On this Day, January 27, 1964: director Norman Z. McLeod dies

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It was on this day in M(ichigan) M(ovie) H(istory),  January 27, 1964,  one of Hollywood’s leading early comedy directors, Norman Zeno McLeod died.  He was 65.

Born  20 September 1895  in Grayling, Michigan, McLeod came from a family that had no connections to show business (his father was a clergyman).   Starting out in the film business as an animator, he learned the comedy trade at the Christie Film Co., which specialized in comedy shorts.

His first successful full-length film was Taking a Chance (1928) for Fox. He was one of Paramount’s top directors when he shot two early films with The Marx Brothers, Monkey Business (1931) and Horse Feathers (1932), both considered among the team’s best.

Besides the Marx Brothers, McLeod directed Bob Hope, Constance Bennett, Danny Kaye, Bing Cosby, Dorothy Lamour, Hedy Lamarr and Cary Grant.

Other memorable work from McLeod includes It’s a Gift (1934) with W.C. Fields, Topper (1937) with Cary Grant and the Danny Kaye comedy The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947).

He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Norman Z. McLeod IMDB http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0572851/?ref_=fn_nm_nm_1

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