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28 NOVEMBER 2011

Buster Keaton: one of the greatest comic actors of all time

"Buster Keaton is considered one of the greatest comic actors of all time. His influence on physical comedy is rivaled only by Charlie Chaplin. Like many of the great actors of the silent era, Keaton's work was cast into near obscurity for many years. Only toward the end of his life was there a renewed interest in his films. An acrobatically skillful and psychologically insightful actor, Keaton made dozens of short films and fourteen major silent features, attesting to one of the most talented and innovative artists of his time. ...

Often at odds with the physical world, his ability to naively adapt brought a melancholy sweetness to the films. The subtlety of the work, however, left Keaton behind the more popular Chaplin and Lloyd. By the 1930s, the studio felt it was in their best interest to take control of his films. No longer writing or directing, Keaton continued to work at a grueling pace. Not understanding the complexity of his genius, they wrote for him simple characters that only took advantage of the most basic of his skills. For Keaton, as for many of the silent movie stars, the final straw was the advent of the talkies."

(American Masters and The Public Broadcasting Corporation)



actor • actor-director • American MastersBuster KeatonCharlie Chaplincomedy • comic actor • daredevildeadpan expressionfilmmakerfunnyhumour • Joseph Frank Keaton • moviespathosPBSperformancephysical comedysilent filmsilent moviesslapstickstoicsubtlety • The Cameraman (film) • The General (film) • The Navigator (film)


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