William Collier, Jr.

Active - 1916 - 1935  |   Born - Feb 12, 1902 in New York, NY  |   Died - Feb 6, 1987 in San Francisco, CA  |   Genres - Drama, Crime, Romance, Comedy

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The son of famed theatrical personality William Collier, William H. Collier Jr. made his acting debut at age four in his dad's vehicle Caught in the Rain. The younger Collier appeared in his first movie in 1914. Nicknamed "Buster," Collier was a lifelong pal of another celebrated Buster whose last name was Keaton. Gaining a bon vivant reputation in the 1920s, Collier made headlines for his New Year's Eve marriage to Ziegfeld girl Marie Stevens (the best man was none other than William Randolph Hearst). A successful screen leading man of the silent era, Collier made a smooth talkie transition in the Frank Capra-directed The Donovan Affair (1929). His best-remembered talkie role was as the stool pigeon who is gunned down on steps of a church in 1930's Little Caesar. After his film career petered out in the early 1930s, Buster Collier went to work as an actor's agent for the William Morris Agency; throughout the 1940s, Collier was a principal conduit between Hollywood and radio, coaxing several mike-shy movie stars to appear on such airwaves anthologies as Lux Radio Theatre.

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