By Bartee Haile
At the Academy Awards on Mar. 14, 1945, Joan Crawford took home the “Best Actress” Oscar for her sixty-eighth motion picture Mildred Pierce.
Life was a struggle from the start for Lucille Fay Le- Sueur born in San Antonio in either 1904, 1905 or 1906. Her father abandoned the family, while she was still in the womb, leaving her mother in desperately dire straits.
Shortly after giving birth, Anna LeSueur moved with her new baby and a son, who was not much older, to Lawton, Oklahoma, where she had friends and kinfolks. She met and soon married Henry Cassin, owner of a local theater called the Ramsey Opera House.
Despite the name, vaudeville was Cassin’s bread-andbutter. Lucille watched the endless parade of acts from backstage paying special attention to the dancers. Encouraged by her stepfather, she began dancing herself during the brief intermissions.