Harry Langdon

  1. Buster Keaton, Film,  1964.     Irish  playwright Samuel Beckett ached to work with the baby-faced silent clown. Langdon, however, died before Beckett could even finish his sole film script (silent, but for  a “sssh!”), let alone set about trying to make it. Charlie Chaplin was impossible to contact. Zero Mostel proved unavailable. Jack MacGowran, finest performer of Beckett’s plays, was too busy. Finally, almost begrudgingly, Beckett suggested  Keaton. The two icons never got on (Buster  having turned down Sam’s Waiting For Godot on Broadway), but director Alan Schneider (who says Sam was the true director) said Keaton was totally professional: patient, imperturbable, relaxed…  indefatigable if not exactly loquacious. He played O.  The other  character was the  actual camera, E – E and O, Eye and Object. No wonder  US critic Andrew Sarris called it  pretentious garbage.


    Langdon’s 1926 Strong Man co-star Gertrude Astor called him a funny a little wordless man.  “He would never sit near anyone on the set; indeed he would wander  a block away and sit alone on a bunch until Frank Capra called him for a scene.   Although a star, he acted like a nonentity…    glancing over his shoulder to make sure you weren’t following him into his private world of silence.”   He explained: “I don’t like people. I like to be alone and think.”

 Birth year: 1884Death year: 1944Other name: Casting Calls:  1