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|Born||Myra Edith Cutler
March 13, 1877
Modale, Iowa, U.S.
|Died||July 21, 1955
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1894; his death 1946)
|Children||3, including Buster Keaton|
Early life and career
Myra Keaton was born in Modale, Iowa, the daughter of Frank Luke Cutler (1849–1935) and Sarah Elizabeth (née Shaffer; 1850–1887). She had an older brother, Burt Melvin Cutler, and a half-brother, Clinton M. Cutler.
As teenagers, Myra and Burt traveled and performed with their father's medicine show. Joe Keaton joined the show while they traveled through Oklahoma Territory in 1893. Myra and Joe married on May 31, 1894, and began performing together in various medicine shows and vaudeville. Their son, silent film actor Buster Keaton (Joseph Frank Keaton), was born October 4, 1895. Their other children included Harry Keaton and Louise Keaton. At the age of four, Buster officially joined the family's vaudeville act, which was billed as "The Three Keatons". Myra and Buster left the act in 1917, as a result of problems arising from Joe Keaton's drinking.
All members of the Keaton family occasionally appeared in Buster's silent and sound comedies. Although estranged in later years, Myra was married to Joe until Joe's death in 1946.
- Prikryl, Jana, "The Genius of Buster", The New York Review of Books, June 2, 2011, pp. 30–33
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