Served in the U.S. Army, 1943-46.
First worked in television studios as a floor manager. Began to write and direct plays for the theatre in 1953. Directed his first Broadway play in 1956 and his first motion picture in 1958. Made only ten films during the first 25 years of his career. His most productive period was 1965-70, when he averaged one movie per year.
Won Broadway's 1960 Tony Award as Best Director (Dramatic) for "The Miracle Worker." He was also Tony-nominated two other times: in 1958 as Best Director for "Two for the Seesaw." and in 1961 as Best Director (Dramatic) for "All the Way Home."
Was an early contender to direct The Stunt Man (1980) and used elements from that film's source, the Paul Brodeur novel of the same name, in the story of Night Moves (1975).
[July 14, 2009] Hospitalized with pneumonia in a New York hospital.