Oscar Actors: O’Keefe, Michael–Great Santini

Oscar nominated actor Michael O’Keefe was born in Mt. Vernon, New York and began his acting career in his teen years through television commercials and stage work with Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre in New York City.  His early on-camera credits include the television series M*A*S*H, MAUDE and THE WALTONS.  In addition he acted opposite Bette Davis in the miniseries THE DARK SECRET OF HARVEST HOME.  He made his feature film debut in GREY LADY DOWN.

However, it was O’Keefe’s second film that afforded him his breakout role, co-starring opposite Robert Duvall and Blythe Danner in the adaptation of Pat Conroy’s novel The GREAT SANTINI.  For his role as the bullied son of a tough-as-nails military flyer played by Duvall, O’Keefe earned both an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe nomination as well.  Only a year later he starred in the iconic golf comedy film CADDYSHACK opposite Bill Murray and Chevy Chase.

O’Keefe continued working in features, television and theater.  Among his film credits during this period are NATE AND HAYES and IRONWEED, opposite Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.  His television credits include a guest starring role on an episode of THE HITCHHIKER, which earned him a Cable ACE Award nomination.  He also starred in the television movies UNHOLY MATRIMONY, DISASTER AT SILO 7, BRIDGE TO SILENCE and TOO YOUNG TO DIE.  He’s made four appearances on Broadway in MASS APPEAL, FIFTH OF JULY, SIDE MAN and RECKLESS, opposite Mary Louise Parker.

Joining the cast of the hit comedy series Roseanne, O’Keefe appeared on the show for two seasons.  He also appeared in more features, including director Rob Reiner’s civil rights themed biopic GHOST OF MISSISSIPPI, GLASS HOUSE and THE PLEDGE.  He added a number of television movies to his credits including SWING VOTE opposite Andy Garcia and the pilot of sci-fi themed ELEVENTH HOUR. He’s made five appearances on all the LAW AND ORDER shows, and guest starred on CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION and THE WEST WING.

Among O’Keefe’s most recent television credits are guest appearances on such series as HOUSE, M.D., THE CLOSER, a three-episode arc on VANISHED,  SAVING GRACE, CRIMINAL MINDS, NUMB3RS and BROTHERS AND SISTERS.  He also starred in the Academy Award Best Picture nominee MICHAEL CLAYTON, as well as in FROZEN RIVER, which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2008.