Buster with Elmer III
screen, Keaton laughed and smiled often, although he had an uncanny
knack for knowing when a camera was pointed at him, at which time
he would put on the mask of his Great Stone Face persona.
Eleanor Norris in 1940.
After meeting MGM
contract dancer Eleanor Norris in 1938, he married the much-younger
woman (she was 23; he was 44) in 1940. Their marriage was
a happy one that lasted 26 years until his death from lung
cancer in 1966 at the age of 70.
Beginning with James Agee's cover story for
Life magazine in 1949, Keaton was rediscovered by critics and audiences.
He won rave notices for many of his appearances, and actually made
as much money in the last 10 years of his life as he had during his
At the Berlin Film Festival.
The National Film Board of Canada and
director Gerald Potterton gave Buster a ride in "The
Railrodder" (1965), a funny and beautiful ad for Canada
by rail. At the same time, John Spotton shot a documentary,
which shows Keaton at work and relaxing with friends.
Keaton himself certainly didn't see his life
as a tragedydespite what others
have since writtenand at the end
of his life, rediscovered and world-renowned, he summed up:
"I think I have had the happiest and
luckiest of lives. Maybe this is because I never expected as much
as I got . . . And when the knocks came I felt it was no surprise.
I had always known life was like that, full of uppercuts for the
deserving and the undeserving alike."
CLICK THE PICTURE