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Keystone Kid, The
Written by Coy Watson, Jr.   

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REVIEW by Diana Saenger

To say that 95-year-old Coy Watson, Jr. - Hollywood's "Keystone Kid" - is a charmer, is to put it mildly. Anyone who knows him or has interviewed him, is not only wowed by his impressive Hollywood career as both a film actor and photojournalist, but also that at 95 he still sparks with life, has a deep interest in everyone he meets and tackles each day with an adventurous spirit. His book, The Keystone Kid, is as lively and informative as he is.

coybday200.jpg"I'm very tired," he admits. "But I'm working on second book about my days as a news journalist. So I've got to stick around for awhile yet." He follows that statement with a jovial laugh.

<New Addition> sadly we bid farewell to Coy Watson on March 14, 2009. He was a dear and enchanting friend I will remember and miss forever.  

Watson's book about his family's career in Hollywood, The Keystone Kid,  came out in 2007.  
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Mack Sennett's
Keystone Cops

 

Watson is the perfect person to pen this book because he earned the name "The Keystone Kid" when he played in Mack Sennett's "Keystone Cops" comedies from the time he was 9-months old in 1913 until 1935. Watson richly brings the history of his family (known as Hollywood's first family) alive in this treasure of early filmmaking.

"I'm just so thrilled that the book is finally out," said Watson. "It's an earnest portrayal for what my family went through and will be a good keepsake for our family to share with future generations."

Leonard Maltin, film critic and historian said about the book, "What a wonderful slice of Hollywood history. It's high time the story of the Watson clan was put into book form."

Film historian and private collector David Shepard said about the book, "I've read Coy's book and truly enjoyed it. His family contributed much to the silent film era."

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Coy in Dorothy Vernon of Hadden Hall

The stories are funny, surprising and historical. Watson uses the imaginative sense he honed from his first career in show business and expertise from his second career as a photographer for the military and eventually for the Los Angeles Times to color his stories. His family moved from house to house on studio lots where his father Coy, Sr., acted in westerns and not only directed films, and trained actors to be cowboys for Fox, but was responsible for creating some the gadgets that made filmmaking easier.

The Watson family mixed daily with the likes of Lillian Gish or Mary Pickford. "It was not unusual to have Douglas Fairbanks setting on our porch for lunch," said Watson. The humor Watson expresses in his menoirs is priceless, like the section about his stick horse or the time his dad ran home to tell his mother they were moving to a different house on the lot - in half an hour - so they could blow up their existing house for a shot!

Along with the wonderful stories in The Keystone Kid are photos and memorabilia from the Watson Family collection of more than a million photographs. Photos of stars, one-sheets from movies such as in Buttons, with Coy and Jackie Coogan, are sprinkled throughout the book. This is a treasure of early filmmaking!

The world is also taking note of Watson's book. He has letters from all over the world and is still requested for entertainment shows. A production company recently interviewed Watson for a possible A&E show.

In 2004 San Diego's COX Channel 4 producer/reporter Jeanne Rawdin along with photographer/editor Michael Spaulding won an Emmy for a show they produced, Coy Watson, Jr:   Keystone Kid. The half-hour show about Coy originally aired on COX Channel 4, February 5, 2003.   This year Rawdin and Spaulding's won Best Documentary ("A" category) for the Golden Mike Awards for all of Southern California. The awards ceremony was held in Los Angeles on January 24, 2004.

Book Data

* The Keystone Kid

* Santa Monica Press

* Softcover

*  ISBN 10: 1-891661-21-3 ISBN-13: 978-1891661211

* Pages: 304

Photo credits:Santa Monica Press/Coy Watson

 



                       

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