Henabery's acting career began in The Joke on Yellentown (1914). Henabery appeared in the D. W. Griffith silent film Birth of a Nation (1915) as Abraham Lincoln. From 1914 to 1917 he appeared in seventeen films.
Henabery also worked as a second-unit director on Griffith's Intolerance (1916), and supervised the filming of at least one extended sequence that appeared in the film. Throughout the rest of his career, he worked as a director. From the mid-1920s, and after professional disagreements with both Louis B. Mayer at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and Adolph Zukor at Paramount Pictures, Henabery found employment as a director for smaller Hollywood studios. His career as a director of feature films ended by the late 1930s.
As Abraham Lincoln
Although Henabery's impersonation of Lincoln was a masterpiece of facial makeup, the 6'1" (185 cm) Henabery was three inches shorter than the 6'4" (193 cm) Lincoln. Kevin Brownlow's book The Parade's Gone By (1968) contains a photo of Henabery in costume and makeup as Lincoln, seated in a chair with planks placed on the floor under Henabery's feet so that his knees are raised several inches; this effect (with the planks kept off-camera in the movie) made Henabery's legs appear longer than they actually were.
Henabery died on February 18, 1976, aged 88, in Los Angeles, California.
- The Birth of a Nation (1915)
- The Spell of the Poppy (1915)
- Say! Young Fellow (1918) – director and scenarist
- Mr. Fix-It (1918) – co-screenplay
- Life of the Party (1920)
- Brewster's Millions (1921)
- Travelling Salesman (1921)
- The Stranger (1924)
- A Sainted Devil (1924)
- Cobra (1925)
- Meet the Prince – director
- Play Safe (1927) – director
- Sailors' Wives (1928)
- Double or Nothing (1936)
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