HOLLYWOOD — A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was unveiled July 31 honoring actor Stacy Keach for a more than five-decade career in television, movies and theater.
The ceremony coincided with the anniversary of the birth of Keach’s late mother, actress Mary Cain.
“Mom always said that she’d feel better about me becoming an actor if I became successful enough to have my name in the New York Times crossword puzzle or had my name on the Walk of Fame,” the 78-year-old Keach said in the late-morning ceremony near the corner of Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street.
“So mom, I finally made it.”
Matt LeBlanc, who plays the son of Keach’s character on the CBS comedy “Man With A Plan,” and Keach’s wife, Malgosia Tomassi Keach, preceded him in speaking.
Keach is best known for playing detective Mike Hammer on CBS’ “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” and “The New Mike Hammer” from 1984-87, the 1989 made-for-television movie, “Mike Hammer: Murder Takes All” and the 1997-1998 syndicated series, “Mike Hammer, Private Eye.”
Keach met his wife on the set of “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer,” where she played yoga instructor Maya Ricci.
Production of “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer” was halted in December 1984 when Keach served six months in an English prison for cocaine smuggling.
Keach received an outstanding lead actor in a miniseries or a special Emmy nomination in 1988 for the title role in the syndicated miniseries “Hemingway,” which also brought him a Golden Globe for best performance by an actor in a miniseries or motion picture made for television.
Keach also portrayed Hemingway in the one-man play, “Pamplona,” at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2018.
Keach received his first Golden Globe nomination in 1985 for best performance by an actor in a television series for “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer.”
Keach also has recurring roles on two other CBS series, “NCIS: New Orleans,” as the father of Scott Bakula’s character, and “Blue Bloods,” as Archbishop Kevin Kearns.
Keach’s other television credits include the 1982 CBS civil war miniseries, “The Blue and the Gray”; the 2000-02 Fox comedy “Titus” and a recurring role in the 2005-09 Fox drama “Prison Break.” He has supplied the voice of Duff Brewery President Howard K. Duff VIII on five episodes of the Fox comedy “The Simpsons.”
Keach’s film credits include the starring role in the 1972 boxing drama “Fat City,” the 1980 Western “The Long Riders” and the 2008 George W. Bush biopic, “W.”
Keach was inducted in the Theater Hall of Fame in 2015. He received an best actor in a play Tony nomination in 1970 for his portrayal of “Buffalo Bill” Cody in “Indians.” He is considered a pre-eminent American interpreter of Shakespeare, with roles including Hamlet, Henry V, Coriolanus, Falstaff, Macbeth, Richard III and King Lear.
Keach was born in Savannah, Georgia, on June 2, 1941. His father, Walter Stacy Keach Sr., was a theater director, drama teacher and actor.
Keach graduated from Van Nuys High School in 1959. He received bachelor’s degrees in English and dramatic art from UC Berkeley and a master’s degree from the Yale School of Drama. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Keach was born with a cleft lip and partial cleft of the hard palate, undergoing four surgeries by the time he was 4 years old. He is the spokesman for the World Cranial Foundation and honorary chair of the Cleft Palate Foundation.