A stage actor, Archie Mayo went to Hollywood in 1915 and worked until his retirement in 1946. He began directing slapstick two-reelers, later making features at Warner Bros. just about the time sound was being introduced into films.
He did much work for Warners, but he also made films at Goldwyn and 20th Century-Fox. During the 1940s he became somewhat of a tyrant on the set and fought constantly with stars; the heavyset Mayo was referred to by one particular star as a "fat slob".
He left the business for 12 years and returned as a producer in 1958.