
1958
No Score Yet Hellcats of the Navy
  • Jug
1957
No Score Yet Away All Boats
  • Ens. Twitchell
1956
No Score Yet An Annapolis Story
  • Officer
1955
No Score Yet Six Bridges to Cross
  • Special Prosecutor Sherman
1955
92% The Caine Mutiny
  • Court Stenographer
1954
100% Riot in Cell Block 11
  • Reporter
1954
No Score Yet The Human Jungle
  • Cleary
1954
No Score Yet Death of a Salesman
  • Bernard
1951

TV

RATING TITLE CREDIT
No Score Yet ER
1994-2009
  • Louie
No Score Yet Star Trek
1966-1969
  • Cromwell
The Twilight Zone
1959-1964
  • Dan Hollis Fred Danziger Spiereto

Quotes from Don Keefer's Characters

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