Buster Keaton, silent-movie star and comic genius, was once
extremely popular and extremely rich.
He owned a beautiful mansion in Hollywood, filled with secret
tunnels and secret treasures.
Unfortunately he became an acholic, like his father before him, and lost
his fame and fortune, his house and his wife.
In 1928, MGM had hired Buster Keaton as their “star, but by 1937
he was desperate for work and was rehired by the same company as
relatively lowly paid gagman.
Other stars rose and fell,
and in the 1950s, James Mason, whose star was shining brightly, owned
Keaton’s prestigious Hollywood mansion.
He was cleaning the grounds of his home, when he made a startling
discovering. In an old shed,
covered by vines and hidden from the world for many years, was a secret
store of presumably lost nitrate stock films of Buster Keaton’s films.
It contained prints of all Keaton’s silent features and many of
his short comedies too.
Keaton’s career was revitalised by the discovery and his
lost films were lovingly restored and preserved. In 1952, he appeared with
Charlie Chaplin in “Limelight” and, in 1957, his film biography “The
Buster Keaton Story” was released. In 1959, he finally received peer
recognition and an Honorary Oscar.
Buster Keaton died at the age of seventy on February 1, 1966 in Los
Angeles, California, knowing that he was loved and admired by the world.
Vanity Fair: Buster Keaton, 1920
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