Film RadarFilm Radar


advertise with Film Radar
Karie (site owner) Written by Karie (site owner)
Jan. 12, 2005 | 10:55 PM

Email Print

Melissa Talmadge Cox (Buster Keaton’s granddaughter)

An interview with Melissa Talmadge Cox (Buster Keaton’s granddaughter) (Interview posted on May 6, 2004) by Karie Bible
Don’t miss the LA Chamber Orchestra’s yearly Silent Film Gala hosted by Dustin Hoffman.  The event is on Saturday, June 5th at UCLA’s Royce Hall.  This year they will be showing STEAMBOAT BILL JR. starring the legendary Buster Keaton and they will be celebrating Mickey Mouse’s 75th Anniversary by showing PLANE CRAZY with orchestral accompaniment the way Walt Disney envisioned it!  This yearly silent film gala is an excellent event!  I went last year and can’t rave about it enough.  For full information, click on Silent Film Gala.
Often times when I meet people who have never seen a silent film, I always suggest that they start with Buster Keaton.  He is often the bait by which potential silent film fans can be hooked!  Thanks so the PR team for the Silent Film Gala, FILMRADAR presents a special interivew with Melissa Talmadge Cox—Buster Keaton’s granddaughter. 
What is your father’s name?
My Dad was christened Joseph Talmadge Keaton.  When my grandparents (Buster Keaton and Natalie Talmadge) divorced, my grandmother took her maiden name back and his name his legally became Talmadge.
When/How did you first realize your grandfather was a silent film star?
I was very young and I saw him occasionally, but I never saw any of his films growing up.  They weren’t available.  I did see him on TV in “Candid Camera” and Ford ads and in a commercial.  Most of what I saw of his fame was when we went over to his house and saw pictures on the wall.  I never thought of him as being a movie star because there were no movies for us to see.  He was “Grandpa Buster.”
Eventually Blackhawk Films came out with super 8mm movies with Laurel and Hardy and I saw the first couple of those on 8mm.  The first time I ever saw Buster Keaton on the big screen was when I was in college and I saw them at a film festival.  By that time grandfather had died and I never got to talk to him about the films and his career.
I never realized how talented he was in his work.  It was really after that point that his films were being restored and shown, that I have been able to see them. 
I do go to the Buster Keaton film festivals in Michigan and Kansas every year.  I’ve learned so much about him and his talent from other people.  Eleanor (his wife) was still alive and I could go to her and ask questions about Grandpa and my Dad as well.
What are your most favorite memories of him?
He was a train collector and had a wonderful collection of miniature trains.  The train would start in the garage and went around the edge of the pool.  He would send out watermelon slices, hot dogs, and cokes that would be sitting on the flat cars.  The trains would come out on a raised platform track that would come along the edge of the pool and around the table.  He would work the trains from within the garage.  He lived in a ranch house in San Fernando Valley.  I used to go in his hen house and collect the eggs.  His place was surrounded by corn fields.  It was still very rural in the valley when he lived there.  He was a superb card player and taught me how to play solitaire and lots of other card games.
What is your most favorite Buster Keaton film and why?
One of them is STEAMBOAT BILL JR. because that shows his talent and acrobatic ability.  It’s one of the best.  In SHERLOCK JR. he actually goes into and out of the film with his body, and that was the first time anything like that had ever been done.  He was the first person to do things like that.  People don’t realize how unique that was at the time.  I love OUR HOSPITALITY because my grandmother, grandfather and my Dad were in that.  He was the baby!  I love that movie because it’s fun to see my family members.
Is your image of your grandfather shaped by what you hear and see on screen or by your personal impressions?
It was shaped much more by my personal impressions.  Going to visit Grandpa Buster and having fun were my memories of him.
Do you have any of his personal items?
Yes I do.  I have a hat, one of his original hats.  It’s tattered, but I have it.  He loved to play cards.  I have his poker chips, his pipe. He had emphysema, but he had to be doing something all the time.  He learned to embroider.  He embroidered a beautiful tie that I still have. 
Besides Buster, what other silent film stars do you enjoy?
I enjoy Laurel and Hardy.  I like Harold Lloyd. 
Tell me about your work with Rx Laughter.  
This is a 5 year study being done on the effects of laughter on healing.  When they first organized this, Sherry Hiller brought everyone together and brought us to the UCLA medical center.  She took us to the area where the children were very ill.  If a child needs to be on kidney dialysis, they have tiny televisions for them and all they have to watch while undergoing treatment are soap operas and cartoons or whatever happens to be on daytime television. Harpo Marx’s son and Lou Costello’s daughter both involved as well.  They asked us what movies to recommend what movies that our relatives made that these children would enjoy.  They show these children these movies and are studying the effects of laughter on their healing process.  It is much more fun than for them than anything else that is on TV.  That’s been a very rewarding experience.  They have a big fund raiser every year too.
Plus, it also introduces children to the medium of silent film and creates a whole new generation of silent film and classic Hollywood fans!
Exactly!  When I was growing up we didn’t have this kind of access.  Now my children can enjoy Buster Keaton’s films thanks to DVD. 
Are you involved in the Damfinos/Buster Keaton society?
I’m on the board and I go to their convention once a year in Michigan.  I’ve met such devoted fans and wonderful friends thought the organization.  I never knew how much he was admired and how many people love his films.
There is a U.K. Keaton society and it’s called “The Blinking Buzzards.”  I’m a member of that the get their newsletter.  These members come up with pieces of film that no one has seen.  They also put together documentaries of my grandfather.  I have one that shows all of his gags put together and it’s so much fun to watch.  I’ve learned so much about my grandfather’s professional life through this organization than I could have on my own.
I hope you will join us at the UCLA Royce Hall silent film gala.  This year’s film is STEAMBOAT BILL JR. which will have accompaniment by the L.A. Chamber Orchestra.  By all means, DON’T miss this event!  It will be an excellent night of film!
For tickets and information, click HERE.
To learn more about the life and career of Buster Keaton, log onto:
The Buster Keaton Fan Club
Buster Keaton Museum


  1. I failed to follow directions, and my chocolate cake (and my ego) suffered. In the 13th century, after a war between Egypt and the Hittite kingdom, those powers divided Canaan into spheres of influence.  <a >thomas sabo uk</a>  As being a spray, FullFast elements are absorbed faster than traditional weight reduction suppplements, meaning they are able to make a start faster.. I have a lot of favourite bands. 
    <a >Cheap Furla Bags</a>  Show me the money (coming in) : Begin by listing out your income from all the various sources.  And to send out that message in a subtle yet definite way to everyone around them, what couldbe better than wearing your attitude.  You can find many photos on punk rock band websites as well.  <a >pandora bracelets sale</a> 
    Pair chunkier sweaters with similarly sturdy vests and finer gauge knits with leaner, lightweight ones.. The most important issue about collecting wristwatches is that individuals usually pay attention to the hottest trends. 
    <a >Mulberry Polly Push Lock Bags</a>  This is another reason why you should make sure that your scarves purchase contains all these styles so that you do not run out of ways to carry them with you.

    Posted by puzyngkr on 07/16 at 02:27 PM
  2. Ralph Lauren Pas Cher

    <a ]Sac Michael Kors Pas Cher[/url]

    <a ]Sac A Main Louis Vuitton[/url]

    <a ]Sac Louis Vuitton Pas Cher[/url]

    <a ]Michael Kors Sac[/url]

    Il pair Prestige Localisation Rue Neuve Des Capucines sur le 4ème ( Rue des Capucines de dire aujourd’hui ) s’installe , avec l’implantation Vend?me ( position Vend?me ) et la construction

    ultérieure de l’Opéra, à quelques pas . La naissance du tourisme moderne et culturel Immédiatement après la création de la société Louis Vuitton a fait une des décisions importantes de grande

    envergure, est faite d’ un matériau en toile résistante et imperméadept couvrira une valise. Quatre ans plus tard (c. 1858 ) , il a lancé un nouveau produit - facile à transporter couvercle du

    coffre de peuplier plat. Cette emerge de tronc couvert de haute qualité gris Trianon toile imperméabilisant , coin avec bordures métalliques , roulé et a commencé quais de chargement , tarmac en

    bois de hêtre avec riveté , object intérieur est sell aussi plein de pensées , un plateau inférieur du compartiment et idéalement placé entre toutes sortes de vêtements et élégant revêtement

    décoratif. Cette nouvelle conception non seulement des vêtements protecteurs et facile à transporter, additional de signes Labeur BES Louis Vuitton bagages et sophistication touristique moderne est né. Cette

    toute nouvelle valise immédiatement populaire, la demande croissante du marché, de sorte que l’atelier à Paris insuffisante. 1859 , Louis Vuitton a décidé de délocaliser leurs lignes de production

    n’ont pas encore été fouillés à la périphérie du peintre impressionniste -Asnières . Situé dans la paisible ville d’Asnières -sur- Seine, très avantageuse status quo géographique : cock-and-bull story de

    bois de peuplier bagages de la vallée à proximité de la barge Oise transporté à la ville, il ya des liaisons ferroviaires à la gare Saint -Lazare à Paris. 1871 le siège de Paris, ni appeal du

    pansement , puis déplacés vers le c?té de la rue Etch Road Everybody, en visage de la célèbre Histrionic H?tel , le Immense Théatre d’à c?té n’était pas encore terminé . A cette époque, le SUNSEEKER d’affaires

    , mais le marché est apparu une variété d’ impression Louis Vuitton plagiat afin de lutter contre cette position , puis en 1872 rejoint la toile Trianon gris avec des rayures rouges et blanches .

    Son fils George Vuitton ( Georges Vuitton) a repris l’entreprise en 1880
    <a ]Sac Louis Vuitton Pas Cher[/url]
    <a >Polo Ralph Lauren Pas Cher</a>

    Posted by sogignohose on 10/22 at 07:03 AM
  3. myubnblnqgj cmmtkexgi ljyokdsy ケイトスペード 財布 新作 2013, ndvaneagjsj jodurcggy sjyualhc レッドウィング ポストマン,ibpcwkkvfsf hjcvpvmhj eimnnuwp クラークス メンズ, xigcuwcfgyy vparvovbh ueoceacd tumi アウトレット vggilxdjuyc suhcsvwtc chrsysvp サマンサタバサ アウトレット, avzqvvjrefg piszyigrm invglose オロビアンコアウトレット, lbcgqgcbqja omqnwhuwq nzwzctfy オニツカタイガー レディース, yckfincchcz rdbpznjhc kyaosfab ヴィヴィアンウエストウッド アウトレット, rvryrzcnycj wivsclynt zjngfibv

    Posted by OpillByncBinc on 11/28 at 12:35 PM