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  • BIRTH 15/10/1900
  • DEATH 13/09/1987
  • Country United States
  • MOVIES 3
  • DIRECTOR 25
  • PRODUCTION 7

Mervyn LeRoy

Mervyn LeRoy was an American film director, producer, and sometime actor.

LeRoy worked in costumes, processing labs and as a camera assistant until he became a gag writer and actor in silent films, including The Ten Commandments in 1923. LeRoy credits Ten Commandments director, Cecil B. DeMille, for inspiring him to become a director: "As the top director of the era, DeMille had been the magnet that had drawn me to his set as often as I could go." LeRoy also credits DeMille for teaching him the directing techniques required to make his own films.

His first directing job was with First National Pictures on 1927's No Place to Go. LeRoy ended up working at Warner Bros. after they took control of First National. When his movies made lots of money without costing too much, he became well received in the movie business. He directed two key films which launched Edward G. Robinson into major stardom, the Oscar-nominated critique of tabloid journalism Five Star Final, and the classic gangster film Little Caesar, which made his mark. From that point forward, LeRoy would be responsible for a diverse variety of films as a director and producer. The following year's I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang was also nominated for the Academy Award for Outstanding Production as was his Anthony Adverse.

In 1938 he was chosen as head of production at MGM, where he was responsible for the decision to make The Wizard of Oz. He was responsible for discovering Clark Gable, Loretta Young, Robert Mitchum, and Lana Turner. His 1941 film Blossoms in the Dust was nominated for the Academy Award for Outstanding Motion Picture. His first big hit as a director with MGM was 1942's Random Harvest which was their biggest of the season earning worldwide rentals of $8 million and for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Directing. The film was also nominated for the Academy Award for Outstanding Motion Picture. He hit big again two years later with Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo with rentals of $6 million.

In 1951, he scored his biggest hit with Quo Vadis earning worldwide rentals of $21 million as well as a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. In the early 1950s, LeRoy directed such musicals as Lovely to Look At, Million Dollar Mermaid, Latin Lovers and Rose Marie.

He returned to Warner Brothers in 1955, where he took over from John Ford as director on Mister Roberts, another big hit, which was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Motion Picture. He also directed films for Warners such as The Bad Seed, No Time for Sergeants, The FBI Story, and Gypsy.

He received an honorary Oscar in 1946 for The House I Live In, "for tolerance short subject", and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award in 1976. A total of eight movies Mervyn LeRoy directed or co-directed were nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, one of the highest numbers among all directors.

Mervyn LeRoy

Movies (3)

The Making of the Wizard of Oz
The Making of the Wizard of Oz
Self
Jag är Ingrid
Jag är Ingrid
Self (archive footage)
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz: 50 Years of Magic
Self (archive footage)

Director (25)

Little Women
Little Women
Quo Vadis
Quo Vadis
Gold Diggers of 1933
Gold Diggers of 1933
Gentleman's Fate
Gentleman's Fate
Million Dollar Mermaid
Million Dollar Mermaid
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
Waterloo Bridge
Waterloo Bridge
Random Harvest
Random Harvest
The Bad Seed
The Bad Seed
East Side, West Side
East Side, West Side
Playing Around
Playing Around
Page Miss Glory
Page Miss Glory
Home Before Dark
Home Before Dark
Three on a Match
Three on a Match
Johnny Eager
Johnny Eager
They Won't Forget
They Won't Forget
Little Caesar
Little Caesar
Hi, Nellie!
Hi, Nellie!
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Harold Teen
Harold Teen
The FBI Story
The FBI Story
Without Reservations
Without Reservations
Gypsy
Gypsy
Homecoming
Homecoming
No Time for Sergeants
No Time for Sergeants

Production (7)

The Wizard of Oz
The Wizard of Oz
Little Women
Little Women
The Bad Seed
The Bad Seed
At the Circus
At the Circus
Gypsy
Gypsy
The FBI Story
The FBI Story
Johnny Eager
Johnny Eager