A Great Danish American Birthday - Keith Carradine

  • August 08, 2021
  • August 08, 2023
  • 3 sessions
  • August 08, 2021 (CDT)
  • August 08, 2022 (CDT)
  • August 08, 2023 (CDT)

A GREAT DANISH AMERICAN BIRTHDAY - KEITH CARRADINE

Keith Ian Carradine (Born August 8, 1949) maternal Great Grandfather was Danish American Max Henius, founder of Rebild.  Keith was the main American speaker at the Rebild 100 year anniversary celebration in 2012.  He is an American actor, singer and songwriter who has had success on stage, film and television.

He is known for his roles as Tom Frank in Robert Altman's film Nashville, Wild Bill Hickok in the HBO series Deadwood, FBI agent Frank Lundy in Dexter, and US President Conrad Dalton in Madam Secretary. In addition, he is a Golden Globe– and Academy Award–winning songwriter. As a member of the Carradine family, he is part of an acting dynasty that began with his father, John Carradine.

Carradine was born in San Mateo, California. He is the son of actress and artist Sonia Sorel (née Henius) and actor John Carradine. His paternal half-brothers are Bruce Carradine and the late David Carradine. His maternal half-brother is Michael Bowen, and his full brothers are Christopher and Robert Carradine.

Carradine's childhood was difficult. He said that his father drank and his mother “was a manic depressive paranoid schizophrenic catatonic — she had it all.” His parents were divorced in 1957, when he was eight years old. A bitter custody battle led to his father gaining custody of him and his brothers, Christopher and Robert, after the children had spent three months in a home for abused children as wards of the court. Keith said of the experience, "It was like being in jail. There were bars on the windows, and we were only allowed to see our parents through glass doors. It was very sad. We would stand there on either side of the glass door crying".

He was raised primarily by his maternal grandmother, and he rarely saw either of his parents. His mother was not permitted to see him for eight years following the custody settlement.

After high school, Carradine entertained the thought of becoming a forest ranger, but opted to study drama at Colorado State University. He dropped out after one semester and drifted back to California moving in with his older half-brother, David. David encouraged Keith to pursue an acting career, paid for his acting and vocal lessons, and helped him get an agent.



National Foundation for Danish America
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Wilmette, Illinois 60091

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