Joe De Grasse began his career as a journalist, but soon became enamored of the theater and took work as a stage actor. In 1910, he acted in his first motion picture and although he would appear as an actor in 13 films, and write 2 screenplays, his real interest was in directing.
While working in Hollywood for Universal Pictures, Joe De Grasse met and married one of the few female directors working at the time, Ida May Park (1879-1954). In 1915 he became a founder of the Motion Picture Directors' Association of America.
During his career he directed a total of 86 films.
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