Michael Keaton, who plays the villain The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, was married to the late actress Caroline McWilliams. The 65-year-old Keaton has never remarried. The couple had one son together, songwriter Sean Douglas.
McWilliams was a prolific television actress from the late 1960s into the early 1990s. She died in Los Angeles on February 11, 2010 at age 64 after a battle with multiple myeloma.
Keaton and McWilliams were married from 1982 to 1990. Their son Sean was born in 1983.
Here’s a look at McWilliams life and career.
1. McWilliams Is Best Known for Her Role in ‘Guiding Light’ as Janet Mason Norris
McWilliams’ career began on the long-running soap opera Guiding Light, playing Janet Mason Norris from 1969 to 1975.
After her run on the show ended for good, McWilliams made frequent appearances in single episodes of hit shows like Kojak, Quincy M.E. and Barney Miller. She was even in a 1978 episode of The Incredible Hulk.
She also had a role in the sitcom Soap in 1978 and 1979. From 1979 to 1981, she appeared in 49 episodes of Benson. Throughout the 1980s, she appeared in various TV pilots before finding a role on Nearly Departed, a short-lived 1989 sitcom with Eric Idle.
In the early 1990s, she found roles in Beverly Hills, 90210, Home Improvement and Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman. Her last role was Helene Steele in three episodes of Judging Amy in 2002 and 2003. She also starred in the 1990 movie Mermaids.
2. McWilliams’ Family Said She Died of Multiple Myeloma
In February 2010, McWilliams’ family told The Los Angeles Times that McWilliams died from complications of multiple myeloma.
According to the American Cancer Society, multiple myeloma is a cancer from malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells are in bone marrow and the immune system needs them. As the ACS explains:
When plasma cells become cancerous and grow out of control, they can produce a tumor called a plasmacytoma. These tumors generally develop in a bone, but they are also rarely found in other tissues. If someone has only a single plasma cell tumor, the disease is called an isolated (or solitary) plasmacytoma. If someone has more than one plasmacytoma, they have multiple myeloma.
McWilliams was survived by her sisters, Kelly-Jo Dvareckas, Norma Liedtke and Patti McWilliams, as well as her son.
3. Later in Life, McWilliams Directed Stage Plays
During the last decade of her life, McWilliams tried her hand at directing stage plays and musicals. For example, in 2001, she directed You Haven’t Changed a Bit and Other Lies, written by The Facts of Life writer Jerry Mayer. Variety praised McWilliams’ “able direction,” although it found Mayer’s work lacking.
McWilliams also directed productions of The Smoke And Ice Follies and Divorcons (Let’s Get a Divorce).
Her sister Kelly-Jo Dvareckas told the Los Angeles Times that McWilliams “really felt she hit her stride when she started to direct.”
4. Keaton & McWilliams Remained Close & Said Sean is a Great Guy Because of Her
McWilliams and Keaton divorced in 1990, but they remained close, Keaton told Elle Magazine in 2010, just after her death. Keaton said his sister and brother also lost ex-spouses and told him that it will be “harder than you think.”
“And the feelings that came up were odd, but not in a bad way, necessarily, because we had remained close. She was a remarkable mom,” Keaton told Elle. “Sean is the great guy he is because of her—we’ve always been tight, but now the bond’s even tighter. We’re the family now.”
Also in that interview, Keaton said that one of the “greatest things” McWilliams ever told him was, “I really wish I would have had a son before I ever dated anybody.”
5. Son Sean Earned a Grammy Nomination for Co-Writing Thomas Rhett’s ‘Die A Happy Man’
Keaton and McWilliams’ son, Sean Douglas is a successful songwriter. (Sean’s last name is “Douglas” because that is Keaton’s real last name.) He earned a Grammy nomination for co-writing Thomas Rhett’s 2015 hit “Die A Happy Man.” In May 2016, Sony/ATV Music Publishing announced that it reached a worldwide publishing deal with Sean.
Sean’s other writing credits include Demi Lovato’s “Heart Attack,” Jason Derulo and Snoop Dogg’s “Wiggle,” Fifth Harmony’s “Sledgehammer” and Nick Jonas’ “Champagne Problems.” He recently co-wrote “Don’t Get Much Better,” performed by Jeremih, Ty Dolla Sign and Sage the Gemini for the Fate of the Furious soundtrack.
Keaton thanked his son for his support during his 2015 Golden Globe acceptance speech. The Washington Post notes that he’s been married to Rachel Bartov of Creative Arts Agency since 2014.