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|Also Known As:||Thomas Leo Mccarey||Died:||July 5, 1969|
|Born:||October 3, 1898||Cause of Death:||emphysema|
|Birth Place:||Los Angeles, California, USA||Profession:||Director ... director producer screenwriter assistant director supervisor lawyer amateur boxer (middleweight)|
"I was a problem child, and problem children do the seemingly insane because they are trying to find out how to fit into the scheme of things," Leo McCarey once said. Born and raised in Los Angeles, this oldest son of a sports promoter tried his hand at various jobs before finally finding his calling working in the then-fledgling motion picture industry. McCarey attended high school with future filmmakers Tay Garnett and David Butler and briefly had a career as an amateur middleweight boxer. While attending law school at USC, he was involved in a freak elevator accident. Taking the $5,000 he collected in damages, he invested in a copper mine that went bust. After graduating, McCarey worked in a law firm in San Francisco and then opened his own short-lived practice in his hometown. With the failure of his law practice, Leo McCarey turned to vaudeville, writing sketches and songs but that too proved futile. Old friend David Butler interceded and introduced him to Tod Browning. Browning hired him as an assistant and McCarey gradually worked his way up from "script boy" to assistant director. The veteran helmer even allowed him to direct Lon Chaney in one sequence of "Outside the Law" (1921) and was instrumental in his hiring to direct Universal's "Society Secrets" (1921). The results were less than stellar, however, and once again McCarey found himself considered a failure.
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