In the years before his arrival in Hollywood, Frank McDonald was a railroad worker, author and theatrical actor/director. McDonald was hired by Warner Brothers as a dialogue director in 1933; he received his first opportunity to direct a film two years later. He was subsequently closely associated with "B"-picture factory Monogram Pictures and its successor Allied Artists, where he directed off and on until his retirement in 1965. He also worked extensively on the Roy Rogers and Gene Autry westerns at Republic, and later became a mainstay of Autry's Flying A television unit. Frank McDonald was married to actress Goodee Montgomery.