|Joseph Frank Buster Keaton VI (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 born into a vaudeville family. His father was Joseph Hallie Keaton, a native of Vigo County, Indiana. |
Joe Keaton owned a travelling show with Harry
Houdini, the Mohawk Indian Medicine Company, which performed on stage and sold patent medicine on the side. Buster Keaton was born in Piqua, Kansas, a small town where his mother, Myra Edith Cutler, happened to be when she went into labour.
According to a frequently-repeated story, which may be apocryphal Keaton acquired the nickname "Buster" at about six months of age. Keaton told interviewer Fletcher Markle that Harry Houdini happened to be present one day when the young Keaton took a tumble down a long flight of stairs without injury. After the infant sat up and shook off his experience, Houdini remarked, "That was a real buster!" According to Keaton, in those days, the word buster was used to refer to a spill or a fall that had the potential to produce injury. After this it was Keaton's father who began to use the
nickname to refer to the youngster.
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