Keith David

Keith David

Birth name: Keith David Williams
Born: June 4, 1956
Age: 66
Birthplace: Harlem, New York City, New York, U.S.
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Keith David Williams (born June 4, 1956) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and singer. He is known for his co-starring role as King in Platoon and as Childs in The Thing. He has acted in many mainstream films, such as Crash, There's Something About Mary, Barbershop and Men at Work.

David has had memorable roles in numerous cult favorites, including Armitage in They Live, Abu "Imam" al-Walid in Pitch Black and its sequel The Chronicles of Riddick, General Kimsey in Armageddon and Big Tim in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem for a Dream. He starred as Elroy Patashnik in the sixth season of the comedy series, Community.[1] In 2016, he began starring as Bishop James Greenleaf in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series Greenleaf.

His Emmy Award-winning voice-over career includes work as the narrator of numerous Ken Burns films such as The War. Characters that he has voiced include the Arbiter in the Halo series, Goliath on Gargoyles, Al Simmons / Spawn on Todd McFarlane's Spawn, David Anderson in the Mass Effect series, Barricade in Transformers: The Game, Julius Little and himself in the Saints Row series, Sergeant Foley in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Doctor Facilier in The Princess and the Frog, the President of the United States in Rick and Morty, the Flame King in Adventure Time, Chaos in Dissidia Final Fantasy and 012 as well as Solovar in The Flash.

David was born in Harlem and raised in Corona, Queens, both in New York City. His mother, Dolores (née Dickenson), was a manager at New York Telephone, and his father, Lester Williams, worked as a director of payroll operations.[2][3]

He initially intended to become an actor after playing the Cowardly Lion in a school production of The Wizard of Oz and went on to study at Manhattan's High School of Performing Arts. He attended the Juilliard School's Drama Division (1975-1979, Group 8)[4] where he graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1979.[5]


Film and television acting

In 1980-81, David honed his craft touring the country with John Houseman's The Acting Company in productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream and Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot. Less than two years later, he went on to star as Childs, opposite Kurt Russell in John Carpenter's The Thing, and his lengthy on-screen career had begun. In the 1980s run of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, he portrayed Keith the Southwood Carpenter in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe segments. He also played Keith, the game coin collector in an episode where Rogers and a small child learn to play the arcade game Donkey Kong.

He went on to appear in films such as Oliver Stone's Platoon, The Quick and the Dead, They Live (reuniting with The Thing director John Carpenter), Men at Work, Marked for Death, and Stars and Bars. He played Kirby in the 1995 film Dead Presidents, and he appeared in the 1995 Spike Lee film Clockers. He followed this up with roles in other films such as Volcano, a breakout turn in Armageddon, There's Something About Mary, Pitch Black, Barbershop, Agent Cody Banks, The Chronicles of Riddick, Crash, ATL, Delta Farce and First Sunday.

He portrayed "Father" in the romantic comedy action film Mr. and Mrs. Smith. At the same time, he has appeared in numerous independent films including the critically acclaimed Requiem for a Dream, playing the role of Big Tim. He has also appeared extensively in television productions since the 1980s and as a regular character Lieutenant Williams on the short-lived television series The Job. He was a regular on another shoot made for ABC entitled The Big House in 2004. David portrayed Detective Jim Crenshaw in the 2010 horror film Chain Letter.[6]

In 2010, David was cast as Max Malini for the NBC television series The Cape.[7] On April 18, 2011, Keith appeared in the 21st episode of season one of Hawaii Five-0 as criminal tycoon Jimmy Cannon. In 2012, he appeared in the horror film Smiley and the science-fiction drama Cloud Atlas. In 2013, David appeared in the controversial drama Boiling Pot which is based on true events of racism. In 2014, David portrayed Command Sergeant Major Donald Cody in the Fox comedy series Enlisted.[8] Later in 2014, David was cast as Elroy Patashnik in the sixth season of the sitcom Community.[1]

In 2015, David was cast in the leading role alongside Lynn Whitfield in the Oprah Winfrey Network drama series, Greenleaf.[9]

Voice acting

David was the voice of Goliath from Gargoyles, the title character in the Spawn animated series and Lemuel Kane in Archer. In the English dub of Princess Mononoke, David played the narrator and Okkoto. He played the role of Mama in the English dub of 3x3 Eyes. He provided the voice for the character Decker in the role-playing video game Fallout and the voice for the character Vhailor in Planescape: Torment. He provided the voice of the Arbiter for the video game Halo 2, released in 2004; later, he reprised that role in the Xbox 360 follow-up Halo 3. He portrayed the character again in Halo: The Master Chief Collection and also in Halo 5: Guardians, released in 2014 and 2015 respectively. He played the role of Captain David Anderson in BioWare's Mass Effect series.[citation needed]

David did voice work in the Xbox 360 title Saints Row playing gang leader of the 3rd Street Saints Julius. He is also heard on the intro of several Ice Cube projects, including Westside Connection's 2003 release Terrorist Threats, Cube's 2008 solo album Raw Footage, Cube's 2010 solo album I Am the West, and he narrated the documentary Beef II, which also featured Ice Cube.[citation needed]

He provides the voice for the UPS "What Can Brown Do for You" commercials. He did the voice of Despero in the two part episode "Hearts and Minds" of Justice League. He has done voice work for early Adult Swim commercials for Inuyasha.[10]

He has worked with documentary filmmaker Ken Burns several times, narrating Burns' Jazz, Mark Twain, The War, Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, and Jackie Robinson. David won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for his work in The War and Unforgivable Blackness. He performs the narration duties in the BBC documentary, World War II: Behind Closed Doors.[11]

The 2004 PBS documentary Ancient Refuge in the Holy Land[12] and the 2005 History Channel documentary Crusades: Crescent & the Cross focusing on the medieval Crusades were both narrated by him, as well as the 2003 National Geographic documentary Inside Mecca. He later parodied his documentary work by narrating the 2012 episode of Community, "Pillows and Blankets", a mockumentary revolving around a pillow fight between rival blanket forts.[citation needed]

David has done voice-over work for many other documentaries including several for National Geographic and the documentary Comic Book Superheroes Unmasked for the History Channel. He replaced Paul Winfield as narrator for the A&E show City Confidential, taking over after Winfield's death in 2004. He voiced the trailer for the movie Primeval, which was released in the United States on January 12, 2007.[citation needed]

David provided the voice of police detective Alex Cross for the audiobook versions of three novels by James Patterson: Cat and Mouse (1997), Pop Goes the Weasel (1999), and Roses are Red (2000). Other voice roles include Bebe Proud Clone from The Proud Family Movie, Atlas from Teen Titans, the lone renegade male gorilla Tublat in The Legend of Tarzan, and the Decepticon Barricade in Transformers: The Game.[citation needed]

He voiced the Black Cat in Coraline, Sergeant Foley in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Dr. Facilier in The Princess and the Frog, and the Big Man for The Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Survival of the Fittest".[citation needed]

David in June 2010

On May 25, 2008, he narrated Kansas City's Celebration at the Station, a Memorial Day service held annually at the World War I Memorial across from Union Station. During the ceremony, he announced the attendance of Frank W. Buckles, the last living veteran of World War I. He was the voice of Frederick Douglass in the third episode of the PBS documentary God in America: How Religious Liberty Shaped America in 2010.[13]

David returned in the Saints Row series' newest title Saints Row IV and voices himself and Julius as well. It is mentioned repeatedly during SR4, however, that he and Julius share more than a passing resemblance, much to the chagrin of Keith (the character).[citation needed] He is the narrator of the History Channel series The Bible which premiered on March 3, 2013.[14]

David voiced the superhero gorilla Solovar in the two-part Gorilla City episode of The Flash.[15] Keith David also has a recurring role as the President of the United States in the adult animated show Rick and Morty.

David was the narrator of the MLB Network special "Mr. Padre", the video biography of San Diego Padres Hall-of-Fame outfielder Tony Gwynn.

David has also narrated several WWE documentaries including, The True Story of Wrestlemania and the 20 episodes of The Monday Night War, documenting the battle between WWE Raw and WCW Nitro.

Stage acting

In 1992, David received a Tony Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor in a Musical for his performance in Jelly's Last Jam. David received raves for his Shakespeare work on stage in Central Park, New York City. In 1995, he played the lead as Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton in August Wilson's Seven Guitars on Broadway.[citation needed] In 1995, David acted alongside Whitney Houston, Cedric the Entertainer, and Marvin Sapp in the 1995 Apollo Revival of The Wiz. He received a Tony Award nomination for his role as The Tin Man. In May 2006, he appeared in the musical Hot Feet on Broadway in New York. David appeared in the 2013 revival of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone at the Mark Taper Theater in Los Angeles. Directed by Phylicia Rashad, he played the part of innkeeper Seth Holly.[citation needed]

His performance in Ebony Repertory Theatre's 2014 Paul Robeson by Phillip Hayes Dean[16] previewed Wednesday, March 12, 2014,[17] and opened on Friday, March 21, 2014.

From April 21, 2015, to May 10, 2015, Keith David starred as “Dolomite“ in the Off-Broadway play ToasT. The play (produced by Lemon Andersen and co-starred Hill Harper) was set in the Attica Prison around the time of its 1971 prison riot and told of the lives of its prisoners using poetic prose.[18]

Personal life

He has married twice. He has one son from his first marriage and two daughters from his second marriage.[19]

David revealed that he is a Christian, and when asked in an interview on his narration work of The Bible if he was a religious man, he quoted: "I'm not a religious man. I'm a man of spirit. Religion can get political. I believe in God and spirit. I believe in church. I've been baptized. I've gone to Catholic, Baptist, Episcopal and Church of God in Christ."[20]



Year Title Role Notes
1979 Disco Godfather Club Patron Uncredited
1982 The Thing Childs
1986 Platoon King
1986 The Whoopee Boys Washington Square Peddler
1987 Hot Pursuit Alphonso
1988 Braddock: Missing in Action III Embassy Gate Captain
1988 Off Limits Specialist Five Maurice
1988 Stars and Bars Eugene Teagarden
1988 Bird Buster Franklin
1988 They Live Frank
1989 Road House Ernie Bass
1989 Always Powerhouse
1990 Men at Work Louis Fedders
1990 Marked for Death Max
1992 Final Analysis Detective Huggins
1992 Nails Noah Owens
1992 Article 99 Luther Jermoe
1994 Reality Bites Roger
1994 The Puppet Masters Alex Holland
1995 Clockers André the Giant
1995 Dead Presidents Kirby
1995 The Quick and the Dead Sgt. Cantrell
1995 Blue in the Face Jackie Robinson
1996 Loose Women Stylist
1996 The Grave The Priest
1996 Eye for an Eye Martin
1996 Larger than Life Hurst
1996 Never Met Picasso Larry
1996 Johns Homeless John
1997 Volcano Police Lieutenant Ed Fox
1997 Hercules Apollo (voice)
1997 Executive Target Lamar
1997 Princess Mononoke Okkoto, Narrator (voices) English dub
1997 Flipping Leo Richards
1998 Armageddon General Kimsey
1998 There's Something About Mary Mary's Dad
2000 Dark Summer Detective Davis
2000 Pitch Black Abu 'Imam' al-Walid
2000 Requiem for a Dream Big Tim
2000 Where the Heart Is Moses Whitecotten
2000 The Replacements Lindell
2001 Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within Council Member #1 (voice)
2001 Novocaine Detective Lunt
2001 Pretty When You Cry Detective Charles Desett
2002 29 Palms The Sheriff
2002 Barbershop Lester Wallace
2003 Kaena: The Prophecy Voxem (voice) English dub
2003 Agent Cody Banks CIA Director
2003 Head of State Bernard Cooper
2003 Hollywood Homicide Leon
2003 The Hard Road Narrator (voice) Documentary
2004 Agent Cody Banks 2: Destination London CIA Director
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick Imam Abu al-Walid
2004 The Chronicles of Riddick: Dark Fury Imam Abu al-Walid (voice) Direct-to-video
2004 Crash Lieutenant Dixon
2004 Beef II Narrator (voice) Documentary
2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith Father
2005 Transporter 2 Stappleton
2005 Dirty Captain Spain
2006 The Oh in Ohio Coach Popovitch
2006 Behind Enemy Lines II: Axis of Evil MCPO Scott Boytano
2006 ATL John Garnett
2007 If I Had Known I Was a Genius Dad
2007 Delta Farce Sergeant Kilgore
2007 The Last Sentinel Colonel Norton
2008 Beautiful Loser Adult Morgan
2008 First Sunday Judge B. Bennet Galloway
2008 Justice League: The New Frontier The Centre (voice) Direct-to-video
2008 Superhero Movie The Chief of Police
2008 My Mom's New Boyfriend FBI Chief Conrad
2008 The Fifth Commandment Max "Coolbreeze" Templeton
2008 No Bad Days Terrence
2008 The Sensei The Minister
2009 Behind Enemy Lines: Colombia Commander Scott Boytano
2009 Coraline The Cat (voice)
2009 Against the Dark Lt. Col. Wyaters
2009 Charlie Valentine Sal
2009 Don McKay Otis Kent
2009 The Butcher Larry Cobb
2009 The Princess and the Frog Doctor Facilier (voice)
2009 Gamer Agent Keith
2009 All About Steve Corbitt
2009 Pastor Brown Pastor Joe Brown
2010 Death at a Funeral Reverend Davis
2010 Lottery Ticket Sweet Tee
2010 Chasing 3000 Officer L.
2010 Stomp the Yard: Homecoming Terry Harris
2010 Something Like a Business Sebastian
2010 Chain Letter Detective Jim Crenshaw
2010 Meet Monica Velour Claude
2010 Spork Coach Jenkins
2011 The Inheritance Uncle Melvin
2011 No Saints for Sinners Victor
2011 The Greening of Whitney Brown Clerk
2011 Snowflake, the White Gorilla Anvil (voice)
2011 Hopelessly In June Dalbert Myers
2012 Cloud Atlas Kupaka / Joe Napier / An-kor Apis / Prescient
2012 Smiley Diamond
2012 Hillbilly Highway Mustafa
2012 Don't Pass Me By David Knox
2012 The Last Fall Sydney Bishop
2012 The Undershepherd Brother Wilks
2012 Christmas in Compton Big Earl
2013 Assault on Wall Street Freddy
2013 Free Birds Chief Broadbeak (voice)
2013 The Frog Kingdom Frog King (voice)
2013 Sons of Liberty Nathan Reynolds
2013 H4 Worcester
2014 Field of Lost Shoes Old Judge
2014 Secrets of the Magic City Mr. Daniels
2014 Birds of Paradise Old Buzzard (voice)
2015 Kids vs Monsters Barry
2015 Boiling Pot Agent Long
2015 Huevos: Little Rooster's Egg-cellent Adventure Don Alfonso (voice) English dub
2015 Union Furnace Pin Stripe
2016 Range 15 Colonel Holloway
2016 The Nice Guys Older Guy
2016 Nina Clifton's Father
2016 Dirty Lies Doc
2017 Savage Dog Valentine
2017 American Dresser John Moore
2018 Tales from the Hood 2 Portifoy Simms
2018 Night School Gerald
2018 You Might Be the Killer
2019 The Gettysburg Address Frederick Douglass (voice) Post-production
2019 17 Bridges Filming


Year Title Role Notes
1982-1984 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood Keith the Handyman 9 episodes
1988 The Equalizer Cristo Episode: "Sea of Fire"
1988 Ladykillers Abe Television film
1988 Christmas in Tattertown Saxophone, Additional Voices Television film
1989 A Man Called Hawk Jesse Episode: "Vendetta"
1990 Murder in Black and White Martin Television film
1990 Against the Law Otis Turnbull Episode: "Requiem in B Flat"
1991 3×3 Eyes Mama, Additional Voices English dub
1993 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles King Oliver Episode: "Young Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Blues"
1993 TriBeCa The Reader Episode: "Honor"
1993 The Last Outlaw Lovecraft Television film
1993 American Playhouse Big Willie Episode: "Hallelujah"
1993 There Are No Children Here John Paul Rivers Television film
1994-1995 Aladdin Minos, King Zahbar (voices) 3 episodes
1994-1997 Gargoyles Goliath, Thailog, Officer Morgan (voices) Main role
1995 Fantastic Four Black Panther (voice) Episode: "Prey of the Black Panther"
1995-1996 The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat Additional Voices 4 episodes
1996 New York Undercover Rev. Harris 2 episodes
1996 Timon & Pumbaa Mr. Pig (voice) Episodes: "Animal Barn"
1997 Vanishing Point Warren Taft Television film
1997 Murder, She Wrote: South by Southwest Algric Bartles Television film
1997 Don King: Only in America Jabir Herbert Muhammad Television film
1997-1999 Todd McFarlane's Spawn Al Simmons / Spawn (voice) Main role
1998 Hercules: The Animated Series Apollo (voice) 2 episodes
1998 The Tiger Woods Story Earl Woods Television film
1999 A.T.F. F.B.I. Director Richard Long Television film
2000 The Outer Limits Captain Ira Merit Episode: "Abaddon"
2000 The Race for the Poles Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2001 Law & Order John Robertson Episode: "Bronx Cheer"
2001 Semper Fi Gunnery Sgt. Brinkloff Television film
2001 Going to California Paradise Episode: "I Know Why the Caged Rhino Sings"
2001 Jazz Narrator (voice) Miniseries
2001 The Legend of Tarzan Tublat (voice) 3 episodes
2001-2002 The Job Lt. Williams 9 episodes
2001-2002 Disney's House of Mouse Mufasa (voice)
2002 Arliss Cecil Pickett Episode: "Standards and Practices"
2003 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Matt Phelps Episode: "Random Acts of Violence"
2003 Spider-Man: The New Animated Series Agent Mosely (voice) 2 episodes
2003 Kingdom of David: The Saga of the Israelites Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2003 Justice League Despero (voice) 2 episodes
2003 Inside Mecca Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2004 The Big House Clarence Cleveland 5 episodes
2004 Teen Titans Atlas (voice) Episode: "Only Human"
2004-2005 City Confidential Narrator (voice)
2005 Grey's Anatomy Lloyd Mackie Episode: "Winning a Battle, Losing the War"
2005 Everwood Brian Episode: "Pro Choice"
2005 The Proud Family Movie Bebe Clone (voice) Television film
2005 The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2006-2007 ER Pastor Watkins 5 episodes
2006-2007 7th Heaven Stanley Sunday 4 episodes
2007 The War Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2008 The Spectacular Spider-Man L. Thompson Lincoln / Tombstone (voice) Episode: "Survival of the Fittest"
2008 Canterbury's Law Miles Grant 2 episodes
2008 World War II Behind Closed Doors: Stalin, the Nazis and the West Narrator (voice) Documentary series
2008 SIS Joseph Armstrong Television film
2008 Psych Mr. Guster Episode: "Christmas Joy"
2009 Numbers Jeremiah Miller Episode: "Hydra"
2010 Funny or Die Presents Sleeping Celebrity Episode: "Episode Six"
2010 Ken Burns' Baseball: The Tenth Inning Narrator (voice) 2 episodes
2011 The Cape Max Malini 10 episodes
2011 Hawaii Five-0 Jimmy Cannon Episode: "Ho'opa'i"
2011 Allen Gregory Carl Trent D'Avis "Cole Train" (voice) 5 episodes
2011 WWE The True Story of WrestleMania Narrator (voice)
2012 Robot Chicken The Fugitive Announcer, Angry Birds Narrator, Train Robber (voices) Episode: "Hemlock Gin and Juice"
2012 WWE WrestleMania XXVIII Narrator (voice)
2012-2015 Community Narrator / Elroy Patashnik 13 episodes
2012-2016 Adventure Time Flame King, Balthus (voices) 7 episodes
2013 Belle's William "Big Bill" Cooper 6 episodes
2013 Young Justice Mongul (voice) Episode: "War"
2013 Touch Dutch Episode: "Ghosts"
2013 The Bible Narrator (voice) Miniseries
2013 Once Upon a Time in Wonderland The Cheshire Cat (voice) Episode: "Down the Rabbit Hole"
2014 Things You Shouldn't Say Past Midnight Dean 2 episodes
2014 Enlisted Sgt. Major Donald Cody 13 episodes
2014 Scorpion Warden Episode: "Father's Day"
2015 Archer Lemuel Kane (voice) Episode: "The Kanes"
2015 Big Time in Hollywood, FL Agent Everett Malloy 6 episodes
2015 Mr. Robot Qwerty (voice) Episode: "eps1.3_da3m0ns.mp4"
2015-present Rick and Morty President of the United States, Reverse Giraffe (voices) 3 episodes
2015 Extant Nicholas Calderon Episode: "Zugzwang"
2015 Black Jesus Reverend Otis 3 episodes
2015 Uncle Grandpa Santa Claus (voice) Episode: "Secret Santa"
2015-2016 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Sal Commander / G'Throkka (voice) 3 episodes
2016 Person of Interest Terence Beale Episode: "Truth Be Told"
2016 Kulipari: An Army of Frogs Lord Marmoo (voice) 13 episodes
2016 The 600: The History of NASCAR's Toughest Race Narrator (voice) Television documentary
2016-present Greenleaf Bishop James Greenleaf Main role
2017 Regular Show Streaming (voice) Episode: "A Regular Epic Final Battle"
2017 The Flash Solovar (voice) 2 episodes
2017 OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes Crinkly Wrinkly (voice) Episode: "Legends of Mr. Gar"
2017 Ben 10 Yawk (voice) Episode: "Mayhem in Mascot"
2017 BoJack Horseman Lion Musician (voice) Episode: "Hooray! Todd Episode"
2017 Future Man Doctor Kronish 2 episodes
2017 Stretch Armstrong and the Flex Fighters Malcolm Kane (voice) 8 episodes
2017 We Bare Bears Barry's Dad (voice) Episode: "Icy Nights II"
2017 Speechless Colonel Episode: "B-R-I-- BRITISH I-N-V-- INVASION"
2017 Superior Donuts John Episode: "Homeless for the Holidays"
2018 Final Space Superior Stone / Bolo (voice) 2 episodes
2018 SpongeBob SquarePants Chatterbox Translation Collar (voice) Episode: "Chatterbox Gary"
2018 Star vs. the Forces of Evil Glossaryck (voice) Episode: "Conquer"

Video games

Year Title Role
1997 Fallout Decker
1998 Disney's Hades Challenge Apollo
1999 Planescape: Torment Vhailor
2003 Lords of EverQuest Lord Vekk
2004 Halo 2 The Arbiter
2006 Saints Row Julius Little
2007 Transformers: The Game Barricade
2007 Halo 3 The Arbiter
2007 Mass Effect David Anderson
2008 Saints Row 2 Julius Little
2008 Dissidia Final Fantasy Chaos
2009 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Sergeant Foley
2009 The Princess and the Frog Doctor Facilier
2009 Coraline The Cat
2010 Mass Effect 2 David Anderson
2010 Megamind Psycho Delic
2011 Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy Chaos
2012 Mass Effect 3 David Anderson
2013 Marvel Heroes Nick Fury
2013 Saints Row IV Vice President Keith David, Julius Little
2014 Halo: The Master Chief Collection The Arbiter
2015 Halo 5: Guardians The Arbiter

[ Source: Wikipedia ]

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