At 15 he quit school to join a Boston stage company; by 21 he had reached Broadway. He went on to a substantial career in theater as an actor, director, and set designer. In the late '30s he enhanced his reputation by working with the Lunts in Theater Guild productions. He appeared in one film in the '30s, then moved to Hollywood in 1940 as a contract player; he was busy onscreen until 1944, when he began a new career as a film director, averaging a film a year through 1951. Later he produced three films, then switched to TV, for which he directed many episodes of a number of different series.