He was born Philip Roy Gislingham in Lambeth, South London, the son of the silent-era director W.P. Kellino. He directed his first film Concerning Mr. Martin in 1937. He worked primarily in the years during the Second World War, venturing into television in the 1950s, directing many episodes of popular anthology series Four Star Playhouse, along with episodes of other anthologies like The Star and the Story.
He was married to actress Pamela Mason from 1932 until they divorced in 1940, so that she could marry actor James Mason. He was married to Leave It to Beaver actress Barbara Billingsley from 1953 until his death in 1956 in Los Angeles, California.