A native New Yorker born in 1909, Roy Schatt's first job was with Warner Brothers Art Department in Washington D.C. While there, he studied at the Corcoran School of Art. All the while, photography was his hobby. After the usual amount of trial and error, he won first prize in a Leica competition. He served in World War II in the China-Burma-India theatre. Living in Greenwich Village in the late 1940's, Schatt met the loft Players at the Circle-In-The-Square Playhouse and became their house photographer. Schatt was invited to be an observer at the Actors Studio by Lee Strasberg. Schatt was soon shooting on stage at an audience which included Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Eli Wallach, and Grace Kelly.