Keith Ian Carradine is an American actor who has had success on stage, film and television. In addition, he is a Golden Globe and Oscar winning songwriter. As a member of the Carradine family, he is part of an acting “dynasty” that began with his father, John Carradine.
Keith Carradine was born in San Mateo, California. He is the son of actress and artist Sonia Sorel 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 six years old. A bitter custody battle lead 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.