Hal LeSueur (Hal Hays LeSueur)

Hal LeSueur

Hal LeSueur was born in San Antonio, Texas, the second child of Thomas E. LeSueur (1868-1938)) and Anna Bell Johnson (1884-1958)). His older sister was Daisy LeSueur (ƒ 1902), and his younger sister was Lucille Fay LeSueur, later the Oscar-winning film star Joan Crawford. After Thomas LeSueur had abandoned the family, Anna wed businessman Henry J. Cassin (1868-1922), who nicknamed Lucille “Billie”. She was known for a while as “Billie Cassin”. The family lived in Lawton, Oklahoma, then moved to Kansas City, Missouri, around 1916. Hal LeSueur and his second wife, Kasha, moved from Kansas City around 1928 to Los Angeles. He found work in the stock department at MGM in bit parts or as an extra. Hal LeSueur was married twice. His first wife was Jessie Beryl Burress (married 1928; divorced 1930); his second wife was Kasha Haroldi (born March 31, 1907 – died June 26, 1992), whom he married in 1931. Hal and Kasha LeSueur had one child, a daughter, named Joan Crawford LeSueur, who was named for Hal’s sister (December 2, 1933 – December 15, 1999), who became a dancer on Broadway, known professionally as Joan Lowe. Hal and Kasha married in Santa Ana, California on September 16, 1931, with Hal’s age given as 30. Kasha and Hal LeSueur divorced in 1935. She won custody of their daughter. She remarried and became Mrs. Kasha Lowe; her daughter became Joan Lowe, the name by which she was known professionally, later Mrs. Joan Fowler.

On November 9, 1935, Hal LeSueur was in a head-on collision at the top of Cahuenga Pass. The other car caught fire and the three people inside, Earl Gose, who was driving, his wife, Golda, and his unmarried sister, Grace, were pulled from the blaze. Their car burned to a charred hulk. LeSueur suffered severe cuts and bruises on his hands, face, arms and legs. The other people were also seriously injured. All were taken to a hospital in Hollywood. The injuries of Grace Gose proved fatal three days later. His mother, Anna, and his ex-wife, Kasha, accompanied him to the coroner’s inquest on November 15. Earl and Golda Gose were unable to appear. LeSueur testified that he was driving near the center of the highway when the other car suddenly pulled out from behind another car into his lane and he was unable to avoid the collision. The Coroner’s jury exonerated him of blame for the crash, returning a verdict of accidental death. In February 1936, Earl and Golda Gose sued him, seeking $86,400 in damages. Golda, who was taken into court on a hospital stretcher, which was placed before the jury box, testified that LeSueur was driving on the wrong side of Cahuenga Boulevard when his car collided with theirs. LeSueur not only denied responsibility for the accident, but in his cross-complaint for $10,000 charged that the crash came about through Gose’s negligent driving. The suit was then abruptly dropped, however, when a settlement was reached. LeSueur agreed to pay them $8,500, one tenth of what they had originally sought.

Tired of being an uncredited actor in the films on which he worked, he decided to try his hand at make-up work at MGM for a while. When he left that job, he worked as a sporting goods salesman. LeSueur made one final movie appearance, playing a reporter in Jeanne Eagels (1957), the only role for which LeSueur received screen credit. He made one TV appearance in an episode of the series State Trooper, titled No Fancy Cowboys, which aired on March 13, 1957. When he left the sporting goods business, LeSueur began working as a desk clerk at a Los Angeles hotel, and supplemented his income working as a switchboard operator at the motel where he lived. Hal LeSueur died of a ruptured appendix at General Hospital. He was interred in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Glendale, California. He was believed to be 59 years old, but may have been 61. His sister reportedly sent him telegrams from New York to the hospital before he died, but did not attend his funeral.

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Born

  • September, 03, 1901
  • USA
  • San Antonio, Texas

Died

  • May, 03, 1963
  • USA
  • Los Angeles, California

Cause of Death

  • ruptured appendix

Cemetery

  • Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Glendale)
  • Glendale, California
  • USA

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