Born Herbert Alonzo McCallister Jr., he studied acting, dancing, and singing from childhood. At age 13 he began appearing onscreen in extra and bit roles. It was more than five years before he began landing speaking parts. After his portrayal of a shy GI in Stage Door Canteen (1943) he became mildly popular, and he went on to play juvenile leads in a number of films; he usually played gentle, boyish young men from the country. He found it difficult to land adult leads, partly due to the fact that he was only 5'6". In 1953 he retired from the screen. He attempted to continue acting onstage but was unsuccessful. He became an extremely successful real estate agent.