James Keach Actor, Director, and Producer

James Keach is a well-known American actor, director, and producer1. He was born on December 7, 1947, in Savannah, Georgia2. His family is full of actors, with his brother Stacy Keach being famous too1. Over five decades, Keach has shown his skills in acting, producing, directing, and writing for the screen1

.His film work shows his wide range of talents and experience1. He’s been in hits like “Walk the Line,” “Blind Dating,” and “The Long Riders”1. In “The Long Riders,” he played Jesse James. Keach has always given strong performances, proving his skill and range1.

James Keach

Key Takeaways

  • James Keach is an acclaimed American actor, director, and producer
  • He comes from a family of actors, with his brother Stacy Keach being a renowned actor
  • Keach has demonstrated his talents across various disciplines, including acting, producing, directing, and screenwriting
  • He is recognized for his roles in acclaimed films such as “Walk the Line,” “Blind Dating,” and “The Long Riders”
  • Keach has consistently delivered captivating performances, showcasing his versatility and depth as an actor


James Keach, a famous actor, director, and producer, was born on December 7, 1947, in Savannah, Georgia3. His family is full of actors, with his dad, Walter Stacy Keach Sr., being an actor, drama coach, writer, and producer. His brother, Stacy Keach, is also a well-known actor.

Keach got his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University. Then, he earned a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from the Yale School of Drama. There, he learned about Shakespearean acting4. This education helped him start his successful career in show business.

“I was always drawn to the arts, and my family’s legacy in acting inspired me to pursue my own creative passions. The training I received at Northwestern and Yale prepared me for the challenges and nuances of the craft.”

His early life and education set him on his path. They gave him the skills and knowledge needed to become a great performer, director, and producer.

james keach education

Acting Career

James Keach has had a long and varied acting career, appearing in many films and TV shows5. He’s played a wide range of characters, from supporting roles to leading parts.

One of his standout roles was as Jesse James in “The Long Riders” in 1980. He also co-wrote and co-produced this Western drama5. His performance was highly praised, showing his skill in portraying historical figures.

Keach has also shined in films like “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” “The Razor’s Edge,” “Wildcats,” and “Moving Violations.”5 He’s known for his ability to fit into different genres and characters.

Notable Acting Roles Year
The Long Riders 1980
National Lampoon’s Vacation 1983
The Razor’s Edge 1984
Wildcats 1986
Moving Violations 1985

Keach’s career spans from the 1970s to the 2010s, showing his long-lasting success and flexibility in the industry5. He’s known for smoothly moving between different roles and genres, making him a versatile and accomplished actor.

james keach notable roles

Notable Acting Roles

Throughout his career, James Keach has given many memorable performances, proving his skill and versatility5. Some of his notable roles are:

  • Jesse James in “The Long Riders” (1980)
  • Supporting roles in “National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983), “The Razor’s Edge” (1984), “Wildcats” (1986), and “Moving Violations” (1985)

Keach’s ability to play a wide variety of characters has made him a lasting figure in the entertainment world5. His talent has won over audiences and left a mark on the films and TV shows he’s been in.

“James Keach has the rare ability to seamlessly transition between complex dramatic roles and more lighthearted comedic parts. His versatility as an actor is truly remarkable.”

Keach’s career has lasted for decades, showing his deep commitment to acting5. From his big role in “The Long Riders” to his supporting parts in hit films, Keach has consistently given great performances. These have made him a respected and accomplished actor567.

James Keach: Filmmaker

James Keach5 is not just a successful actor but also a talented filmmaker. Since 1971, he has directed, produced, and written scripts for many different kinds of projects5.

He has made films like “False Identity,” “The Stars Fell on Henrietta,” “Camouflage,” “Blind Dating,” and “Waiting for Forever.”8 Keach shows his skill by making both funny and serious movies5.

One of his best documentaries is “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me,” which tells the story of the country legend’s fight against Alzheimer’s5. This film got great reviews and won a Grammy Award in 2021 for its production team5.

Keach has worked on many projects, from TV shows to movies8. He has won many awards, including the Ellis Island Medal of Honor in 20105.

Film Director Producer Rating Gross Earnings
The Long Riders Executive Producer 81%
Comes a Horseman 67%
The Razor’s Edge 53%
Hurricane 33%
Wildcats 26% $23.6M
FM 20%

james keach filmmaker

Keach’s work shows his skill in making many kinds of films, from stories to documentaries and TV shows8. His hard work and talent have made him respected in the film industry5.

“James Keach is a true master of his craft, with the ability to captivate audiences through his work as both a director and a producer. His films showcase his versatility and his unwavering commitment to storytelling.”

James Keach keeps making great films, whether they’re documentaries or stories5. His work shows his love for filmmaking and his dedication to telling great stories8.

Walk the Line

James Keach produced the 2005 drama “Walk the Line,” a story about country music star Johnny Cash and his love for June Carter9. Directed by James Mangold, it starred Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon, both nominated for Oscars9.

Keach was deeply passionate about making this film10. After many years, it was made with a $28 million budget and made $186.8 million, more than six times its cost9.

The movie got great reviews, with an 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 72 on Metacritic9. It was the top music biopic until 2015, marking a significant achievement in the genre9.

Keach’s work on “Walk the Line” was key to its success. The film made $22.3 million in its first weekend and $186 million in North America and $66.9 million internationally9.

The movie was a hit, earning Oscar nods for Phoenix and Witherspoon9. Keach and director James Mangold made a film that entertained and gave insight into Johnny and June’s lives10.