Photos Of The Real Ray Kroc from 'The Founder' Show That Michael Keaton Was Smart Casting

Michael Keaton may have been snubbed at the Golden Globes for his performance in The Founder, but the Oscar-winner still has a shot at picking up a nomination at the Academy Awards. The actor plays Ray Kroc in the film, the milk shake mixer salesman who took McDonald's and turned it into the world's most famous restaurant chain. Keaton's portrayal is that of a clean cut, mid-20th century businessman, and photos of the real Ray Kroc of The Founder don't veer too far from that image.

Keaton, who is 65, plays Kroc beginning in 1955 when the salesman first encounters McDonald's restaurant in San Bernadino. At this point in time, Kroc would have been 53, meaning he wasn't quite as old as the man playing him in the film. The movie progresses until the time when Kroc purchases the company from its founders, the McDonald brothers, in 1961. At this time, Kroc would have been 59 — still a half-dozen years shy of Keaton's age. Other than their slight age difference, however, Keaton is a pretty solid pick to portray Kroc. His facial features and build are similar, the wardrobe is on point for the era, and his hairstyle is perfect. You can see Keaton as Kroc below:

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And now, here's the real deal:

Not bad casting, right? Here's another photo of the real Ray Kroc, posing in front of his favorite restaurant:

Here he is later in life, when he was most likely older than Keaton:

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And here is a photo of Kroc alongside his wife, Joan:


Joan Kroc is featured in the movie as Joan Smith, as she and Ray were both married to other people during the time period depicted. It wasn't until 1968, after the movie takes place, that the two wed. Joan is played by Linda Cardellini in the film, as seen below:

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Keaton may not be a dead ringer for the real Kroc, but the actor certainly does a fine job of transforming into one of the most significant businessmen of all time in The Founder.