Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Happy Birthday Buster

October 4 is Buster Keaton's 111th birthday. He was one of the great comic geniuses of the 20th century and a brilliant filmmaker to boot. From 1917-1928, he appeared in shorts and features that still provoke laughter and amazement.

This photo is from 1952 and features Buster with his wife Eleanor. I chose it because I'm fascinated with Buster's life after 1928. The creative freedom that allowed him to thrive was taken away, leading to major professional and personal setbacks. Tom Dardis wrote a biography called Keaton, The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down, and that phrase is a testimonial to Keaton's perseverence. No matter how insignificant the job, he took it and did his best at it. He never regained the creative peak of his early years, but he rebuilt his life and career and lived long enough for his best work to be rediscovered.

1 comment:

J. J. Hunsecker said...

Buster Keaton is my favorite film comedian of any era. It's nice to see a tribute to him on his birthday.