Born Harold Albershart, he played football and modeled before working as a stage actor in the late '20s. He debuted onscreen in Not Quite Decent (1929), playing the romantic lead; he had similar roles in 25 films made during the '30s at various studios. He began starring in serials in 1940. In 1944 he made his first starring Western, and for almost a decade he was a Western star, twice appearing (1951 and 1953) on the Top Ten Western Money-makers list and appearing in over 100 features and serials, often with his "wonder" horse Blackjack; he portrayed Red Ryder in eight films, then adopted the name "Rocky" Lane in 1947. After B-movie Westerns fizzled out in 1953 his career came to a virtual halt, and he had supporting roles in just three more films. In the '60s he was the dubbed voice of the talking horse on the TV sitcom Mr. Ed.