Top 10 Secrets About Buster Keaton

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Buster Keaton was one of the most innovative and influential filmmakers of the silent era. He was known for his inventive use of camera angles, editing, and special effects, as well as his comic timing and physical prowess. Here are 10 things you may not have known about this Hollywood legend.

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1. Buster Keaton’s real name was Joseph Francis Keaton.

He was given the nickname “Buster” by Harry Houdini, who saw Keaton take a spill down a flight of stairs when he was just six years old.

2. Buster Keaton’s parents were both vaudeville performers.

Keaton began performing with his parents at the age of three and made his stage debut in New York City in 1897.

3. Buster Keaton served in the U.S. Army during World War I.

He was stationed in France and worked as a mechanic repairing Liberty engines, which were used in Allied airplanes.

4. Buster Keaton’s first film role was in The Butcher Boy (1917).

He went on to appear in over 50 films, including The Navigator (1924), Sherlock Jr. (1924), and The General (1926).

5. Buster Keaton was a skilled athlete and stuntman.

He performed many of his own stunts, including those in the famous “railroad disaster” scene from The General.

6. Buster Keaton was married three times.

His first wife was actress Natalie Talmadge, with whom he had two sons, Joseph and Robert. His second wife was Mae Scrivener, and his third wife was Eleanor Norris.

7. In addition to his work in film, Buster Keaton also appeared on television and stage.

He made guest appearances on shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show and What’s My Line?, and starred in the Broadway production of The Sunshine Boys.

8. Buster Keaton was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 1960.

The award recognized his “brilliant talents and distinguished career.”

9. In his later years, Buster Keaton struggled with alcoholism.

He died of lung cancer at the age of 70 in 1966.

10. A bust of Buster Keaton is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

The sculpture, by George Stanley, was presented to the museum by Keaton’s widow Eleanor Norris in 1967.

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