Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, he started his film acting career in 1937. Many of his roles would be uncredited through 1942, which ironically included an uncredited role in the film The Yukon Patrol, which would later be important as it would lead to his best known starring role. Starting in 1943 he began appearing in credited roles, beginning with his appearance in The Youngest Profession, starring Virginia Weidler. From 1943 through 1949 he would appear in seventeen films, of which seven were uncredited.
The 1950s mirrored the 1940s, with him appearing in several films and television programs, at times uncredited. However, in 1955 he won his best known role, portraying the lead of Sergeant William Preston in the 1950s television series Sergeant Preston of the Yukon, a spinoff of The Yukon Patrol. Following the end of the series in 1958, he continued to have a successful acting career, mostly with television series appearances, through 1977, with his last role being in the film Don't Push, I'll Charge When I'm Ready, starring Sue Lyon and Cesar Romero. He was residing in Oceanside, California at the time of his death from Alzheimer's disease, on January 11th, 2003.