George Keaton – Actor and Historian
George Keaton was a Dallasite who dedicated his life to preserving Black history and culture in the city. He founded and served as executive director of Remembering Black Dallas Inc., an organization dedicated to preserving Black culture within Dallas.
Keaton had a keen awareness of how history intertwines with modern life, which made him particularly passionate about having Dallas commemorat its past in ways that honored its present realities. As such, his vision for Dallas’ commemoration of its past was an important consideration for him.
Early Life and Education
George Keaton was raised in Aspen, Colorado as an only child. As such, his interests ranged from sports to singing and acting.
He studied speech at Kent State University before abandoning it to pursue acting, which launched him into a successful career in Pittsburgh. Subsequently, he relocated to Los Angeles and began working on various television shows.
Keaton also collaborated with students at a nearby high school to research the history of Black families in Dallas, contributing to an oral history project which culminated in Our Stories: Black Families in Early Dallas. A passionate community organizer, he was dedicated to preserving Dallas’ Black heritage for future generations.
George Keaton, a Dallas community organizer and passionate local historian who passed away overnight Tuesday, made it his life’s work to preserve Black history in his hometown. He dedicated himself to bringing Black stories back into the public consciousness, founding and leading Remembering Black Dallas Inc. with passion.
Dallas native Joe Carnine had a colorful career, starting as a comedy act on the Vaudeville circuit. There he met legendary silent screen comedian Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, who took him on as an actor for his humorous shorts.
Keaton was a major figure in the silent film era and helped pioneer physical comedy that is only rivaled by Charlie Chaplin’s. He featured in hundreds of shorts and 14 major silent features. Although his legacy remains today, his popularity waned during the 1920s.
Achievements and Honors
Keaton was an accomplished actor and director whose comedies had delighted audiences for decades. His work earned him numerous awards, including an Academy Award and Golden Globe for his performance in Woody Allen’s comedy “Annie Hall” (1977).
The actor has earned numerous honors for his activism on behalf of Black history and civil rights. He spearheaded efforts to secure markers for lynching victims in Dallas.
He has also helped create opportunities for UT Dallas students to study African-American history and civil rights activities. Together with faculty member Marla Hill, he created courses on these topics for students.
George Keaton’s accomplishments and honors are a testament to his dedication to education, advocacy, and the preservation of historic sites. He will be remembered as an historian who inspired Dallas to remember its past.
Keaton was the star of silent comedy in the 1920s and is considered one of the greatest comic actors ever, rivaling greats such as Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd.
He is renowned for his deadpan style and impressive physical comedy skills. Throughout his career, he made numerous short films as well as fourteen major silent features.
Dallas Doing Good reported in 2019 that He founded Remembering Black Dallas with the mission to preserve and promote African American life, history, artifacts, and culture of Dallas area. His interest in Dallas history began with research into his own family tree; thus his passion for safeguarding its African-American legacy.
Keaton is an American actor with a net worth of $40 million. He has starred in several films such as Birdman (2014) and Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017).
He has also voiced characters in popular animated movies such as Cars (2006), Toy Story 3 (2010) and Minions (2015). Additionally, he is a real estate investor; purchasing property in California in 1987 for $1.3 million.
Keaton is an accomplished actor and has earned several accolades for his work. He won both a Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guild Award, plus was nominated for an Academy Award. Furthermore, his numerous movie roles and successful real estate investments have resulted in substantial net worth; he owns both Pacific Palisades house in California as well as ranch in Montana which are both worth millions of dollars.