Buster Keaton Facts

Buster Keaton Facts
Buster Keaton was an American comedian, actor, producer, screenwriter, and director who became famous as a silent film star. He was born Joseph Frank Keaton on October 4th, 1895, in Piqua, Kansas, to vaudeville parents Myra Keaton and Joe Keaton. By the age of 18 months he had been nicknamed Buster after falling down the stairs in front of Harry Houdini and wasn't injured. Houdini's reaction was to declare, "That was a real buster!" By the age of three, Buster had become part of his parents' act, which was named The Three Keatons.
Interesting Buster Keaton Facts:
Buster Keaton performed physical comedy sketches with his parents in which his father threw him across the stage or into the audience. He was never injured but accusations of child abuse still occurred at times.
Because of his performance-based childhood Buster Keaton learned to read and write late, despite being taught by his mother. He did not attend school regularly.
As a child Buster learned to use a deadpan expression to delight audiences. Eventually in his life as a performer he gained the nickname 'The Great Stone Face'.
Buster Keaton served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in France during the First World War. As a result of an infection to his ear during service he suffered permanent hearing impairment.
Buster made his first appearance in The Butcher Boy, after meeting Fatty Arbuckle in New York City at Talmadge Studios in 1917.
Buster changed his middle name from Frank to Francis.
Buster Keaton married Natalie Talmadge in 1921 and divorced in 1932. His second wife was Mae Scriven. They were married from 1933 to 1936. His third wife was Eleanor Norris. Hey were married from 1940 until his death in 1966.
Buster Keaton had two sons, Joseph and Robert, with his first wife Natalie.
Buster Keaton is believed to have been in approximately 147 films during his career.
Buster Keaton performed many dangerous stunts during his career. He carried out a stunt in the film Steamboat Bill Jr. in which a house falls on him and he survives because an open window fell onto him. Many of the crew on the film refused to watch because they were sure Buster was going to die during the shot.
During the shooting of the film Sherlock Jr, Buster Keaton's neck was broken. He performed a stunt in which he hung from a railroad water tower spigot and he was knocked to ground. He didn't know his neck had been broken until years later during a routine appointment.
Due to excessive drinking Buster Keaton spent time in an institution. He reportedly escaped thanks to tricks he learned from Houdini.
Buster Keaton's films often had no real script. The crew worked from ideas and Buster's guidance.
Buster Keaton was known to write gags for Red Skeleton and the Marx Brothers, as well as perform stunts for other actors.
Orson Welles stated that Buster Keaton's movie The General was the highest cinematic comedy achievement and even likely the greatest movie ever made at the time.
Buster Keaton died of lung cancer at the age of 70, in 1966.


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