Buster Keaton (October 4, 1895 – February 1, 1966) was an American comic actor and filmmaker. He was best known for his silent films, in which his trademark was physical comedy with a consistently stoic, deadpan expression, earning him the nickname "The Great Stone Face."
Keaton was recognized as the seventh-greatest director of all time by Entertainment Weekly. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Keaton the 21st-greatest male actor of all time. Critic Roger Ebert wrote of Keaton's "extraordinary period from 1920 to 1929, [when] he worked without interruption on a series of films that make him, arguably, the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies." Orson Welles stated that Keaton's The General is the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made. A 2002 worldwide poll by Sight and Sound ranked Keaton's The General as the 15th best film of all time. Three other Keaton films received votes in the magazine's survey: Our Hospitality, Sherlock, Jr., and The Navigator.
Keaton died of lung cancer on February 1, 1966, in Woodland Hills, California. Despite being diagnosed with the terminal illness in January 1966, he was never told that he was terminally ill, and thought that he had bronchitis. Confined to a hospital during his final days for treatment, Keaton was restless and paced the room endlessly. In a British television documentary on his career, his widow Eleanor told producers of Thames Television that Keaton was up out of bed and moving around, and even played cards with friends who came to visit at their house the day before he died. Eleanor Keaton died in 1998, from emphysema and lung cancer, aged 80.
Buster Keaton is buried at Forest Lawn Cemetery, Hollywood Hills.