In addition to acting in all three mediums, Vail also saw success as director on the Broadway stage, as well also being a producer of radio programs. Born on June 29, 1899 in Denver, Colorado, Vail rose to prominence on the New York stage during the mid-1920s in the drama, Caught. Over the next ten years he would appear in over fifteen plays on the Great White Way.
His more notable plays being Behold the Bridegroom, which ran in 1927 and 1928, written and directed by George Kelly, and 1934"s Are You Decent?.
In 1931 he would take a brief hiatus from the stage, focusing on performing in films. In the year he spent in Hollywood, Vail would make eight films, with starring or featured roles in all but one of them.
His film debut came in Beau Ideal, the 1931 sequel to the 1926 silent film, Beau Geste, starring alongside Frank McCormack and Ralph Forbes. Other notable films include starring roles in Dance, Fools, Dance (1931), with Joan Crawford.
Victor Schertzinger"s The Woman Between, which co-starred Lily Damita.
And 1932"s Big Town, directed by Arthur Hoerl. Other films in which he had a featured role included Consolation Marriage (1931), starring Irene Dunne and Pat O"Brien. And I Take This Woman, starring Gary Cooper and Carole Lombard.
After his short stint in films, Vail would return to the stage in 1932.
Beginning in the mid-1930s he would enter a new medium: radio. From the 30s through the start of the 1950s, he would act and produce in that arena.
He would take another break from the stage in 1935, not returning until the war years of 1941-1945, at which point he would change hats, directing, rather than acting. His biggest Broadway success as a director, would be his last play, 1945"s Chicken Every Sunday, by Julius and Philip Epstein.
His career in radio would last from the 1930s until the early 1950s.
During that time he would act as well as produce for the radio. He would produce several shows for National Broadcasting Company, including Cyrano de Bergerac as part of the Great Plays series. Other shows he would produce for the Great Plays series included Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, William Tell, and Elizabeth the Queen.
Vail would also be one of the directors of the radio serial, The Aldrich Family, which ran from 1939-1953.
Late in his career, Vail would make several appearances on episodic television, including performances on Perry Mason, Father Knows Best and The Donna Reed Show. Vail died on November 28, 1959 in Los Angeles, California.