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Hall of Great Western Performers
Inducted in 2024
Keith Carradine

Keith Carradine

Keith Carradine has over seventy feature films and more than thirty cable and network television movies to his credit. He is an Academy Award-winning singer / songwriter with two albums and a hit single. He has starred in a half dozen Broadway productions.

Born in San Mateo, California, he is the son of the late John Carradine (veteran actor and father of acting brothers David and Robert) and actress Sonia Sorel, daughter of Henry Robert Henius and granddaughter of Max Henius, the Danish-born founder of Rebild National Park in Denmark.

Keith grew up in California. He began to develop his musical skills early on playing guitar and piano in a band made up of high school friends. He went on to attend Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, CO.

In March,1969, Keith was cast in the Broadway Musical “Hair” and spent a year in New York ultimately playing the principal role of Claude.

After returning to Los Angeles in 1970, Keith landed the part of a young gunslinger in “A Gunfight” with Kirk Douglas and Johnny Cash. He followed this with an important role in Robert Altman’s “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” with Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, and his first starring role in “Emperor Of The North” with Lee Marvin and Ernest Borgnine. He then went on to star in the Altman classics “Thieves Like Us” (1973) and “Nashville” (1975). During the filming of “Thieves Like Us” Altman became aware of Carradine’s singing and songwriting and incorporated several of his compositions into the “Nashville” film and soundtrack, including “It Don’t Worry Me” and “Honey Won’t You Let Me Be Your Friend” and “I’m Easy”, which he performed in the memorable Exit Inn sequence. “I’m Easy” won the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Song in a Motion Picture in 1975. His single recording of the song on David Geffen’s Asylum records made the Top Ten on the Billboard national charts. He released two LP albums on Asylum – “I’m Easy” and “Lost and Found”.

One highlight of Carradine’s career is a quartet of films directed by close friend and Altman protege Alan Rudolph. These were “Welcome to L.A.”, “Choose Me”, “Trouble in Mind” and “The Moderns”. Another of Keith’s talents was unveiled when he painted several canvases for “The Moderns” including one that became the film’s poster. Keith and Alan recently reunited for Alan’s latest oeuvre “Ray Meets Helen” also starring Sondra Locke.

Keith also composed the end-title song “Northern Light” for the Icelandic Film “Falcons” in which he starred and recorded it in Reykjavik with members of Sigur Ros. He also co-wrote and performed with the late Nanci Griffith “Our Very Own”, the end- title song for the film “Our Very Own” in which he co-starred opposite Allison Janney and Jason Ritter.

Keith just completed filming Chris Weitz’ new Blumhouse Thriller “They Listen” opposite John Cho and Katherine Waterston. He recently played alongside Benedict Cumberbatch, Kirsten Dunst and Jesse Plemons in Jane Campion’s Academy Award

winning film The Power Of The Dog. Other recent appearances were with Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in “Cowboys And Aliens”, and opposite Casey Afleck and Rooney Mara in “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”. He also appeared in Terence Davies’ “A Quiet Passion”, the story of Emily Dickenson, opposite Cynthia Nixon and Jennifer Ehle, as well as “Old Man And The Gun” with Robert Redford, Casey Afleck and Sissy Spacek.

Other notable films include Ridley Scott’s directorial debut “The Duellists”, and Walter Hill’s “The Longriders” and “Southern Comfort”, as well as “A Thousand Acres” with Michelle Pfeiffer and Jessica Lange and “Two Days in the Valley” with Charlize Theron and Eric Stoltz.

On television Keith recently completed filming “A Nashville Christmas” with Tanya Tucker for which he composed and recorded Tears For Christmas with Tanya and starred in Billy’s Story”, the season one finale of Accused for FOX. Other appearances include season one of the FX series “Fargo” opposite Billy Bob Thornton and Martin Freeman and as President Conrad Dalton in the CBS Series “Madam Secretary” opposite Tea Leoni. He also recurred in “The Big Bang Theory” as Penny’s dad Wyatt. Other major television roles include Special Agent Frank Lundy in Showtime’s “Dexter”, and Wild Bill Hickock in the HBO series “Deadwood”. He recently appeared in season 7 of “Fear The Walking Dead”

In legitimate theater in 1982 Keith returned to Broadway to appear with Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn in “Foxfire”. For his performance as the couple’s prodigal son a country music star — Carradine received an Outer Critics Circle Award.

Keith’s next trip to Broadway was to create the role of Will Rogers in “The Will Rogers Follies”, the smash hit musical that opened at the restored Palace Theatre May 1, 1991. He was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Lead Actor in a Musical. The show won six Tonys–including Best Musical–and a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show album. After a year of performances on Broadway, Keith led the national touring company of “The Will Rogers Follies” across America, performing in 28 cities over the next twelve months.

In 2005 he performed the role of George W Bush in the American debut of David Hare’s play “Stuff Happens” at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum. In the summer and fall of 2006 he played charming rogue Laurence Jameson in the smash Broadway musical “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” at the Imperial Theater in New York. In February 2010 he appeared at NY’s New Group / Acorn Theater in its revival of “A Lie Of The Mind” by Sam Shepard and directed by Ethan Hawke, for which he received a nomination for the Lortel Award for performance by a featured actor in a play. In 2013 he appeared again on Broadway in “Hands On A Hardbody” for which he received his second Tony Award Nomination.

More recently he limned the role of Ben Rumson in the New York City Center Encores Production of Lerner and Loewe’s Classic “Paint Your Wagon”.

Keith Carradine has four children; actress Martha Plimpton, fabricator Cade Carradine, and actress Sorel Carradine, and his son with wife Hayley, Sean David Carradine. Keith and Hayley met in 1997 and were wed in Torino, Italy on November 18th 2006. Hayley gave birth to their son Sean in Los Angeles on December 13th, 2018.

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