Richard Kiley


1922-1999. Chicago, Illinois

Richard Kiley trained for a theatrical career at the Barnum Dramatic School. Just before his World War II service, Kiley played small roles in several Chicago-based radio programs. He relocated to New York in 1947, making his Broadway debut in a 1953 revival of Shaw's Misalliance (which earned him a Theatre World Award). He spent the next two decades alternating in "straight" plays and musicals: his credits in the latter category include Kismet, Redhead, No Strings and, of course, his Tony-winning dual performance as Cervantes and Quixote in Man of La Mancha. In films from 1950, Kiley was often cast as a menace, never more so than in 1953's Pickup on South Street, in which he commits the heinously antisocial act of murdering Thelma Ritter. He was more sympathetic as the alcoholic teacher in The Blackboard Jungle (1955), whose faith in his abilities is irreparably damaged when his juvenile delinquent students wantonly destroy his valuable record collection. On television, Kiley starred in the original 1956 staging of Rod Serlings Patterns and was Emmy-nominated for his work in The Thorn Birds (1983), Do You Remember Love? (1988), Separate But Equal (1990),and his own starring series A Year in the Life (1989). He finally won the Emmy for a 1994 guest appearance in Picket Fences. Ironically, the most successful film endeavor with which Richard Kiley was associated was one in which only his voice is heard; he's the fellow who explains the cloning process in the opening animated sequences of Jurassic Park (1993).

Filmography Awards