Buster Keaton, born Joseph Frank Keaton on October 4, 1895, in Piqua, Kansas, emerged as one of the most iconic figures in the history of cinema. His unparalleled contributions to the world of silent film and physical comedy have left an indelible mark on entertainment. Keaton's early life was marked by a blend of adversity, familial ties to vaudeville, and a natural affinity for physicality, all of which significantly influenced his later career.
Keaton's introduction to the world of entertainment was virtually predetermined by his family background. His parents, Joe and Myra Keaton, were vaudeville performers, and Keaton found himself on stage at an incredibly young age. By the age of three, he was already a part of the family's vaudeville act, earning him the nickname "Buster" from magician Harry Houdini, who witnessed young Keaton's resilience after a tumble down a flight of stairs. This nickname stuck and would become synonymous with his identity in the entertainment industry.