Oscar Actors: Keitel, Harvey

Born May 13, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York, Keitel is a forceful leading and supporting player of Hollywood and independent films.

Keitel joined the Marine Corps directly out of high school, then trained for the stage under Frank Corsaro, Stella Adler, and Lee Strasberg. A member of the Actors Studio, he began performing professionally in offoffBroadway coffee houses, finally making his offBroadway debut in 1965.

Keitel made his screen debut in 1968 in director Martin Scorsese's thesis project “Who's That Knocking at My Door,” and later played key roles in Scorsese's “Mean Streets”(1973), “Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore” (1975), and “Taxi Driver” (1976).

He is best at playing tough, streetwise characters; he won acclaim for his intense, unflinching performance as a corrupt policeman in Abel Ferrara's “Bad Lieutenant” (1992). In the 1980s he worked frequently in Europe.

He was nominated for the Supporting Actor Oscar in “Bugsy,” in 1991, a year in which he also excelled as the good cop in Ridley Scott's “Thelma & Louise.”

Formerly married to actress Lorraine Bracco.

Oscar Alert

In 1991, Keitel competed for the Supporting Actor Oscar with Ben Kingsley, also nominated for “Bugsy,” Tommy Lee Jones in “JFK,” Michael Lerner in “Barton Fink,” and Jack Palance, who won the award for “City Slickers.”