Screenwriter, Film and Television Director and Producer. He is probably best remembered for his films "Destry Rides Again" (1939), "The Sheepman" (1958), and "How the West Was Won" (1962, co-directed with John Ford and Henry Hathaway). His film career spanned the first six decades of movie history, from his first silent film "Across the Rio Grande" (1916) until his final film "Hook, Line, and Sinker" (1969). Expelled from Chicago University in 1912, he came to Hollywood, California to visit his mother. He did various odd jobs as a mechanic, newspaper reporter and lumberjack, until he decided to find employment in the emerging film industry. He got his start at Universal Studios where he worked as an extra and did stunt work. After a year, he decided that acting wasn't to his taste, and he moved on to writing and directing. He did mostly Westerns in his early silent career and later he directed around half a dozen comedy films with Bob Hope, including "The Ghost Breakers" (1940), "Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number" (1966), "Eight on the Lam" (1967) and also worked with noted personalities W.C. Fields, Jackie Gleason, Alan Ladd, Marlene Dietrich, Will Rogers, and Laurel and Hardy. His other notable films include "The Perils of Pauline" (1947), "My Friend Irma" (1949, the film debut of comedy team Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis), "Houdini" (1953), "Red Garters" (1954), "The Gazebo" (1959), "It Started with a Kiss" (1959), and "Advance to the Rear" (1964). From 1948 to 1950 he served as President of the Screen Actors Guild. He died of pneumonia at the age of 83. Three days before his death, he was inducted into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his contribution to films.
Bio by: William Bjornstad