Michael Keaton well qualified for cowboy roles

June 12, 2009

by Mark Thompson



Michael John Douglas is known better by his stage name, Michael Keaton, in the movies. Here he's pictured with his all-time favorite cutting horse, Smart Royalena. © Midge Ames

Michael John Douglas, 57, still hopes he eventually gets to portray a cowboy on film.

The versatile actor - better known by his stage name, Michael Keaton - has taken on varied dramatic and comedic roles, including Batman and Beetlejuice.

"Before I hang it all up, that [acting in a Western] is one of my goals," Douglas said. "I grew up as a little kid watching and loving Westerns."

A bad-guy role offered to him in last year's The Appaloosa, and one played well by Jeremy Irons, didn't feel quite right to Douglas. "It doesn't necessarily have to be the lead, but it has to be something I understand and know," he said.

Hickorys Rosalena (Hickorys Indian Pep x Smart Royalena x Doc O'Lena), a 2005 mare owned by Douglas, tied for third in the Open finals at the PCCHA Futurity in November to earn $21,156. The mare and her trainer, Scott Weis, of Ojai, California, qualified for their sixth Open finals at the PCCHA Derby during March in Paso Robles.

Weis is the man that placed Douglas on his first few cutting horses about 20 years ago. The actor has ridden, bought and sold many horses since then. While his acting schedule has prevented him from competing much as a cutter, Douglas surpassed the $100,000 mark in earnings as both a cutting horse owner and as a cutting breeder last year.

Hickorys Rosalena is Douglas' first filly out of his 1985 mare Smart Royalena (Doc O'Lena x Pepard x Peppy San). Douglas and Smart Royalena won an Amateur title and his top cheque as a cutting competitor ($3360) at the 1992 PCCHA Futurity.

Someday when he's not quite as busy making movies, Douglas plans to ride back into cutting arenas as an amateur and non-pro. He also plans to use his real name as a cutter.

"Everything, except when I sign a contract as an actor, is in my real name," Douglas said.

"Someday, I'd rather get my own name back."