Joseph Hallie Keaton (July 6, 1867 – January 13, 1946) was an American vaudeville performer and silent film actor. He was the father of actor Buster Keaton and appeared with his son in several of his films.
Joseph Hallie Keaton
July 6, 1867
Dogwalk, Indiana, U.S.
|Died||January 13, 1946 (aged 78)|
|Spouse(s)||Myra Keaton (m.1894)|
|Children||3, including Buster Keaton|
Life and careerEdit
Keaton was born a few miles south of Terre Haute, Indiana to Libbie Jane and Joseph Francis Keaton IV. Leaving home in 1889, the year of the Land Rush, he homesteaded in the Oklahoma territory for a time, securing a claim three and a half miles northwest of Edmond. A few months into Keaton's residency, the neighboring homesteader (a Canadian whom Keaton had befriended on their shared journey west) was murdered and partially buried by a claim jumper; the body was subsequently discovered, and "justice was meted out" to the murderer by Keaton and a group of three or four men that included Robert Galbreath Jr.
On May 31, 1894, Joe Keaton eloped with Myra Edith Cutler, who became known as Myra Keaton. Myra performed with Joe in a vaudeville act called the Two Keatons. Joe and Myra's first child was Joseph Frank Keaton, who became known as the silent film actor Buster Keaton; their other children were Harry Keaton and Louise Keaton.
When Buster was only a few years old, he joined the act, which became the Three Keatons. The act was a rough-and-tumble one, with Buster being thrown around on stage most of the time. As the years went by, Joe Keaton became an alcoholic; when Buster was 21, Myra left him, taking Buster with her. However, after Buster found success in silent film, he supported Joe and gave him small parts in several movies. Myra and Joe reunited, but eventually split up again. He lived alone in a Hollywood hotel for many years. He stopped drinking with the help of a girlfriend who was a Christian Scientist.
Joe Keaton died on January 13, 1946 at his home in Hollywood after a long illness, according to the New York Times. However, Buster later said he was hit by a car, and state death records show that he died in Ventura. He was buried in Inglewood Cemetery in Inglewood, California, in an unmarked grave. In 2018, Keaton fans around the world raised the necessary funds and had the grave marked with a headstone.
|1917||A Country Hero||Cy Klone, Garage Owner||Short|
|1918||Out West||Man on train||Short|
|The Bell Boy||Guest||Short|
|The Scarecrow||Farmer||Short, Uncredited|
|1922||The Electric House||Buster's Father in Prologue||Short, Uncredited|
|Day Dreams||The Girls Father||Short, Uncredited|
|1923||Our Hospitality||The Engineer|
|1924||Sherlock, Jr.||Her father|
|1925||Go West||Man in Barber Shop||Uncredited|
|1926||The General||Union General #1|
|1928||Steamboat Bill, Jr.||Barber||Uncredited|
|1935||Palooka from Paducah||Pa Diltz||Short (final film role)|
- "Joseph Keaton, Father of Film Comedian, an Old Vaudeville Trouper, Dies". New York Times. United Press. January 15, 1946. Retrieved February 10, 2015.
Joseph Keaton, old-time vaudeville performer and father of Buster Keaton, film comedian, died at his home last night after a long illness. His age was 79. Born in Terre Haute, Ind., Mr. Keaton was the leader of the Three Keatons, a vaudeville act which included his wife, Myra, and son. ...
- "Gossip of the Corridors". The Houston Post Vol. 23, Ed. 1 January 2, 1908. Retrieved July 13, 2016.
- Blesh, Rudi (1966). Keaton. New York: The MacMillan Company. p. 82. ISBN 0-02-511570-7.
- Smith, Imogen Sara (2008). Buster Keaton: The Persistence of Comedy. Gambit Publishing. p. 43.
- Blesh, Rudi (1966). Keaton. New York: The MacMillan Company. p. 356. ISBN 0-02-511570-7.
- "Screenland Secrets by John Holt". The Queenslander Thursday 27 December 1934. Retrieved June 25, 2018.