Monday, 1 February 2016

50 Years Since Buster Keaton's Death

I am not old enough to have known a world with Buster Keaton. Oh, I was alive when he died, but at two years and ten months of age I probably did not even know who he was. I would discover him when I got older and he became one of my favourite actors of all time. Charlie Chaplin might be more famous, but it is Buster Keaton who has always been my favourite silent comic actor and director.

Sadly, it was fifty years ago today that the great Buster Keaton died. He had been diagnosed with lung cancer that January, but was neither told that he had cancer nor that he was terminally ill. Mr. Keaton thought that he had a severe case of bronchitis. He spent his last few days in hospital. According to his widow he was up and about, and even played cards with friends the day before he died.

Buster Keaton was not forgotten following his death. If anything his reputation has only grown. In 1987 there was a television documentary, Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow. In 1992 a fan club was founded, the  International Buster Keaton Society. In 1994 a caricature of Mr. Keaton by Al Hirschfeld, as well as other silent stars, graced a United States postage stamp. All eleven of his feature films have been released on DVD and Blu-Ray, and they are readily available on streaming media.

For my fellow fans of Buster Keaton, here is the post I wrote in honour of his 120th birthday. Below is a collection of his best stunts I found on YouTube.

1 comment:

Caftan Woman said...

All of your writing on Buster bears the stamp of a fellow who has spent many happy hours watching, as my five year old niece puts it, "Buster fall down and get back up again". Well done!