Bad boy Keith Allen was many things - including a multi-talented performer with professional credits as an actor, director, musician, author and comedian. Born June 2, 1953 in Wales to a Royal Navy submariner, Allen was the second of three children, including brother Kevin Allen, who directed the film "Twin Town" (1997). Growing up in Swansea and Malta, he spent his later childhood years in Gosport before being sent to boarding school in Essex, following his father's posting to Singapore. The association would not last long, with Allen expelled only two years later for reportedly changing the school's organ pipes. It proved to be just the first in a series of run-ins with authority for Allen, including being sent to a juvenile facility two years later after being found guilty of petty thievery. Following his release, he bounced around various odd jobs in the 70s (including time as a performer in various punk bands) before finding success as a stand-up comedian opening for bands such as The Clash. His big break came in 1979 at London's The Comedy Store, which led to his appearing on episodes of "The Comic Strip Presents..." (Channel 4 1982-88) alongside the likes of Dawn French and Rik Mayall. The stand-up/sketch series, "I Love Keith Allen" (BSB 1990) followed after a 21-day stint in prison for criminal damage in 1985. In 1993, he earned a major dramatic role in an episode of the TV series "Inspector Morse" (ITV 1987-2000) written by Danny Boyle. Allen earned acclaim for his role in Boyle's breakthrough feature "Shallow Grave" (1994) and its acclaimed follow-up "Trainspotting" (1996). More mainstream features included "The Others" (2001) starring Nicole Kidman and the childrens' film "Agent Cody Banks: Destination London" (2004). He also worked regularly on television, including supporting roles in the medical drama "Bodies" (BBC 2004-06) and "Robin Hood" (BBC 2006-09), in which he played the Sheriff of Nottingham. In 2011, his documentary film "Unlawful Killing" about the death of Princess Diana went virtually unreleased after Allen refused to cut make 87 cuts deemed necessary by lawyers to screen it in Britain. As a result, it likewise failed to earn release in the United States after airing at the Cannes Film Festival. To a younger generation, Allen was better known as the father of pop singer Lily Allen and "Game of Thrones" (HBO 2011- ) star Alfie Allen.
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Cast (TV Mini-Series)
Featured in several episodes of alternative-comedy anthology series "The Comic Strip Presents"
Co-stars in Danny Boyle's "Shallow Grave"
Appears in Boyle's "Trainspotting"
Stars in BBC's "Robin Hood" as the Sheriff of Nottingham