Buster Keaton is born in Piqua, Kansas, 1895. “Tragedy is a close-up; comedy, a long shot,” the actor/director once said. His comic genius was firmly established during the silent era in films he had complete artistic control over—Sherlock Jr. (1924), The General (1927) and Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928) among the best of them. A move to MGM resulted in one more gem, The Cameraman (1928), before studio interference afffected the quality of his films and drove him to drink. Eleanor Norris, his third wife, got him off the booze, and he continued to work in movies and telelvision. He had a memorable cameo as himself in Sunset Blvd. (1950) playing bridge with Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), the real life Anna Q. Nilsson and H. B. Warner. He added a poignant touch to Charlie Chaplin's Limelight (1952). And he executed a masterful pratfall onto a supposedly rare Stradivarius violin in In the Good Old Summertime (1948).