Charles McKeown
Charles McKeown is a British actor and writer, perhaps best known for his collaborations with Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Brazil , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , The Fisher King , and 12 Monkeys...

. The two met while shooting Monty Python's Life of Brian
Monty Python's Life of Brian
Monty Python's Life of Brian, also known as Life of Brian, is a 1979 British comedy film written, directed and largely performed by the Monty Python comedy team...

, while McKeown was doing bit parts in the film.

Screenwriting career

McKeown co-wrote the screenplay for Brazil
Brazil (film)
Brazil is a 1985 British science fiction fantasy/black comedy film directed by Terry Gilliam. It was written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard and stars Jonathan Pryce. The film also features Robert De Niro, Kim Greist, Michael Palin, Katherine Helmond, Bob Hoskins, and Ian Holm...

(1985) with Gilliam and Tom Stoppard
Tom Stoppard
Sir Tom Stoppard OM, CBE, FRSL is a British playwright, knighted in 1997. He has written prolifically for TV, radio, film and stage, finding prominence with plays such as Arcadia, The Coast of Utopia, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour, Professional Foul, The Real Thing, and Rosencrantz and...

, for which they were collectively nominated for an Academy Award. In The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a 1988 British adventure comedy film directed by Terry Gilliam, starring John Neville, Sarah Polley, Eric Idle, Jonathan Pryce, Oliver Reed, Uma Thurman, and Robin Williams.-Plot:...

(1988), McKeown again co-wrote the screenplay with Gilliam. After nearly twenty years apart, the two collaborated on the screenplay for The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is a 2009 fantasy film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam and Charles McKeown. The film follows a traveling theater troupe whose leader, having made a bet with the Devil, takes audience members through a magical mirror to explore their imaginations...


Other notable screenwriting credits for McKeown include Plunkett & Macleane
Plunkett & Macleane
Plunkett & Macleane is a 1999 British historical action comedy film directed by Jake Scott, and starring Robert Carlyle, Jonny Lee Miller and Liv Tyler. It follows the story of Captain James Macleane , and Will Plunkett , two men in eighteenth century Britain who are both struggling to survive...

(1999) and Ripley's Game
Ripley's Game
Ripley's Game is a psychological thriller by Patricia Highsmith, the third in her "Ripliad" series.-Plot summary:In the third Ripley novel, Tom Ripley is a wealthy man in his early thirties. He lives in Villeperce, France, with his French wife, Heloise...

(2002). He went uncredited for his work on Batman
Batman (1989 film)
Batman is a 1989 superhero film based on the DC Comics character of the same name, directed by Tim Burton. The film stars Michael Keaton in the title role, as well as Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Robert Wuhl and Jack Palance...


Acting career

McKeown has had a number of acting roles in films and television series associated with the Monty Python
Monty Python
Monty Python was a British surreal comedy group who created their influential Monty Python's Flying Circus, a British television comedy sketch show that first aired on the BBC on 5 October 1969. Forty-five episodes were made over four series...

 comedy group. He started off his career with minor roles on Ripping Yarns
Ripping Yarns
Ripping Yarns is a British television comedy series, shown on BBC 2 from 1976 to 1979. It was written by Michael Palin and Terry Jones of Monty Python fame...

(1977), which starred Michael Palin
Michael Palin
Michael Edward Palin, CBE FRGS is an English comedian, actor, writer and television presenter best known for being one of the members of the comedy group Monty Python and for his travel documentaries....

 and Terry Jones
Terry Jones
Terence Graham Parry Jones is a Welsh comedian, screenwriter, actor, film director, children's author, popular historian, political commentator, and TV documentary host. He is best known as a member of the Monty Python comedy team....

, and Fawlty Towers
Fawlty Towers
Fawlty Towers is a British sitcom produced by BBC Television and first broadcast on BBC2 in 1975. Twelve television program episodes were produced . The show was written by John Cleese and his then wife Connie Booth, both of whom played major characters...

(1979), which starred John Cleese
John Cleese
John Marwood Cleese is an English actor, comedian, writer, and film producer. He achieved success at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and as a scriptwriter and performer on The Frost Report...

. Around the same time, he played some minor roles in Life of Brian, where he met Gilliam.

Since then, he has had acting roles in a number of the films he helped to write with Gilliam, including an appearance as Harvey Lime in Brazil and as Adolphus and Rupert in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. In addition, he's had roles in other Python-associated films such as Time Bandits
Time Bandits
Time Bandits is a 1981 British fantasy film produced and directed by Terry Gilliam.Terry Gilliam wrote the screenplay with fellow Monty Python alumnus Michael Palin, who appears with Shelley Duvall in the small, recurring roles of Vincent and Pansy. The film is one of the most famous of more than...

(1981), The Missionary
The Missionary
The Missionary is a 1982 British comedy directed by Richard Loncraine, produced by George Harrison, Denis O'Brian, Michael Palin and Neville C. Thompson. The film stars Palin as the Rev...

(1982), A Private Function
A Private Function
A Private Function is a 1984 British comedy film starring Michael Palin and Maggie Smith. The film was predominantly filmed in Ilkley and Ben Rhydding, West Yorkshire. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival....

, Erik the Viking
Erik the Viking
Erik the Viking is a 1989 feature film written and directed by Terry Jones. The film was inspired by Jones's children's book The Saga of Erik the Viking , but the plot is completely different. Jones also appears in the film as King Arnulf....

(1989), and American Friends
American Friends
American Friends is a 1991 film starring Michael Palin. It was written by Palin and Tristram Powell, and directed by Powell.-Plot:Palin plays Francis Ashby, a senior Oxford professor on holiday in the Swiss Alps in 1861. There he meets the American Caroline Hartley and her 18-year old ward Elinor...


He's also had some film roles not associated with the Monty Python group such as his role as Jerry Hadley in Spies Like Us
Spies Like Us
Spies Like Us is a 1985 American comedy film directed by John Landis and starring Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Steve Forrest, and Donna Dixon...

(1985) and Mr. Cunliffe in Prick Up Your Ears
Prick Up Your Ears
Prick Up Your Ears is a 1987 film, directed by Stephen Frears, about the playwright Joe Orton and his lover Kenneth Halliwell. The screenplay was written by Alan Bennett, based on the book by John Lahr...


McKeown has also appeared on numerous television series including: Yes Minister
Yes Minister
Yes Minister is a satirical British sitcom written by Antony Jay and Jonathan Lynn that was first transmitted by BBC Television between 1980–1982 and 1984, split over three seven-episode series. The sequel, Yes, Prime Minister, ran from 1986 to 1988. In total there were 38 episodes—of which all but...

(1980), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (TV series)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, is a BBC television adaptation of Douglas Adams's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy broadcast in January and February 1981 on BBC Two...

(1981), Pinkerton's Progress (1983 which he also wrote for) and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles is an American television series that aired on ABC from March 4, 1992, to July 24, 1993. The series explores the childhood and youth of the fictional character Indiana Jones and primarily stars Sean Patrick Flanery and Corey Carrier as the title character, with...


External links

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