Buster Keaton

BusterKeatonвыапрJoseph Frank “Buster” Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an American comic actor and filmmaker. Best known for his silent films, his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname “The Great Stone Face”.
Keaton was recognized as the seventh greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Keaton the 21st greatest male actor of all time. A 2002 worldwide poll by Sight & Sound ranked Keaton’s The General as the 15th best film of all time. Three other Keaton films received votes in the magazine’s survey: Our Hospitality, Sherlock, Jr., and The Navigator.
In 1921, Keaton married Natalie Talmadge, sister-in-law of his boss, Joseph Schenck, and sister of actresses Norma Talmadge and Constance Talmadge. During the first three years of the BusterKeatonmarriage, the couple had two sons, James (1922-2007) and Robert (b. 1924), but after the birth of Robert, the relationship began to suffer.
According to Keaton’s autobiography, Natalie turned him out of their bedroom and sent detectives to follow him to see whom he was dating behind her back. Her extravagance was another factor in the breakdown of the marriage. During the 1920s, according to his autobiography, he dated actress Kathleen Key.[citation needed] When he ended the affair, Key flew into a rage and tore up his dressing room. After attempts at reconciliation, Natalie divorced Keaton in 1932, taking his entire fortune and refusing to allow any contact between Keaton and his sons, whose last name she had changed to Talmadge. Keaton was reunited with them about a decade later when his older son turned 18. The failure of his marriage, along with the loss of his independence as a filmmaker, led Keaton into a period of alcoholism.
During the height of his popularity, Keaton spent $300,000 to build a 10,000-square-foot (930 m2) home in Beverly Hills, which was later owned imagesby James Mason and Cary Grant. Keaton’s “Italian Villa” can be seen in Keaton’s film, Parlor, Bedroom and Bath. Keaton later said, “I took a lot of pratfalls to build that dump.” Mason found numerous cans of rare Keaton films in the house in the 1950s; the films were quickly transferred to safety film before the original cellulose nitrate prints further deteriorated.
Keaton was at one point briefly institutionalized; however, according to the TCM documentary ‘So Funny it Hurt,’ Keaton managed to escape a straitjacket with tricks learned during his vaudeville days.[citation needed] In 1933 he married his nurse, Mae Scriven, during an alcoholic binge about which he afterwards claimed to remember nothing (Keaton himself later called that period an “alcoholic blackout”). Scriven herself would later claim that she didn’t know Keaton’s real first name until after the marriage. When they divorced in 1936, it was again at great financial cost to Keaton.
In 1940, Keaton married Eleanor Norris (1918-1998), who was 23 years his junior. She has been credited with saving his life by stopping his heavy drinking, and helped to salvage his career. The marriage lasted until his death. Between 1947 and 1954, they appeared regularly in the Cirque Medrano in Paris as a double act. She came to know his routines so well that she often participated in them on TV revivals.