Born Abraham Orovitz, Vincent Sherman began his career in theater, as an actor, writer, and director. His performance in an Elmer Rice play brought him to the attention of Hollywood, where he was hired to reprise his small role as a young but flashy communist in William Wyler’s adaptation of Councellor at Law (1933). Returning to theater in New York after his initial stint in Hollywood, Sherman directed for the Federal Theater Project, eventually acting in a touring company’s production of Dead End, which brought him back to Hollywood and secured him a seven-year contract with Warner Bros. for acting, directing and writing in 1937.
Sherman wrote Crime School (1938), starring Humphrey Bogart and the Dead End Kids, receiving credit for his screenplay and as dialogue director, My Bill (1938), and King of the Underworld (1939) among others. He made his directorial debut in 1939 with The Return of Doctor X starring Humphrey Bogart and is best remembered for his “woman’s pictures” The Hard Way (1943) with Ida Lupino; Old Acquaintance (1943) and Mr. Skeffington (1944) with Bette Davis; and Harriet Craig (1950), The Damned Don’t Cry (1950), and Goodbye, Mr. Fancy (1951) with Joan Crawford. Other prominent features include Adventures of Don Juan (1948) with Errol Flynn; Affair in Trinidad (1952) with Rita Hayworth; and The Young Philadelphians (1959) with Paul Newman.
Sherman transitioned to directing for television in the late 1950s and steadily worked in this medium until the 1980s, during which he directed episodes of 77 Sunset Strip, The Waltons, Medical Center, Trapper John, M.D., and The Last Hurrah (1977), a movie for television starring Carroll O’Connor.
Vincent Sherman served as an alternate on the DGA’s National Board from 1944-45.