Fast Facts

  • Served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1956 to 1959.
  • Worked as a shoe salesman and a court stenographer.
  • Studied at the Actors Studio in New York.
  • Starred as Bugsy Siegel in the made-for-TV movie The Virginia Hill Story (1974) and subsequently played gangster Mickey Cohen opposite Warren Beatty's portrayal of Siegel in 1991's big-screen flick, Bugsy.
  • His larger-than-life roles have included Satan, Judas Iscariot, Harry Houdini and Thomas Paine.
  • Appeared in Get Shorty (1995) as himself but played a character in its sequel, Be Cool (2005).
  • In 2008, played the title role in the Carnegie Hall production of Jerry Springer: The Opera.


  • 1991, Oscar — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: Nominee
  • 2014, Screen Actors Guild Awards — Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1992, Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1993, Australian Film Institute Awards — Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Winner


  • Daphne Kastner — Wife
  • Stella Keitel — Daughter
  • Hudson Keitel — Son
  • Lorraine Bracco — Ex-wife
  • Renee — Sister
  • Roman Keitel — Son
  • Miriam Keitel — Mother
  • Lisa Karmazin — Ex-significant Other
  • Harry Keitel — Father
  • Jerry Keitel — Brother