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Harlett O'Dowd wrote:In other words, did MGM terminate Keaton's contract or did they simply choose not to renew it?
He was fired, probably by Louis B Mayer. What happened after that is not so clear. Supposedly when Irving Thalberg found out that Louis B Mayer had fired Keaton, he pulled some strings to try and get Keaton back, and someone was sent to tell Keaton he can go back to MGM but Keaton, stung by the fact he was fired in the first place, refused. But as far as I know, we only have Keaton's words for that last part. Thalberg's death shortly after that took away the one person at MGM who sided with Keaton and had some sway with Mayer. If I recall correctly, this was Blesh's account of what happened.