Harvey Keitel
Born (1939-05-13) May 13, 1939 (age 85)
  • Actor
  • producer
Years active1967–present
(m. 2001)
PartnerLorraine Bracco (1982–1993)
RelativesJesse James Keitel (first cousin twice removed)[1]
Military career
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branch United States Marine Corps

Harvey Keitel (/kˈtɛl/ ky-TEL; born May 13, 1939) is an American actor known for his portrayal of morally ambiguous and "tough guy" characters.[2][3] He rose to prominence during the New Hollywood movement, and has held a long-running association with director Martin Scorsese, starring in six of his films: Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967), Mean Streets (1973), Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), Taxi Driver (1976), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), and The Irishman (2019).[4]

Keitel received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Mickey Cohen in Bugsy (1991). He won the AACTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in The Piano (1993).[5] Keitel has starred in several other films, including Blue Collar (1978), Thelma & Louise (1991), Reservoir Dogs (1992), Bad Lieutenant (1992), Pulp Fiction (1994), From Dusk till Dawn (1996), Holy Smoke! (1998), Cop Land (1997), and Youth (2015).

Additionally, Keitel has starred in three films directed by Wes Anderson: Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Isle of Dogs (2018). Keitel played Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent Peter Sadusky in both National Treasure (2004), and National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2006) and reprised his role in the Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History (2022). From 1995 to 2017, he was a co-president of the Actors Studio, alongside Al Pacino and Ellen Burstyn.[6]

Early life

Keitel was born in New York City, on May 13, 1939,[4][7] the youngest child of Jewish immigrants. His mother Miriam (née Klein; 1911–1987) was from Romania and his father, Harry Keitel, was from Poland.[8] His parents owned and ran a luncheonette, and his father also worked as a hat maker. He grew up in the Brighton Beach neighborhood of Brooklyn,[9] with his elder sister, Renee, and elder brother, Jerry.[10][11] He attended Abraham Lincoln High School. He enlisted in the Marines at the age of 17. After his discharge, he worked as a court stenographer for 10–12 years before beginning his acting career.[9]



Keitel in November 2009

Keitel studied under both Stella Adler and Lee Strasberg and at the HB Studio,[12] eventually landing roles in some Off-Broadway productions.[9] During this time, Keitel auditioned for filmmaker Martin Scorsese and gained a starring role as "J.R.", in Scorsese's first feature film, Who's That Knocking at My Door (1967).[9] Since then, Scorsese and Keitel have worked together on several projects.[9] Keitel had the starring role in Scorsese's Mean Streets, which also proved to be Robert De Niro's breakthrough film. Keitel re-teamed with Scorsese for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974), in which he had a villainous supporting role, and appeared with Robert De Niro again in Scorsese's Taxi Driver (1976), playing the role of Jodie Foster's character's pimp.[9]

In 1977 and 1978, Keitel starred in the directorial debuts of Paul Schrader (Blue Collar, co-starring Richard Pryor and Yaphet Kotto), Ridley Scott (The Duellists, co-starring Keith Carradine), and James Toback (Fingers, in which Keitel played a street hood with aspirations of being a pianist – a role Toback wrote for Robert De Niro to play). In 1979, he was cast as Captain Willard in Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now (1979). Keitel was involved with the first week of principal photography in the Philippines. Coppola was not happy with Keitel's take on Willard, stating that the actor "found it difficult to play him as a passive onlooker".[13] After viewing the first week's footage, Coppola replaced Keitel with a casting session favorite, Martin Sheen.

Keitel continued to do work on both stage and screen in the 1980s, often in the stereotypical role of a thug. Keitel played a corrupt police officer in the 1983 thriller Copkiller (co-starring musician John Lydon), before taking a supporting role in the romantic drama Falling in Love (1984), starring Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep. Between 1985 and 1988, he was one of the busiest character actors around, appearing in 16 films and telefilms,[14] including Brian De Palma's mobster comedy Wise Guys (1986), starring Danny DeVito and Joe Piscopo, and as Judas in Martin Scorsese's controversial The Last Temptation of Christ (1988).

Keitel with singer Harry Belafonte in New York, April 2011


He co-starred with Jack Nicholson in the Chinatown sequel The Two Jakes (1990), directed by Nicholson. Ridley Scott cast Keitel as the sympathetic policeman in Thelma & Louise in 1991; that same year, Keitel landed a role in Barry Levinson's Bugsy, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The following year, Keitel played another mobster in the Whoopi Goldberg-starring comedy Sister Act which was a commercial success at the box office.

Keitel starred in Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs (which he co-produced) in 1992,[9] where his performance as "Mr. White" took his career to a different level. Since then, Keitel has chosen his roles with care, seeking to change his image and show a broader acting range.[9] One of those roles was the title character in Bad Lieutenant, about a self-loathing, drug-addicted police lieutenant trying to redeem himself.[9] He co-starred in the Jane Campion film The Piano in 1993,[9] and played Winston "The Wolf" Wolf in Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction, an apparent reprise of his Victor the Cleaner character from 1993's Point of No Return. Keitel starred as a police detective in Spike Lee's Clockers (an adaptation of Richard Price's novel, co-produced by Martin Scorsese). In 1996, Keitel had a major role in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's film From Dusk till Dawn, and in 1997, he starred in the crime drama Cop Land, which also starred Sylvester Stallone, Ray Liotta and Robert De Niro.

Michael Caine, Rachel Weisz, Keitel, and Jane Fonda at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015

His later roles include the fatherly Satan in Little Nicky, a wise Navy man in U-571, diligent FBI Special agent Sadusky in National Treasure and the latter's sequel National Treasure: Book of Secrets. In 1999, Keitel was replaced by Sydney Pollack on the set of Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut, as he quit after doing 68 takes for a scene of his character walking through the door,[15] and appeared in Tony Bui's award-winning directorial debut, Three Seasons (which Keitel also executive produced). Keitel also re-teamed with Jane Campion for Holy Smoke! (co-starring Kate Winslet).

In 2001 Keitel played opposite roles: as a U.S. Army denazification investigator in the film Taking Sides and as SS-Oberscharführer Erich Muhsfeldt in the film The Grey Zone. In 2002, at the 24th Moscow International Film Festival, Keitel was honored with the Stanislavsky Award for his outstanding achievement in the career of acting and devotion to the principles of Stanislavsky's school.[16] He also appeared in the Steinlager Pure commercials in New Zealand in 2007.


In January 2008, Keitel played Jerry Springer in the New York City premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall.[9] In 2008, Keitel was cast in the role of Detective Gene Hunt in ABC's short-lived US remake of the successful British time-travel police drama series Life on Mars.[17] In June 2009, he made a cameo appearance in the Jay-Z video for "D.O.A. (Death of Auto-Tune)", a nod to his Brooklyn origins. In 2013, he appeared in a music video for "Pretty Hurts" by Beyoncé.[18] In 2013, he starred in the independent film A Farewell to Fools.[19]

Between 2014 and early 2020, he reprised his role of Winston Wolf from Pulp Fiction as part of a £40 million television advertising campaign for British insurance company Direct Line.[20][21] In 2021, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Newport Beach Film Festival.[22] In 2022, Keitel starred in Steven Brand's noir thriller Joe Baby alongside Dichen Lachman, Willa Fitzgerald and Ron Perlman.[23] Keitel has recently collaborated with Wes Anderson acting in minor roles in his films Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), and Isle of Dogs (2018). He reunited with Martin Scorsese after 30 years appearing as Philadelphia crime family acting boss Angelo Bruno in his gangster movie The Irishman (2019) alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. He reprised his role FBI Agent Peter Sadusky in the recent Disney+ series National Treasure: Edge of History (2022).

Personal life

Keitel and wife Daphna Kastner in 2010

Keitel was in a long-term relationship with American actress Lorraine Bracco from 1982 to 1993,[24] but the relationship ended acrimoniously and triggered a prolonged custody battle over their daughter, Stella (born 1985).[25] He married Canadian actress Daphna Kastner in 2001.[26] He had two more children after Stella: Hudson from his relationship with Lisa Karmazin, and Roman from his marriage to Kastner.[27][28]

Keitel is an honorary citizen of Romania.[29]



Year Title Role Notes
1967 Reflections in a Golden Eye Soldier Uncredited
Who's That Knocking at My Door J.R.
1970 Brewster McCloud The Photographer Uncredited
1973 Mean Streets Charlie Cappa
1974 Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore Ben
1975 That's the Way of the World Coleman Buckmaster
1976 Taxi Driver Charles "Sport" Rain / Matthew Higgins
Mother, Jugs & Speed Tony "Speed" Malatesta
Buffalo Bill and the Indians Ed Goodman
Welcome to L.A. Ken Hood
1977 The Duellists Feraud
1978 Blue Collar Jerry Bartowski
Fingers Jimmy "Fingers"
1979 Eagle's Wing Henry
1980 Death Watch Roddy
Saturn 3 Captain Benson Voice dubbed by Roy Dotrice
Bad Timing Inspector Netusil
1982 The Border "Cat"
That Night in Varennes Thomas Paine
1983 Copkiller Lieutenant Fred O'Connor
Exposed Rivas
1984 Falling in Love Ed Lasky
Nemo Mr. Legend
1985 Camorra Frankie
The Knight of the Dragon Clever
1986 Off Beat Mickey
Wise Guys Bobby DiLea
The Men's Club Solly Berliner
1987 The Inquiry Pontius Pilate
Blindside Penfield Gruber
The Pick-up Artist Alonzo Scolara
1988 The Last Temptation of Christ Judas Iscariot
Dear Gorbachev Nikolaj Bucharin
1989 The January Man Police Commissioner Frank Starkey
1990 Two Evil Eyes Roderick Usher Segment: "The Black Cat"
The Two Jakes Julius "Jake" Berman
Grandi cacciatori Thomas
1991 Mortal Thoughts Detective John Woods
Thelma & Louise Detective Hal Slocumb
Bugsy Mickey Cohen
1992 Reservoir Dogs Larry Dimmick / Mr. White Also co-producer
Bad Lieutenant The Lieutenant
Sister Act Vince LaRocca
1993 Point of No Return Victor, The Cleaner
The Piano George Baines
Rising Sun Lieutenant Tom Graham
Dangerous Game Eddie Israel
The Young Americans DEA Agent John Harris
1994 Monkey Trouble Azro
Pulp Fiction Winston "The Wolf" Wolf
Somebody to Love Harry Harrelson
Imaginary Crimes Ray Weiler
1995 Smoke Augustus "Auggie" Wren
Blue in the Face Augustus "Auggie" Wren Also executive producer
Ulysses' Gaze A.
Clockers Detective Rocco Klein
Get Shorty Himself Uncredited cameo
1996 From Dusk till Dawn Jacob Fuller
Head Above Water George
1997 City of Industry Roy Egan
Cop Land Ray Donlan
FairyTale: A True Story Harry Houdini
1998 Shadrach Vernon
Lulu on the Bridge Izzy Maurer
Finding Graceland Elvis
Sweets of Roses Hubie Voice
Gunslinger's Revenge (Il mio West) Johnny Lowen
1999 Three Seasons James Hager Also executive producer
Holy Smoke! P.J. Waters
Presence of Mind The Master
2000 U-571 CPO Henry Klough
Prince of Central Park The Guardian
Little Nicky Satan
Viper Leone Keitel is dubbed in Italian by Giancarlo Giannini[30][31]
2001 Nailed Tony Romano
The Grey Zone SS-Oberscharführer Erich Muhsfeldt Also executive producer
Taking Sides Major Steve Arnold
2002 Ginostra Matt Benson
Red Dragon FBI Agent Jack Crawford
Beeper Zolo
2003 Crime Spree Frankie Zammeti
The Galíndez File Edward Robards
Who Killed the Idea? Private Investigator Short film
Dreaming of Julia "Che" Also producer
Chasing the Elephant The Mystery Man Short film
2004 Puerto Vallarta Squeeze Walter McGrane
National Treasure FBI Agent Peter Sadusky
The Bridge of San Luis Rey Uncle Pio
2005 Be Cool Nick Carr
Shadows in the Sun Weldon Parish
2006 One Last Dance Terrtano
A Crime Roger Culkin
The Stone Merchant [it] The Merchant Ludovico Vicedomini
Arthur and the Minimoys Miro Voice
2007 My Sexiest Year Zowie
National Treasure: Book of Secrets FBI Agent Peter Sadusky
2009 Inglourious Basterds Allied Commanding Officer Uncredited voice
The Ministers Detective Joe Bruno
Wrong Turn at Tahoe Nino
2010 A Beginner's Guide to Endings Duke White
Little Fockers Randy Weir
The Last Godfather Don Carini
2012 Moonrise Kingdom Commander Pierce
2013 A Farewell to Fools Father Johanis
The Power Inside O'Mansky
The Congress Al
2014 Two Men in Town Bill Agati
The Grand Budapest Hotel Ludwig
Rio, I Love You Himself Segment: "O Milagre"
By the Gun[32] Salvatore Vitaglia
Gandhi of the Month Edward Baker
2015 Youth Mick Boyle
Outlaws The Director Short film
The Ridiculous 6 "Smiley" Harris
2016 Chosen Papi
The Comedian Mac Schiltz
2017 Madame Bob Fredericks
Lies We Tell Demi
2018 First We Take Brooklyn Anatoly
Isle of Dogs Gondo Voice
2019 The Last Man Noe
Esau Abraham
See You Soon Billy
The Painted Bird Priest
The Irishman Angelo Bruno
2020 Fatima Professor Nichols
2021 Blood on the Crown General Hunter Blair
Lansky Meyer Lansky
2022 The Baker Merchant
2023 Paradox Effect Silvio
TBA Hard Matter TBA Post-production
The Wrecker TBA Post-production
Hellfire Jeremiah Post-production
Denotes films that have not yet been released


Year Film Role Notes
1966 Hogan's Heroes German Soldier Uncredited
Episode: "The Great Impersonation"
1966 Dark Shadows Blue Whale customer Uncredited
2 episodes
1968 N.Y.P.D. Ramby Episode: "Case of the Shady Lady"
1971 Great Performances Jerry Episode: "A Memory of Two Mondays"
1973 Kojak Jerry Talaba Episode: "Siege of Terror"
1974 The F.B.I. Ernie Episode: "Deadly Ambition"
1974 A Memory of Two Mondays Jerry Television film
1984 La bella Otero Ernest Jurgens Television film
1985 Amazing Stories Byron Sullivan Episode: "Vanessa in the Garden"
1986 The Ellen Burstyn Show Frank Tanner Episode: "Reading Between the Lines"
1988 The Play on One Carl Episode: "Down Where the Buffalo Go"
1989 This Ain't Bebop Television short
1993 Saturday Night Live Himself (host) Episode: "Harvey Keitel/Madonna"
2000 Fail Safe Brigadier General Warren A. Black Television film
2002 Saturday Night Live Siegfried Episode: "Robert De Niro/Norah Jones"
2006 The Path to 9/11 John O'Neill 2 episodes
2008–2009 Life on Mars (U.S.) Lieutenant Gene Hunt 17 episodes
2012 Fatal Honeymoon Tommy Thomas Television film
2016 Inside Amy Schumer Proposition Man Episode: "Fame"
2022 Mike Cus D'Amato Miniseries; 2 episodes
National Treasure: Edge of History FBI Agent Peter Sadusky Episode: "I'm a Ghost"[33]
2024 The Tattooist of Auschwitz Older Lale Sokolov mini-series; 6 episodes, Sky UK and Stan Australia 2 May24


Year Title Role Notes
1975 Death of a Salesman Happy Circle in the Square, Broadway
1984 Hurlyburly Phil Goodman Theatre, Chicago
1984–1985 Ethel Barrymore Theatre, Broadway
1985 A Lie of the Mind Jake McGinn/Cazale Theatre, Off-Broadway
1986 Goose and Tomtom Bingo Lincoln Center, New York
2008 Jerry Springer: The Opera Jerry Springer Carnegie Hall Playhouse, New York

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Nominated Work Result
1973 National Society of Film Critics Award Best Supporting Actor Mean Streets Nominated
1976 Taxi Driver 2nd place
New York Film Critics Circle Awards Best Supporting Actor 2nd place
1991 National Society of Film Critics Award Best Supporting Actor Mortal Thoughts Won
1991 National Society of Film Critics Award Best Supporting Actor Thelma & Louise Won
1991 Academy Award Best Supporting Actor Bugsy Nominated
Golden Globe Award Best Supporting Actor - Motion Picture Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association Best Supporting Actor Won
National Society of Film Critics Award Best Supporting Actor Won
1992 Sant Jordi Award Best Foreign Actor Reservoir Dogs Won
1992 Independent Spirit Award Best Male Lead Bad Lieutenant Won
New York Film Critics Circle Best Actor 2nd place
1993 Australian Film Institute Award Best Actor in a Leading Role The Piano Won
1993 Venice Film Festival Best Actor Dangerous Game Won
1995 Berlin International Film Festival Special Jury Prize Smoke Won
David di Donatello Best Foreign Actor Won
1996 Saturn Award Best Supporting Actor From Dusk till Dawn Nominated
2000 Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favorite Supporting Actor – Action U-571 Nominated
2008 Satellite Award Best Supporting Actor - Series, Miniseries or Television Film Life on Mars Nominated
2014 Screen Actors Guild Award Outstanding Ensemble in a Motion Picture The Grand Budapest Hotel Nominated
2019 The Irishman Nominated


  1. ^ Hunt, Rachel (October 25, 2021). "'Big Sky': Is Jesse James Keitel Related to Harvey Keitel?". Cheatsheet.com. Retrieved August 31, 2022.
  2. ^ Wartofsky, Alona (September 13, 1995). "DARK SIDE OF THE ACTOR HARVEY KEITEL, PLUMBING THE DEPTHS OF THE SOUL". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  3. ^ "Harvey Keitel on his uneasy relationship with Hollywood". CBS News. December 15, 2019. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Harvey Keitel". British Film Institute. Archived from the original on January 27, 2019. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  5. ^ "AFI Past Winners - 1993 Winners & Nominees". AFI-AACTA. Archived from the original on October 27, 2015. Retrieved January 24, 2016.
  6. ^ Lipton, James (October 18, 2007). Inside Inside. Dutton. p. 14. ISBN 9780525950356.
  7. ^ "Person details for Harvey Kutel". familyserarch.org. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  8. ^ Schoemer, Karen (November 7, 1993). "Harvey Keitel Tries A Little Tenderness". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Inside the Actors Studio. The Actors Studio, Bravo Network, Betelgeuse Productions. 1998. Archived from the original on January 6, 2015. Retrieved December 27, 2014.
  10. ^ Lombardi, John (January 12, 1998). "Scenes From a Bad Movie Marriage - Nymag". New York Magazine. Retrieved February 14, 2022.
  11. ^ Oct. 18, KRISTINE McKENNA; Pt, 1992 12 Am (October 18, 1992). "MOVIES : Leaps of Faith : Harvey Keitel's search for God often involves confronting his darker self; case in point: 'Reservoir Dogs'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 14, 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  12. ^ HB Studio Alumni
  13. ^ Cowie, Peter (1990). Coppola: A Biography. New York: Scribner. p. 122. ISBN 978-0-6841-9193-5.
  14. ^ Cohn, Lawrence (October 5, 1988). "Acting Jobs Steadiest Since Studio Era". Variety. p. 1.
  15. ^ "Gary Oldman explaining why Stanley Kubrick was a difficult director to work for - Far Out Magazine". June 2021.
  16. ^ "24th Moscow International Film Festival (2002)". MIFF. Archived from the original on January 16, 2013. Retrieved March 30, 2013.
  17. ^ Mitovich, Matt (July 24, 2008). "Scoop! Keitel Lands on Mars as Homicide Boss". TV Guide. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
  18. ^ Dolan, Jon (December 13, 2013). "'Beyonce' Breakdown: The Ultimate Guide to Bey's Surprise New Album". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
  19. ^ De Coster, Ramzi (October 17, 2013). "Monterey Media Acquires Three Films, Including Works Starring Gerard Depardieu and Harvey Keitel". IndieWire. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  20. ^ Brownsell, Alex (August 29, 2014). "Direct Line challenges rivals with Harvey Keitel 'fixer' ads". Campaign. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  21. ^ "Meet Winston Wolfe". directline.com. August 30, 2014. Archived from the original on December 30, 2020. Retrieved September 4, 2014.
  22. ^ Plunkett, Paul (October 21, 2021). "Newport Beach Film Festival Returns Live with Events and Honorees Including Harvey Keitel and Regina Hall". Variety. Retrieved November 19, 2021.
  23. ^ Grobar, Matt (June 27, 2022). "'Severance's Dichen Lachman, Willa Fitzgerald, Ron Perlman & Harvey Keitel To Topline Noir 'Joe Baby'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 23, 2022.
  24. ^ Lombardi, John (January 12, 1998). "Scenes From a Bad Movie Marriage". New York.
  25. ^ "Scenes from a Bad Barriage". The Independent. London. March 7, 1998. Archived from the original on May 9, 2022. Retrieved March 3, 2017.
  26. ^ Pinto, Goel (October 7, 2001). "American-Jewish Actor Harvey Keitel Gets Married in Jerusalem". Haaretz. Tel Aviv. Retrieved January 27, 2019.
  27. ^ McMurray, Shandley (2010). Hey Baby! What's Your Name?. Wiley. p. 205. ISBN 978-0470739983.
  28. ^ "Harvey Keitel, wife and son Roman in Soho". People. March 14, 2007.
  29. ^ "DISTINCȚIE – Actorul american Harvey Keitel a venit în Leordina pentru a primi titlul de cetățean de onoare al comunei maramureșene" [DISTINCTION - American actor Harvey Keitel came to Leordina to receive the title of honorary citizen of Maramures commune]. News from Maramureș (in Romanian). July 7, 2017. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  31. ^ "Sergio Citti". May 7, 2001.
  32. ^ "'By The Gun': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. December 5, 2014. Retrieved February 6, 2021.
  33. ^ Porter, Rick (July 21, 2022). "Harvey Keitel Joins 'National Treasure' Series at Disney+". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 21, 2022.
Preceded byPaul Newman President of the Actors Studio 1994–present With: Al Pacinoand Ellen Burstyn Succeeded byIncumbent