Stock-company veteran Hobart Henley first worked in films in 1914, as an actor with a New York production company. Henley continued to act in Universal films until 1916, when he switched to directing. During the 1920s and 1930s, Henley was on hand for several "firsts." He directed Reginald Denny's first starring feature The Abysmal Brute (1923), Jimmy Durante's inaugural screen effort Roadhouse Nights (1929) and Bette Davis' debut film Bad Sister (1930). In addition to his film directing credits, Hobart Henley produced 1928's A Certain Young Man and occasionally directed on the legitimate stage.