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Silent Slapstick Weekend
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Joined: 30 Mar 2006
Posts: 134
Location: Philadelphia, PA USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 10:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teri wrote:

Natalie, to be exact, sister of Constance and Norma.

That's the one. They tried really hard to make her as famous as her sisters, but since she had the stage presence of a plank of wood, they were not very successful.

She supposedly became something of a cold fish not long after the wedding, and evidently locked Buster out of the bedroom most of the time, poor guy. Sad

Oh, and she was obviously insane, as well. Confused

Buster and Natalie in Our Hospitality--the film set on which I'm guessing they met...

(Photo courtesy of

Actually, they were already married at this point-Buster cast her as his wife, probably as a result of her incessant nagging, I'd hazard a guess. She was actually pregnant with their younger son during the filming.

Here are Norma and Constance, the more famous of the sisters--
(I had to post this just because it's such a cool picture Smile)...

Norma and Constance retired with the advent of sound, as did a lot of silent performers, either willingly or by force.The story goes that a few years into sound, a fan walked up to Norma on the street and asked for her autograph, to which Norma replied, "Get away dear-I don't need you anymore."

One for Denise-

sigggghhhhhh. Can I stress enough how beautiful this man was? Even wearing the heavy dead white pancake makeup of the silent performer. You just can't take your eyes off him.

Didn't he start drinking heavily, though, as a result of his lousy home life, and the way the studio treated him eventually? Or am I wrong? Shocked

I don't know. I read his biography "The Man Who Wouldn't Lie Down," some time ago and I can't remember reading when it became a problem for him, although I *do* know his father was a raging alcoholic his entire life, which made it difficult for Buster as a child, since his family had a very physical vaudeville act and he was often injured by his father by mistake during a performance. Apparently he had the genetics for it already, whenever it took hold of him.

The Three Keatons:

Apparently, they passed him off as an adult, a Little Person, to circumvent the rules against child labor in some states. Once, a social worker asked another member of the troupe how old Buster was. The guy pointed to Buster's mother and said, "I dunno. You'll have to ask his wife."

Oh, and speaking of sigh-worthy images, Buster as Hamlet:

Hubba, Hubba...

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