Before coming to film, Henry King worked as an actor in various repertoire theatres, and first started to take small film roles in 1912. He directed for the first time in 1915, and grew to become one of the most commercially successful Hollywood directors of the 1920s and 1930s. He was nominated for the best director Oscar twice, but did not win on either occasion. In 1944, he was awarded the first ever Golden Globe Award award for best director for his film The Song of Bernadette, based on the novel of the same name by Franz Werfel. He worked most often with Tyrone Power and Gregory Peck, respectively.
Henry King was one of the 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars every year. He directed over 100 films in his career.