Leo McCarey was born on 3 rd October 1898 in Los Angeles. His initial interest was not in movies, but in law, and he grew up to become a practicing attorney with his own business. However, in the 1920s there was a change of career when he went to work as a writer and director with Hal Roach Studios. He worked hard and well, and within a couple of years had risen up the ranks to become Vice President of the studios.
Whilst at Hal Roach, McCarey happened upon two aspiring comedy actors by the name of Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. It was McCarey that decided to team these two up, and the movies that Laurel and Hardy made are still much loved classics to this day.
McCarey was something of a Jack-of-all-trades in the movie business, and was able to write, produce and direct. This saw him win a number of Academy Awards. His works included: ‘The Milky Way’, ‘The Awful Truth’, ‘Make Way for Tomorrow’, ‘Going My Way’ and ‘The Bells of St Mary’s’.
It took a few years after the Second World War for McCarey to get his movies back off the ground, but he did this with admirable style, with classics such as ‘An Affair to Remember’ upon which the modern-day Sleepless in Seattle was based.
McCarey died on 5 th July 1969 in California from emphysema.
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