Little is know about the forgotten brother of Joan Crawford, Harry LeSueur (1903-1963). He tried his hand in acting but finished out his life in obscurity as a motel clerk. When he died in 1963, Crawford did not attend his funeral.
The following are comments that Joan Crawford made about her brother that were published after she had died...they are telling but not necessarily true...
On her brother Hal LeSueur (from "Conversations," 1980):
"Let's start with Hal, my dear, sweet brother, first. To tell you the truth, I think he was my half-brother; Mother married so many times, and shacked up with so many men in between, I doubt we were one hundred percent brother and sister. People would look at us, after he came out to Hollywood, and wonder how the hell we could even be related.
He was chronically mean. He was older than I, and as kids he wasn't just the type of kid that would pull wings off butterflies, he'd pull the arms and legs off my dolls. When my mother needed help in the house, did she ever ask him to do anything? Hell, no! I waited on him hand and foot, and he was one of the big reasons why I wanted to get the hell out of the whole situation. Hal was bad news, all the way around. But because he was a boy he was always favored, and it was Lucille who had to do all the dirty work. And you know what happened? As soon as I had a few options renewed at Metro, Hal appeared. One afternoon I came home and found him sitting on my sofa, smoking a cigarette, half-bombed, telling me that since I'd become a movie star he was going to live with me. Like an idiot, I let him stay, but finally I sent for Mother and let those two live together so I could have a place of my own where I could maintain my privacy...and my sanity.
Hal was a louse, an out-and-out bastard. He could charm the skin off a snake, but nothing, not his jobs, not the men and women in his life, lasted long. Liquor, then drugs, and always his distorted ego, took over. I supported that son-of-a-bitch until the day he died. Now, do you call that being cruel and inhuman? At least Norma Shearer's brother, Douglas, was brilliant and self-sufficient, and made his own career at Metro. But I was stuck with a schmuck. That man -- or did he ever become a man -- was a monster. God, I hated him."
I find a lot of this troubling. I adore Joan Crawford and I had no idea she thought of her brother this way.ReplyDelete
1. I guess I didn't know 'the real' Joan Crawford, because the tone of this doesn't sound like her at all to me.
2. They do look related. Especially so if you compare his features to pre-Joan Crawford Lucille.
3. Half siblings are just as important. If they live with you, there really is no distinction unless people point it out. Day to day there is no difference.
4. I'm sure her brother was babied, but if this was Joan looking back in say the 1960's or so, men were treated differently at the turn of the 20th century. The role of women was to serve in the home. I don't think it was malice of her mother even if she viewed it that way. I think it was more a case of societal norms.
5. Most celebrities half freeloading family and friends. Just look at celebrity entourages today. Celebrities are cash machines for their family who either can't or won't make enough money to live (or how they wanted to live).
I'm glad Norma Shearer's brother was able to make it on his own. I wish Joan's brother was able to do the same. It could not have been easy being Joan's brother either.
Siblings are not important in the long run. Families are like gangs--they only stick if you are loyal to them, obey their codes and offer them something. I applaud her.ReplyDelete