After falling down a flight of stairs he earned the nickname "Buster".He later joined his parents act, "The Three Keatons" were a roughhouse act where Joe Sr. would throw Buster around the stage to the delight of audiences.
Buster noticed that the audience didn't laugh as much when he was laughing so he developed his famous stone face.
Buster was hired as a gag man after meeting Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Keaton became immersed in film production, as he learned his craft as a second director.
Following his work with Arbuckle, Keaton was given the opportunity to make his own films at the Keaton Studio.
Keaton made nineteen shorts, releasing "One Week" in 1920. Aided by Eddie Cline and a group of gag writers, Keaton propelled himself into some of the most physical silent comedies of all time.
In 1923, Keaton made the leap to features with his first official release; "Three Ages", defining the Keaton style of brilliant sight gags mixed in with film technique.
It was in 1926, that Keaton made what is considered one of the classics on the silent screen; "The General" A story about a prized stolen train, containing the single most expensive shot of the silent era when a train falls from a crashing bridge.
Not long after the heights of "The General" Buster's career was broad-sided when his contract was sold to M-G-M. Buster lost his independence and freedom as a film maker in a strict environment that was counter to what Buster had mastered.
In the studio atmosphere, Buster's work suffered till the end of the silent era, with 1929's "Spite Marriage". To make matters worse, his early and dreadful sound films were bringing in big bucks leading Buster down the road to alcoholism.
The most physical of silent comedians, Buster Keaton was a marvel to watch. His work was re-discovered in the 1950's and he was finally given the acclaim he so richly deserved.