Victor Fleming was an American film director, cinematographer, and producer. His most popular films were The Wizard of Oz, and Gone with the Wind, for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director.
Victor Fleming was born in Pasadena, California. He served in the photographic section during World War 1, and acted as chief photographer for President Woodrow Wilson in Versailles, France. He showed a mechanical aptitude early in life; while working as a car mechanic he met the director Allan Dwan, who took him on as a camera assistant. Fleming soon rose to the rank of cinematographer, working with both Dwan and D. W. Griffith, and directed his first film in 1919.
Many of Fleming’s silent films were action movies, often starring Douglas Fairbanks, or Westerns, and with his robust attitude and love of outdoor sports he became known as a “man’s director”. But he also proved an effective director of women. Under his direction, Vivien Leigh won the Best Actress Oscar, Hattie McDaniel won for Best Supporting Actress, and Ingrid Bergman was nominated.
In 1932 Fleming joined MGM and directed some of the studio’s most prestigious films. Red Dust, Bombshell, and Reckless showcased Jean Harlow, while Treasure Island and Captains Courageous brought a touch of literary distinction to boy’s-own adventure stories. His two most famous films came in 1939, when The Wizard of Oz was closely followed by Gone with the Wind.