The late Mervyn LeRoy called Palm Springs home for 30 years. Determined to turn Frank L. Baum’s book into a movie, in 1937 LeRoy convinced Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studio head Louis B. Mayer to put up the money to finance his dream.
In 1938, the city of Palm Springs was incorporated and The Wizard of Oz was filmed. They were both conceived in the same year.
The film had it’s premier in 1939 and received multiple Oscar nominations. 75 years later, it’s still one of the most loved and most popular movies of all time.
Leroy lived at 166 W. San Marco Way, Palm Springs (next door to the famous Racquet Club). The neighborhood is known as Racquet Club West.
INTERESTING FACT: In 1914, film pioneer Jesse Lasky produced Hollywood’s first feature-length film, The Squaw Man. Lasky was Mervy LeRoy’s cousin. At one time LeRoy was also married to Doris Warner, the daughter of Harry Warner, oldest of the four Warner brothers, and also a Palm Springs resident. Warner lived at 591 Stevens Road in the Old Las Palmas neighborhood of Palm Springs. Jack Warner, the head of Warner Bros. studio, lived at 1050 Cahuilla, just a few blocks away. Jack died in 1990 while playing tennis at this home.