At the age of 14, Dan White left Lakeland, Florida, where he had grown up with his large family of 12 siblings. He began traveling the southern United States and performing in a variety of minstrel, vaudeville, tent, and theater shows. He finally stopped and spent nine years performing with his brother Willard in a stock theater company at the Rialto Theater in Tampa. In 1933, during the lean years of the Great Depression, he had to take a break from performing in order to support his new wife and her child. By 1935, he had decided to pursue his dream of acting full time and relocated to Los Angeles. His decision seemed at first to be ill-advised, as he had trouble finding work, but finally he began to get work with the Republic Pictures Corporation. That first year, he appeared in six films though, as with many of the movies he was in during his career, he was uncredited in most of them. He was extremely prolific, claiming to have appeared in over 300 films, the vast majority of which were westerns. Some films he appeared in included "To Kill a Mockingbird" (1962), "Giant" (1956), "The Grapes of Wrath" (1940), and "The Yearling" (1946). He also said he appeared in over 150 television cameos, on programs like the Westerns "Bonanza", "The Virginian", and "Rawhide". After 40 years in Hollywood, he retired in Tampa, Florida, making occasional guest appearances as himself on programs like TV talk shows and specials.