Carson gave his film debut in 1937 on the side of Henry Fonda in the film You Only Live Once. In 1939, he starred with Marlene Dietrich and James Stewart in the Western Destry Rides Again. Larger successes came during the 1940s with Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941 ), Arsenic and Old Lace ( 1944) and Magic Nights in Rio (1948 ). In the 1950s he made only a few films and instead concentrated on television work. One of his last films was Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in the year 1958.
Carson was married four times, including with the actresses Kay St. Germain Wells (1941-1950) and Lola Albright ( 1952-1958 ). His brother was the actor Robert Carson. Jack Carson died in 1963 at the age of 52 years at a gastric carcinoma. He has a star on the Walk of Fame ( 1560 Vine Street ).