Frenchman Robert Florey began to assistant direct, write, and act in Swiss one-reelers in 1919; that same year, he directed Isidore A La Deveine. Back in France he assisted famed director Louis Feuillade. After acting in his serial L'Orpheline in 1921, he came to America and was technical advisor on Monte Christo. Florey then began writing shorts for comic Al St. John and resumed acting. In 1923 he directed a comic two-reeler, Fifty-Fifty, and began to assist several directors, including Joseph von Sternberg, King Vidor, and Louis Gasnier. Florey finished the direction of his script for That Model from Paris after Gasnier took ill, and in 1927 directed his first feature. While keeping busy helming low-budget films, Florey also made a quartet of fascinating avant-garde shorts: The Life and Death of 9413--A Hollywood Extra (1928), The Loves of Zero (1928), Johann the Coffin Maker (1928) and Skyscraper Symphony (1928). In 1929, he and Joseph Santley co-directed the first Marx Brothers feature, The Cocoanuts (1929). In the '30s and '40s, Florey helmed a stream of programmers highlighted by his special affinity for horror: Murders in the Rue Morgue (1932) with Bela Lugosi, and The Face Behind the Mask (1941) and The Beast with Five Fingers (1946), both starring Peter Lorre. In the 1950s and '60s he turned his attention to television.