Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Mervyn LeRoy

Mervyn LeRoy was born on October 15, 1900, in San Francisco to a Jewish family. LeRoy had a troubled childhood, seeing as his mother deserted his family when he was five years old. After the mother left, one year later, San Francisco was struck by an earthquake, completely destroying the LeRoy’s department store. Trying to aid
his family and climb out of their financial pit, the young LeRoy sold newspapers and entered talent shows as a singer. Through these auditions, he discovered an aptitude for musical theater and tended to win many shows. He made his way from city to city, but soon his act broke up, and he moved to Hollywood, where he pursued the film industry.

LeRoy worked in various behind the scenes areas like costumes, cameras, and processing labs. He moved in front of the camera with his debut in silent films. After a short run in acting, he moved on to directing, in which his peers praised him for making lots of money without spending too much of it. His rise to Hollywood stardom can be seen in the Oscar-nominated Five Star Final and Little Caesar. His fame was secured with I am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang which stirred American political conversation. This film attributed to the creation of many major legal and penal reforms. Throughout his career, he directed over 70 movies over a span of 40 years.  

Some personal tidbits of LeRoy are as listed. LeRoy was married three times, and in his autobiography, he omits to mention his first wife to whom he was married for six years. He was an enthusiastic follower of horse racing and owned many racehorses. In his old age, he suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease and died at the age of 86 in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

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