Leo McCarey was a "frustrated songwriter" who rose to become one of a Hollywood's leading filmmakers.
McCarey was best known for writing, directing and producing the film "Going My Way," which won him two Academy Awards in 1944. He won his first Oscar in 1937 for directing "The Awful Truth."
He attended Los Angeles High School and, upon graduation, took a job as reporter in the sports department of the The Times, after which, at the bidding of his father, he reluctantly enrolled in USC law school.
But for McCarey, who had favored a career as a "songwriter, cartoonist, actor and writer," a legal career held no interest.
While practicing law he began writing songs. He sold his first—"Why Do You Always Sit on Your Piano?"—for $2.50. He wrote 30 more, including a collaboration on the score for the movie "An Affair to Remember," which he also produced and directed.
His first job in the motion picture industry was in 1918 as a script clerk to Universal Studios' director Tod Browning, who was making the picture "The Virgin of Stamboul."
He spent several years at Universal until producer Hal Roach offered him a job. Four years later he was vice president of Roach's film company.
Through the 1920s he directed a number of Laurel and Hardy, and Charlie Chase comedies. In the 1930s he directed "Roadhouse," "Duck Soup," Six of a Kind," "Ruggles of Red Gap" and "The Milky Way."
His most widely praised picture was "Going My Way," a story about two priests, played by Barry Fitzgerald and Bing Crosby, which he wrote, produced and directed.
Other pictures he produced and directed include "The Bells of St. Mary's," "Good Sam," "Rally Round the Flag Boys" and "Satan Never Sleeps.
|1937||Best Director||The Awful Truth||Win|
|1939||Best Original Story||Love Affair||Nomination*|
|1940||Best Original Story||My Favorite Wife||Nomination*|
|1944||Best Motion Picture Story||Going My Way||Win|
|1944||Best Director||Going My Way||Win|
|1945||Best Director||The Bells of St. Mary's||Nomination|
|1952||Best Motion Picture Story||My Son John||Nomination|
|1957||Best Song||"An Affair to Remember" from An Affair to Remember||Nomination*|