Keir Atwood Dullea is an American actor who has been active since 1960 and continues to work to this day. He is best known for playing astronaut David Bowman in 2001: A Space Odyssey.
He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on May 30th, 1936 and is the son of Margaret Ruttan and Robert Dullea.
Keir Dullea is of Scottish descent on his mother’s side, while he is of Irish descent on his father’s side.
Dullea was raised in Greenwich Village in New York City. His parents ran a bookstore in the village.
He attended boarding school at George School in Pennsylvania. He would attend Rutgers University and later San Fransisco State University. Following his time at San Fransisco State University, he would pursue stage work and regional theater.
Keir Dullea’s first acting work was in regional and summer stock theater. He entered the Neighborhood Playhouse and debuted in New York in the play “Sticks and Bones” in 1956. As he pursued stage work, he would also pursue television.
He would make his television debut in 1960 as a German pilot in the TV film Mrs. Miniver, adapted from a novel of the same name. That same year he would appear in the television series Route 66, playing “Paul Garth” in the episode “Black November.”
By 1961, he would begin appearing in multiple television projects. 1961 was also his first film appearance in the movie The Hoodlum Priest.
He would have a small part in the drama starring Don Murray and Larry Gates. This role was one of the many he would take that began to typecast him as a troubled youth, encouraging him to take on different parts to break that image when possible.
David and Lisa
Keir Dullea’s most prominent role early on was in the 1962 film, David and Lisa. It was a low-budget drama that was a surprising hit, put him on several critical lists, and earned him some attention.
Regrettably, his youthful looks and acting often typecast him as a troubled teen. However, in 1968 he ended up breaking that typecasting and appearing in the movie that he is best known.
In a Reddit AMA, Dullea revealed his role in David and Lisa helped make his most notable role possible.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick, the eccentric director, cast Keir Dullea as the character of David Bowman in his loose adaptation of Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Sentinel,” 2001: A Space Odyssey. Clark wrote the adaptation.
The film would become a landmark movie in science-fiction and film history, and Keir Dullea was cast as the de-facto lead player of the film.
2010: The Year We Make Contact
Keir Dullea would go on to play the character of David Bowman again a decade later in 2010: The Year We Make Contact, but that film did not achieve the same level of impact as 2001: A Space Odyssey.
One notable film that Keir Dullea was part of was 1974’s Black Christmas. Black Christmas was a horror film written and directed by Bob Clark, who would later do A Christmas Story (1983).
Keir Dullea’s role was not as substantial as Olivia Hussey, Margot Kidder, and John Saxon, but it was a key role and gave him second billing. Black Christmas would be a significant chapter in the slasher genre as it is widely considered the first slasher film.
What is Keir Dullea doing now?
Keir Dullea continues to act. Most recently, he can be seen in the Paramount+ series Halo, an adaptation of the video game franchise.
Dullea played Fleet Admiral Hood. he also had a sizeable role in the 2016 mystery drama The Path. This Hulu series followed the lives of people in a cult. Kier Dullea would appear in 15 episodes playing Dr. Steven Meyer.
(photo: vpro cinema)
Outside of television, Keir Dullea continues to act in live theater.
Keir Dullea has been married four times. He is currently married to Mia Dillon. The two wed in May of 1999. Mia Dillon is an actress who continues to work today and will appear in the movie Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, due in 2023. She may be best known for her role in All The Good Things (2010).
Keir Dullea’s third wife was Suzanne Fuller. The two were married from June 1976 until her death in January 1998. Suzanne Fuller was best known for her role in the Ernest Morris adaptation of The Tell-Tale Heart (1960).
Dullea’s second wife was Susan Schloss Lessans. They were married from 1979 to 1970 but divorced.
Dullea’s first wife was Margot Bennett. The two were married from 1960 to 1968 but would divorce. She was an actress as well.
Keir Dullea has two step-children through marriage to Suzanne Fuller.
Is Keir Dullea on social media?
Kier Dullea does not have any verifiable social media profiles. However, many social media profiles exist for fans to celebrate his work.