Buster Collier was born Charles F. Gall Jr. in New York and got his show-business start at the age of seven, his mother being an actress and his father being a theater manager. His parents later divorced and his mother married actor William Collier Sr., who adopted the boy and gave him his new name, William Collier Jr., nicknamed Buster. Colliers stage experience got him his first film role, The Bugle Call (1916) at age 14. He soon became one of the most popular actors of the 1920s, easily making the transition from child actor to young romantic lead. In 1935 he retired from acting to become a producer, first in the US and then in England, where he moved in 1937 and stayed until the late 1940s. In the 1950s he produced several television series in the US.