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Buster Keaton facts

While investigating facts about Buster Keaton Movies and Buster Keaton Stunts, I found out little known, but curios details like:

Buster Keaton was an international mega silent movie star, but broke down after sound movies took over. He became an alcoholic and was institutionalized in a mental ward but escaped his strait jacket using techniques he learned from Houdini. He then married his nurse but had no memory of it.

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Silent film comedian Buster Keaton got his start in his father's vaudeville act at the age of 3. His act would be to goad his father into throwing him across the stage, and he became so good at falling that he rarely got bruises. He was eventually billed as "The Little Boy Who Can't Be Damaged."

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In my opinion, it is useful to put together a list of the most interesting details from trusted sources that I've come across answering what year did buster keaton die. Here are 38 of the best facts about Buster Keaton The General and Buster Keaton Films I managed to collect.

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  1. During the filming of Steamboat Bill, Jr. in 1928, crew members threatened to quit and begged Buster Keaton not to do this scene. The cameraman admitted to looking away while filming.

  2. Buster Keaton ("a master of conveying action through imagery alone") and Charlie Chaplin had a friendly rivalry over who could use the fewest intertitles in their silent movies. Typical silents averaged 240 intertitles. Chaplin won with a low of 21; Buster got as low as 23.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Due to excessive drinking Buster Keaton spent time in an institution. He reportedly escaped thanks to tricks he learned from Houdini.

  6. Buster Keaton had two sons, Joseph and Robert, with his first wife Natalie.

  7. 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.

  8. Buster Keaton died of lung cancer at the age of 70, in 1966.

  9. 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.

  10. Buster Keaton was known to write gags for Red Skeleton and the Marx Brothers, as well as perform stunts for other actors.

buster keaton facts
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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 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.

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.

Buster Keaton is believed to have been in approximately 147 films during his career.

Buster made his first appearance in The Butcher Boy, after meeting Fatty Arbuckle in New York City at Talmadge Studios in 1917.

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Silent movie star Roscoe Conkling Arbuckle, who also discovered Buster Keaton and Bob Hope...and was Charlie Chaplin's mentor.

How did buster keaton die?

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.

Buster Keaton fractured his neck on set in this scene and didn’t realize it until 10 years later when an X-Ray showed it.

During the making of Wall-E, the Pixar team studied and drew inspiration from silent films, particularly those of Chaplin and Buster Keaton. For the first twenty minutes of the movie, there’s basically no spoken dialogue, only recorded human voices echoing around a long-abandoned Earth.

Buster Keaton starred in an episode of the Twilight Zone portraying a man from 1890 who gets transported to the (to him) chaotic world of early 1960s. This episode is metaphorical of his ill-fated transition from silent movies into talkies.

Buster changed his middle name from Frank to Francis.

How old was buster keaton when he died?

Harry Houdini gave Buster Keaton his nickname “Buster”

Buster Keaton's films often had no real script. The crew worked from ideas and Buster's guidance.

Practically every major silent film star (and most notably, Buster Keaton) performed all their own stunts, including dangerous drops and dodges

A toddler named Joe Keaton acquired the nickname "Buster Keaton" after Harry Houdini saw him fall down a flight of stairs.

As a young boy working in Vaudeville with his parents, Buster Keaton had so much fun he would laugh when an actor threw him across the stage. He noticed it was drawing fewer laughs from the audience, which is why he adopted his famous deadpan expression while he was working.

How old was buster keaton when he died?

Buster Keaton was at one point briefly institutionalized; however Keaton escaped a straitjacket with tricks learned during his vaudeville days.

Buster Keaton is the real originator of the Harlem Shake (far right in blackface)

The train scene from Buster Keaton's "The General" is the most expensive scene in silent film history. The locomotive became a tourist attraction until it was salvaged for scrap during WWII.

Buster Keaton's last role was 1966's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. True to form, the 70 year old actor did (most of) his own stunts

Buster Keaton, the silent film star whose genius rivaled Charlie Chaplin's, was penniless later in life thanks to signing a contract with MGM that limited creative control of his films. Chaplan, who maintained control of his work, died fabulously wealthy.

Samuel Beckett and Buster Keaton made a movie together

Buster Keaton's only invitation to a film festival wasn't even for his own films

When Buster Keaton (a 1920's movie star), was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 1996, the illness was kept secret from him. He died thinking he had a severe case of bronchitis.

The silent film star Fatty Arbuckle was one of the highest paid comedic actors in his time. He rivaled Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton with his popularity. His work was all but lost due to allegations of the murder of a young woman he met at a hotel party.

Buster Keaton married the woman who was his nurse when he was institutionalized.

This is our collection of basic interesting facts about Buster Keaton. The fact lists are intended for research in school, for college students or just to feed your brain with new realities. Possible use cases are in quizzes, differences, riddles, homework facts legend, cover facts, and many more. Whatever your case, learn the truth of the matter why is Buster Keaton so important!

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