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Joan CRAWFORD

American Joan CRAWFORD

born Lucille Fay LESUEUR

American actress

Source :  Tim DOWLING

Born: on March 23, 1905 in San Antonio, Texas, USA
Died: on May 10, 1977 in New York City, New York, USA


Biography

Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, the third child of Tennessee-born Thomas E. LeSueur (1868–1938), a laundry laborer of English, French Huguenot and Jersey ancestry, and Anna Bell Johnson (1884–1958), who was of Swedish and Irish descent. Her older siblings were Daisy LeSueur, who died very young, and Hal LeSueur. Thomas LeSueur abandoned the family a few months before Crawford's birth. He reappeared in Abilene, Texas in 1930 as a 62-year-old construction laborer on the George R. Davis House, built in Prairie School architecture.

Crawford's mother subsequently married Henry J. Cassin. The family lived in Lawton, Oklahoma, where Cassin ran a movie theater. Crawford was unaware that Cassin was not her birth father until her brother Hal told her. The 1910 federal census for Comanche County, Oklahoma, enumerated on April 20, showed Henry and Anna living at 910 "D" Street in Lawton. Crawford was listed as five years old, thus showing 1905 as her likely year of birth. However, the state of Texas did not require the filing of birth certificates until 1908, allowing Crawford to claim she was born in 1908.

Crawford preferred the nickname "Billie" as a child and she loved watching vaudeville acts perform on the stage of her stepfather's theater. The instability of her family life affected her education and her level of schooling never really progressed beyond the fourth grade. Her ambition was to be a dancer. However, in an attempt to escape piano lessons to run and play with friends, she leaped from the front porch of her home and cut her foot deeply on a broken milk bottle. Crawford had three operations and was unable to attend elementary school for a year and a half. She eventually fully recovered and returned to dancing.

Around 1916, Crawford's family moved to Kansas City, Missouri. Cassin was first listed in the City Directory in 1917, living at 403 East Ninth Street. While still in elementary school, Crawford was placed in St. Agnes Academy, a Catholic school in Kansas City. Later, after her mother and stepfather broke up, she stayed on at St. Agnes as a work student. She then went to Rockingham Academy, also as a work student. She later claimed the headmaster's wife there beat her and forged her grades to hide the fact that young Lucille spent far more time working, primarily cooking and cleaning, rather than being able to study academically. While attending Rockingham she began dating and had her first serious relationship, with a trumpet player named Ray Sterling. It was Sterling who reportedly inspired her to begin challenging herself academically. In 1922, she registered at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, giving her year of birth as 1906. Crawford attended Stephens for only four months before withdrawing after she realized she was not prepared for college.

Source :  © Copyright Wikipédia authors - This article is under licence CC BY-SA 3.0 .

See Also :

- Category Actor