Harold Hecht started his involvement with the New York stage at age 16. He appeared in numerous classical stage productions and later danced with the companies of the Metropolitan Opera and Martha Graham. Then in the 1930s he became a dance director on film productions.
Harold Hecht is probably best remembered today for his association with the actor Burt Lancaster whom he "discovered" on the New York stage and brought to Hollywood, and with whom he formed an independent film production company, breaking from the then-powerful studio system. Their companies were Norma Productions, the Hecht-Lancaster company and, later with the writer-producer James Hill, the Hecht-Hill-Lancaster company.