James Keane

James Keane

Steadily working since the '70s in both film and television, James Keane has earned a reputation as a reliable character actor. Early in his career he landed a small part in Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War masterpiece, "Apocalypse Now." He could not have known that his one line would be a key part of what is the film's most iconic sequence, as the gunner on Lieutenant Colonel Bill Kilgore's (Robert Duvall) helicopter just before Kilgore carries out a magnificent assault on a village to secure a section of beach ideal for surfing, all set to the rousing soundtrack of Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries." Keane's only other significant role was on the law school drama "The Paper Chase," a CBS (and later Showtime) television series based on a novel and film of the same title. He portrayed Willis Bell, a slovenly member of the lead character's study group, and appeared in nearly every episode of the show's four-season run. Fans of the series will remember him as the guy who regularly wore Buffalo, New York, T-shirts, Keane's personal homage to his home town.


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