Talmadge, Natalie (1897–1969)

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Talmadge, Natalie (1897–1969)

American silent-film actress. Born in 1897 (some sources cite 1899) in Brooklyn, New York; died in 1969; middle daughter of Fred Talmadge and Margaret "Peg" Talmadge; sister of actresses Constance Talmadge (1898–1973) and Norma Talmadge (1893–1957); married Buster Keaton (the actor), in 1921 (divorced 1933); children: two sons.

Selected filmography:

Isle of Conquest (1919); The Passion Flower (1921); Our Hospitality (1923).

Natalie Talmadge, the middle sister of Norma and Constance Talmadge , was born in 1897. Unlike her superstar sisters, Natalie was a reluctant actress, at first eschewing the profession to become the private secretary of Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Eventually, she began acting as well; however, she did not achieve her sisters' level of success. Performing small roles, usually in her sisters' films, she appeared in only two features in the 1920s. She is perhaps better known for having married Buster Keaton, in 1921. The two appeared together in Our Hospitality (1923) and two other films, but after that she spent her time supporting his career rather than pursuing her own. The couple had two sons before the marriage ended in divorce in 1933.

According to Anita Loos in her memoir The Talmadge Girls, Natalie lacked the unpretentiousness of her two sisters, and following her marriage to Keaton "went Hollywood," presiding over a succession of showy houses which Loos called "burlesques of Hollywood bad taste." Natalie, who never remarried, spent her later years living in southern California, where she died in 1969, writes Loos, "through a sheer disinterest in living."


Katz, Ephraim. The Film Encyclopedia. 3rd ed. NY: HarperCollins, 1998.

Loos, Anita. The Talmadge Girls: A Memoir. NY: Viking, 1978.

Quinlan, David, ed. The Film Lover's Companion. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel Press, 1997.

Slide, Anthony. Silent Portraits: Stars of the Silent Screen in Historic Photographs. Vestal, NY: Vestal Press, 1989.

"Those Three Talmadge Girls!," in Who's Who on the Screen. Ed. by Charles Donald Fix and Milton L. Silver. NY: Ross, 1929, pp. 101–104.

Karina L. Kerr , M.A., Ypsilanti, Michigan