A World War I veteran who entered the military as a private and was discharged a lieutenant in the flying corps, Forman acted in several motion pictures prior toturning to direction in 1920 with a pair of films for the Famous Players-Lasky studio: The Ladder of Lies and The Sins of Rosanne. From 1921 through 1926, the director helmed some 25 films including a 1923 version of the classic Western The Virginian, staring Kenneth Harlan in the title role. In early 1926, Forman suffered a nervous breakdown brought on by years of overwork. Separated from his wife and child, the 34-year-old director was recuperating at his parents' home at 26 Avenue Thirty-one in Venice, California. On November 7, 1926, one day before he was set to begin directing The Wreck for Columbia, Forman rose early and went into the bathroom to shave. His mother and father, cooking breakfast together in the kitchen, did not hear the shot. When Forman failed to answer their call, they found him lying full length on the bathroom floor with a .45-caliber revolver beside him. According to authorities, Forman had pressed the gun so tightly against his heart that there had been no sound of a report.