Before directing feature films, Walters was one of the leading dance Directors at MGM. Among the movies he choreographed are Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Best Foot Forward (1943) and Girl Crazy (1943, in which he danced with Judy Garland in "Embraceable You").
He is notable for directing many popular and successful MGM musicals, such as Good News (1947), Easter Parade (1948) and High Society (1956), featuring some of the studio's biggest stars, including Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Peter Lawford, June Allyson and Esther Williams.
Walters directed the last pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), as well as Cary Grant in the actor's last film Walk, Don't Run, a 1966 remake of The More the Merrier. He also directed Doris Day in her last musical, Billy Rose's Jumbo (1962).
He received a Best Director Oscar nomination for the 1953 film Lili starring Leslie Caron, for which Caron was also Oscar nominated. He also directed Debbie Reynolds to her only Oscar nomination in the film version of The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964).
He concluded his career in the mid-1970s, directing Lucille Ball in two made-for-television movies, and the TV series Here's Lucy.