Michael Keaton recently took home Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globe awards for his role in the Hulu series, Dopesick, shining a new light on his incredible career. From Beetlejuice to Dumbo, Keaton has delivered some great roles in a number of Hollywood's best movies. Keaton got his first start in show business by starring in Mister Rogers' Neighborhood in the mid-'70s. In addition to appearing on-screen, he was also a full-time production assistant on the iconic series.
He eventually made his way out to Los Angeles, California and got some small roles on other television shows, eventually landing on The Mary Tyler Moore Hour. Keaton's film career took off in the early '80s, with 1982's Night Shift being his first leading film role alongside Henry Winkler. The rest, as the say, is history. Below, we have put together a list of some of Keaton's best and most memorable roles. Scroll down to check out the picks and let us know what Michael Keaton role is your all-time favorite!
Released: 1988 / Role: Betelgeuse
For many, Keaton's breakout role will always be as the titular wisecracking ghost from Tim Burton's 1988 goth-comedy classic Beetlejuice. Keaton certainly proved himself a layered and capable performer with the role, as he had never done anything similar before then, leading most to label the role as being out of his metaphorical wheelhouse. He has since proved that Beetlejuice was no fluke, taking on many other just as bizarre and captivating roles.prevnext
Released: 1989 / Role: Bruce Wayne, Batman
While Beetlejuice might have been a breakthrough performance for Keaton, it was 1989's Batman that truly defined his career. The film re-teamed Keaton with Burton, and saw the star be the first actor to put on the Dark Knight's cape and cowl since Adam West. To this day, there are fans who cite Keaton as being the best live-action on-screen Batman. The film was so popular that it spawned a sequel, 1992s Batman Returns, which Keaton also starred in. Keaton will once again don the cowl when he appears as Batman in WB's forthcoming Flash film, starring Ezra Miller as The Scarlet Speedster.prevnext
'Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)'
Released: 2014 / Role: Riggan Thomson
As far as Keaton's best performances go, his role in Birdman is very likely the absolute best he has ever delivered. It was so good that it earned him a Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. He was also nominated for an Oscar for the role.prevnext
Released: 1983 / Role: Jack Butler
When discussing Keaton's most memorable roles, it would be remiss to leave out his earliest film performances. The best of which came with 1983's Mr. Mom, which was also his first-ever top-billing starring role. The film was written by John Hughes. "The film follows an unemployed Detroit engineer becoming a stay-at-home dad and taking care of three young children, after his wife lands a job and returns to the advertising business as an executive at a big advertising agency," a summary of the of Mr. Mom reads.prevnext
Released: 1996 / Role: Doug Kinney, Lance, Rico, and Lenny
During the 1990s, Keaton was in a total of 14 films, none of which had more of him than Multiplicity. In this film, Keaton plays multiple versions of himself, as his character ends up cloning himself three times in an effort to make his life easier. As you can imagine, this has the exact opposite effect, setting off a chain of hilariously chaotic events.prevnext
Released: 2017 / Role: Adrian Toomes, The Vulture
Returning to the comic book world, in 2017 Keaton switched sides and took on the role of Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming to face off against the young web-slinger. His performance as Adrian Toomes was a brilliant take on the character, and he was an excellent first baddie for Peter Parker to take on. Keaton is set to reprise the role in Sony's Spider-Man Universe film Morbius, which stars Jared Leto as the vampiric titular Spidey villain. That film is set to open in theaters on April 1.prevnext
Released: 2016 / Role: Ray Kroc
Most people probably had no idea that the story of McDonald's was full of so much drama and betrayal, but in this biopic of the world's largest fast food chain's origin, Keaton reveals just how intense it really was. In The Founder, Keaton plays Ray Kroc, the man who — based on the details of the film — partnered with McDonald's founders Richard and Maurice McDonald to expand the business, but then he pushed them out and took it over by himself. While the film did not receive a high number of accolades, many critics consider it to be one of Keaton's top performances.prevnext
Released: 2019 Role: V.A. Vandemere
Finally, we come to Keaton's role as V. A. Vandevere, "a ruthless and enigmatic entrepreneur, and amusement park owner who buys Medici's circus to exploit the titular elephant for his bohemian amusement park, Dreamland," in Disney's live-action remake of Dumbo. While the film did not made a huge splash with critics, many still agreed that Keaton's performance is one of the film's best. Notably, the film once again re-teamed Keaton with director Tim Burton, who also directed Beetlejuice and both of the Keaton-starring Batman movies.prev