Kathryn LeRoy; Philanthropist, Civic Leader

Kathryn “Kitty” P. LeRoy, philanthropist and community leader who was the widow of film producer-director Mervyn LeRoy, has died at age 92.

She died Tuesday at her Beverly Hills home, her granddaughter Anita May Rosenstein said Wednesday.

A wealthy Chicago socialite, LeRoy became the third wife of the legendary filmmaker and was married to him from 1946 until his death in 1987.

She was co-founder of the Women’s Guild of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and a major contributor to the Los Angeles County Music Center and the Jules Stein Eye Institute at UCLA.


Known particularly for her fund-raising abilities, LeRoy spearheaded a ticket-selling drive to support the Up With People concert at the Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 1968. The singers were young volunteers advocating worldwide responsibility among youths to work in government and social programs.

“After all, freedom really isn’t free if it is abused,” LeRoy told The Times as she set about raising $225,000 through the event. “Freedom is a privilege. It’s something each generation has to win anew. It isn’t something that is handed down.”

With actor Dick Van Dyke, LeRoy was honorary co-chairman of the 1966 Christmas Seal campaign of the Los Angeles County Tuberculosis and Health Assn.

Before her marriage to the producer-director, LeRoy was married to and divorced from Sidney Spiegel, a Midwestern theater executive, and Ernie Byfield, a restaurateur and hotel executive.


She is survived by two daughters, Rita Roedling of Beverly Hills and Eugenia Bucci Casari of Rome; two stepchildren, Warner LeRoy and Linda Janklow, both of New York; five grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.

Services are scheduled at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at the Little Church of the Flowers, Forest Lawn, Glendale.