On the Set: Myra the Convict

Buster’s mother, Myra, only appeared in two of her son’s films, and those much later in his career. Those parts were due primarily to Buster’s limited funds – he several times employed his whole family and several friends while filming his later, low budget shorts.

I always assumed Myra had little interest in film acting. Until…

(Los Angeles Evening Express, October 23, 1920)

There are some inaccuracies in this article, (Joe had acted with Buster in some Arbuckle films before this), but it’s easy to believe Myra would enjoy donning the convict’s uniform. She regularly dressed as a man on stage.

Did Myra the convict actually make it into the final cut? It’s really hard to tell.

If she’s in this scene, my best guess is second row up on the left.
Or maybe the last one on the fray here

Myra apparently acted in a few scenes of The Electric House as Buster’s mother a few years later, but alas, those scenes were cut. Maybe if Buster had written more parts for women she would’ve been happy to join in? As it was, it seems she was content to retire from acting to stay home with her two younger children and play pinochle.

What do you think? Anyone have more accounts of Myra acting in Buster’s films? Any accounts of Myra’s life after The Three Keatons retired from the stage? I’d love to hear it!

2 Replies to “On the Set: Myra the Convict”

    1. Hmm that does look a lot like her face. And munching peanuts would be a pretty easy way to hop into a scene…I probably should’ve mentioned though that Myra was crazy short, like 4’11. (Buster described her as needing to sit on cushions when she bet on cards so she could see them. Which I think is funny.) So I’m not sure any of my guesses are too viable either.


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