Flashback
A look back at this day in film history
June 28
October 4, 1895
Baby Buster

Buster Keaton was born on this day in 1895 in Piqua, Kansas, where his mother Myra happened to be while touring with Keaton’s father Joe, the co-owner with Harry Houdini of a traveling show called the Mohawk Indian Medicine Company (they sold medicine on the side, hence the name). Keaton was born Joseph Frank Keaton VI but got the nickname “Buster” at about the age of six months: he fell down a long flight of stairs and when he was seemingly unharmed by the tumble, Houdini declared “That was a buster!” – and it stuck. Being from good ol’ vaudeville stock, it was only a matter of timer before Keaton was lured by the smell of the greasepaint and at the age of three he was performing with his mother and father in The Three Keatons. The act involved Myra playing sax, and Keaton Sr. manhandling cheeky Buster, throwing him around the stage, against scenery and into the orchestra pit; seemingly, he was indestructible. Despite the perception that Keaton was being subjected to child abuse, he later claimed that he loved the pratfalls, which didn’t hurt him because he knew how to fall properly. Keaton, in fact, says he would laugh while being kicked through the air, but noticed that the audience laughed less when he did so. As a result, while still little more than a baby, Keaton realized he had to put on a poker face, and so the trademark of a comedy genius came into being.


More Flashbacks
Mike White June 28, 1970
Mike White born

One of the quirkier voices in American comedy, writer-director Mike White, was born on June 28, 1970. White, whose work has often put lovable spins on oddballs and the socially maladroit, received acclaim for his writing and producing work on two seminal teen TV shows: Dawson's Creek and Freaks and Geeks.

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June 28, 2001
Jack Lemmon dies

One of film's great comic actors, a man who despite his family wealth and Harvard education excelled in playing the common working man, died on June 28, 2001.

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29 June 1978
The Auto Focus Murder

30 years ago this week, former Hogan's Heroes star Bob Crane was beaten to death in a hotel room in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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