actor Stacy Keach at his Beverly Hills, Calif., office. Photo: Amanda Friedman because that The wall Street journal

Stacy Keach, 77, is a stage, TV and movie actor who has starred in much more than 75 films, consisting of “Fat City” and “The Bourne Legacy.” He at this time is top top the CBS sitcom “Man with a Plan” and narrates CNBC’s “American Greed.” that spoke with Marc Myers.

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I was born top top a quite dramatic night in 1941. Quickly after mine mother got in labor at the hospital in Savannah, Ga., someone referred to as looking for my father. Lightning had actually struck their house and also the chimney was on fire.

My father, Stacy Sr., sped residence to inspect on the house. Once he raced back, I had arrived. Yet there to be a problem: i was born through a space in my top lip. I wound increase having 4 operations to fix the cleft. My mother’s household in Texas paid for the surgeries.

My parental met in ~ Northwestern University external of Chicago in 1935, as soon as my dad was finishing his master’s degree in drama. They soon married. My dad was available a task in Savannah teaching drama in ~ Armstrong junior College, therefore they moved to Georgia. He also co-founded the Savannah Playhouse.


Stacy Keach, center, with his father Stacy Sr. And also mother mar Peckham in Studio City, Calif., in 1945. Photo: Keach family members

In late 1941, he got an sell to come to be an actor and also director in ~ the Pasadena Playhouse in California. My parents bundled me into their Nash Rambler and also in 1942 journey cross-country. My dad then operated at global Studios as an actor, director and writer.

When i was 5, we moved again, this time to new York after mine dad landing a project as one RKO producer. We resided in a house in the Flushing ar of Queens.

My operations were successful, but they left a scar where the lip to be sealed. I talked funny, v a sleep voice. Ns was frequently teased through the neighborhood bully. Someday we were play hide-and-seek as soon as the bully bound me increase in an abandoned greenhouse and also left me there. I controlled to cost-free myself.

When ns arrived house at dusk, mine parents were frantic. Mine mother, Mary, request what had happened. Ns told her, and also she took me down the street to the bully’s house. Once he opened up the door, she called me to acquire him. He never ever bothered me again.

A year later, in 1947, mine brother, James, to be born. Ns was thrilled to have a buddy, however I was also aggressive v him. My mom sent me come live through her mom for a year in Taft, Texas, just outside of body Christi. That’s where I spent 2nd grade. A friend and I checked out the town’s tiny movie theater every week.

When kids teased me, mine grandmother told me i was different and also special. She words went a long way.

In 1948, mine dad relocated us earlier to L.A. I loved that drive and also my father’s stories. Back in California, we lived in Sherman Oaks in a split-level house on a hill. You entered one story and the 2nd story was downstairs, developed into the hill.


gibbs Stacy Keach in his Beverly Hills, Calif., office. Photo: Amanda Friedman because that The wall surface Street newspaper

In 1950, my father created his radio collection for NBC referred to as “Tales that the Texas Rangers.” It to be a huge hit. I loved going through him to the studio to watch the actors and prop guys. I wanted to it is in an actor. Mine parents want me to end up being a doctor or a lawyer.

At the university of California in ~ Berkeley in 1959, ns majored in economics, however in my very first semester I appeared in a play. I soon readjusted my significant to English and also dramatic art. Then, at the Yale University institution of Drama, i won a Fulbright scholarship and studied in ~ the London Academy the Music and also Dramatic Art.

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My huge break was “MacBird!,” one Off-Broadway parody of “Macbeth” in 1967. I was the lead.

Today, mine wife, Malgosia, and also I live in Beverly Hills. We likewise have a home in a small town exterior Warsaw, Poland, whereby my wife prospered up. In Beverly Hills, we live in a comfortable condo.

At home, ns spend many of mine time at my Yamaha baby grand piano. I played as a kid and have been composing for years.

I’m no much longer self-conscious around my lip. I’ve also used my nasal voice in roles. The scar is a badge of honor.