Former actor and comedy writer who began a prolific directing career in 1927. LeRoy did his best work at Warner Bros. in the 1930s, turning out a string of grittily realistic films which reflected the hardships of Depression-era America. His 1930 gangster film, "Little Caesar," launched Edward G. Robinson into stardom and inaugurated the genre with which Warners would make its name. In 1938 LeRoy switched to MGM and turned his hand to glossier and, for the most part, less satisfactory fare. His other achievements include producing "The Wizard of Oz" (1939), taking over the direction of "Mister Roberts" (1955) from an ailing John Ford and introducing Ronald Reagan to Nancy Davis.