Hilpert was one of the great theater directors of the 1920s and 1930s. After his training as a primary school teacher, he studied in Berlin German literature, philosophy and art history at the Friedrich- Wilhelms- University and started in 1919 as an actor at the Berliner Volksbühne. He learned Zuckmayer know, whose works he often sat in the scene. Max Reinhardt brought him in 1926 to the German Theatre in Berlin and made him his chief director. There, he directed the world premiere of The Captain from Köpenick on March 5, 1931, won more of his greatest successes. After his brief return in 1932 to the Volksbühne as the director made him the Nazis in 1934 to director of the Deutsches Theater and thus to the direct successor to the exiled exiled Max Reinhardt. Director he remained until the closure of the Berlin Theatre on September 1, 1944. According to the " annexation" of Austria Hilpert was from 1938 to 1945 and director of the Theater in der Josefstadt. During National Hilpert entered for the persecuted and could its theaters retain a degree of artistic freedom. The profiled theater man Hilpert operated occasionally as an actor and director for the film.
After the Second World War he had for his career under the Nazis first big problems to continue his work in the theater. He lived for a time in Zurich and staged performances in Vienna, Salzburg and Zurich, where at the Schauspielhaus he brought out the premiere of Zuckmayers The Devil's General on 14 December 1946. In 1947 he was artistic director for a season of drama in Frankfurt am Main. After the successful re-establishment of Theater in Konstanz 1949 he became director in 1950 in Göttingen. Here he remained until 1966 and made the German Theater Göttingen one of the leading theater of the young Federal Republic. As a close friend of Zuckmayer he brought here whose works The song in the furnace (1950) and Ulla Winblad (1954 ) premiered. He was awarded the Medal of Honor of the City On the occasion of his leaving from Göttingen. After 1966 he worked as a freelance director.
In Lünen on the lip, the theater of the city Lünen was inaugurated with 765 seats on 11 October 1958 with Heinz Hilpert held the naming ceremony speech. Since March 1966, the theater has the name " Heinz- Hilpert - Theater". It was built by the architect Gerhard Graubner.
He was a full member of the Academy of Arts since 1955.
To Hilpert's students have included Schlubach, Götz George and Hermann Wedekind. His estate is in the archive of the Academy of Arts in Berlin.