Born in New York City, George WaGGner--who spelled his name precisely that way--initially studied at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy before serving in World War I. After the war, he went to Los Angeles and worked in a multitude of capacities, as actor, songwriter, and screenwriter before becoming a director of westerns in the late '30s with The Black Bandit (1938). He worked for Universal, with occasional films for Monogram, and made his mark in horror films--WaGGner managed to show some considerable stylistic flair in low budget films such as Man Made Monster (1941) and Horror Island (1941), and hit his stride later that same year with The Wolf Man, the first of Universal's second wave of horror movies. He frequently served as screenwriter and associate producer of his Universal films. In the late '40s and early '50s, he was still making efficient and exciting adventure movies, including the John Wayne films The Fighting Kentuckian (1949) and Operation Pacific (1951). He later worked on the Batman television series.