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Keith Carradine

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After winning an Academy Award for his original composition "I'm Easy," actor Keith Carradine embarked on a short-lived singing career. Born August 8, 1949, in San Mateo, CA (the son of actor John Carradine), Carradine played guitar in a bluegrass band at age 14, and began acting in school plays around the same time. He studied theater at Colorado State University, but dropped out after a semester and returned to the Los Angeles area, where he successfully auditioned for a role in the Broadway cast of Hair. He spent nearly a year in New York, then returned to Los Angeles, where he made his screen debut in 1970's A Gunfight. From there he was discovered by the legendary director Robert Altman, who cast him in the 1971 classic McCabe and Mrs. Miller. Carradine went on to star in Thieves Like Us, during which Altman first learned of his musical talents. As a result, Carradine landed a prominent role as a country singer in the huge ensemble cast of 1975's Nashville, and several of his compositions were featured on the film's soundtrack. "I'm Easy" won the Academy Award for Best Song, and Carradine's recording, released as a single on Asylum Records, became a Top Ten pop hit. In the wake of that success, Carradine recorded a full album of the same name, which was issued in 1976; the follow-up, Lost & Found, appeared in 1978, after which Carradine returned to acting full-time. In 1991, Carradine returned to musical theater, creating the title role in The Will Rogers Follies, which earned him a Tony nomination. Three years later, Carradine narrated the children's video release of Annie Oakley. Collector's Choice issued I'm Easy and Lost & Found as a two-fer package in 2004. ~ Steve Huey

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