“In the morning of February 1, 1966, the cancer that had started in his lungs from a lifetime of smoking and had metastasized to his brain took his life. I have missed him every day since.” — Eleanor Keaton. Buster Keaton Remembered (October 4, 1895 - February 1, 1966)
“Viola Dana was something for the books. Starting four years before with Edison, she was now getting the Metro buildup. Luxuriantly dark-haired and medium in height, she had a compact, strong, neat figure. "Beautiful” did not quite describe her, nor did “vivacious.” Not quite the former, she was more than the latter. She created her own magnetic field. She was as animal-innocent and as alluring as a panther. Buster Keaton had never felt a presence quite like this. This feminine tomboy dissolved constraint and established the natural.
Meeting Buster, she simply said, “I like you.” In those days it was a fresh phrase. Within a month, the Viola Dana-Buster Keaton alliance was Hollywood’s most talked-about romance.“
The most frequent question I am asked is, “ Did Buster ever smile? ” Because he rarely changed his deadpan expression, people just cannot visualize him smiling. And, if there was a camera around, you would never catch him smiling. He thought it was bad for his image if he was caught smiling or laughing for the camera. But if there was no camera around, and if something happened, he smiled. If it was really funny, he laughed. Buster had a wonderful laugh.
Buster and the crew on the set of The Balloonatic. Fred Gabourie is between Buster and Phyllis Haver, and Eddie Cline is directly behind Buster. The two cameras were used to film two sets of original negatives. One to distribute domestically and the other for foreign distribution, which was a standard silent movie practice.
My scanners been on the fritz for some reason, but it’s finally working again! So more scans from Buster Keaton Remembered. Be excited.