Marks was born August 2, 1927 in Los Angeles. His grandparents acted in silent pictures and his father Dave Marks was an assistant director and production manager at MGM.
Arthur Marks began his film career as a background actor and in bit parts on such films in the 1930s and ‘40s as Boys Town, The Good Earth and the Andy Hardy series.
Marks left Hollywood to join the United States Merchant Marines during World War II and served in the Navy during the Korean War.
He briefly attended Santa Monica College and the University of Southern California, before landing a job in the production department at MGM Studios. His career took off in the 1950s as an assistant director at Columbia.