Born in Russia, director David Burton lived in New York from an early age. An established stage actor, he made his film bow in 1915. He returned to the theatre, where for nearly a decade he flourished as a director. He was brought back to Hollywood from Broadway by MGM in 1929. While directing such early talkies as The Bishop Murder Case (1930), he found time to play himself in Buster Keaton's backstage farce Free and Easy (1930). He moved to Paramount to direct Gary Cooper's Fighting Caravans in 1931, then free-lanced. David Burton later settled down as a staff director with 20th Century Fox's "B" unit, where he remained until his career ended in 1941.