Sunday 8 November 2015

Buster Keaton, 1895–1966 (American actor, vaudevillian, comedian, filmmaker, stunt performer, writer)

* "Buster" Keaton was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face."

Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton's "extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, [when] he worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies."

His career declined afterward with a dispiriting loss of his artistic independence when he was hired by MGM, which resulted in a crippling alcoholism that ruined his family life. However, he recovered in the 1940s, remarried and revived his career to a degree as an honored comic performer for the rest of his life, earning an Academy Honorary Award in 1958.

Keaton died of lung cancer on 1 February 1966, aged 70, in Woodland Hills, California.


BIRTH DATA: Joseph Frank Keaton, 4 October 1895, 03:00 (3 AM) CST (+6), Piqua, Kansas, USA (37n55, 95w32). ASC: 29 Leo. RR: A (from memory). SOURCE: Sy Scholfield quotes Keaton's father in an interview, "BUSTER SMILES FOR THIS SCRIBE: Keaton Pleased With Success of 'Battling Butler'," by Alma Whitaker, Los Angeles Times, 29 August 1926, p. C19: "So papa told how Buster was born at 3 a.m. on one hurricane night in Pickway, Kan., when their tent was blown away..."

Copyright Sy Scholfield. All rights reserved in all media.

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