Keir, the son of a coal-miner, initially worked in the coal mines of his home town himself, leaving school to become a miner at the age of fourteen. He worked the mines for six years, before in 1946, at the age of twenty, joining the Glasgow Citizen's Theatre to train as an actor.
He made his film debut in the early Hammer film The Lady Craves Excitement in 1950. His film work then went on to include well-known pictures such as A Night to Remember (1958), Cleopatra (1963), The Fall of the Roman Empire (1964), Lord Jim (1965) and Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD (1966). Probably his best-known role during this period, and his major starring role, was as Professor Bernard Quatermass in the 1967 Hammer Films adaptation of the BBC television serial Quatermass and the Pit. Later film roles included parts in the 1978 version of The Thirty-Nine Steps and Rob Roy (1995).
Keir also enjoyed an extensive television career, with guest starring roles in a variety of popular British television series, from Ivanhoe in 1958 to Hamish Macbeth in 1996. In between, he appeared in popular series such as The Avengers, The Saint, Taggart and Boon. He also starred in the popular 1976 Australian television series The Outsiders.
Keir also worked on the radio, most notably when he returned to the role of Quatermass for the 1996 drama-documentary The Quatermass Memoirs, broadcast on BBC Radio 3. This made him one of only two actors - Brian Donlevy being the other - to play the part of the Professor twice.
Keir was married to Joyce Scott, and had five children: Andrew, Maureen, Sean, Deidrie and Julie. Sean, Deidrie and Julie all became actors, with Sean and Deidrie both later moving into producing.
Andrew Keir Facts
|Birthday||April 3, 1926|
|Birthplace||Shotts, Scotland, United Kingdom|
|Date of death||October 5, 1997 (age 71)|
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