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      Leon Beaumon

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      • 83
      • 1898-03-15
      • 1981-12-01

      Leon Beaumon - also credited as Leon Beauman, Beaumont, and Leon Duval - was a minor stage and film actor during the 1920s and 1930s. He wasborn Herman Bauman in 1898 on a farm near Youngstown, Ohio, to German immigrant parents. He worked in steel mills as a youth, and studied with his two brothers near Chicago to be a Catholic priest. However, in 1920 Herman had an argument with one of his superiors in the seminary and set out for California to become a movie star, persuading his younger brother, Marty, to join him. In their migration West, during Prohibition, they worked in a still and ran hooch in Denver. Once in Hollywood they changed their last name to Beaumon and Herman became Leon. Leon and Marty lived in a boarding house in Hollywood along with Clark Gable and John Wayne before the latter two found fame and fortune. They were all poor enough, and close enough in size, that the four men owned one suit of clothes among them, and scheduled their auditions around one another to wear the suit. Leon's filmography is largely a mystey, due to the passage of time and his legendary attempts to hide his true age; thus he gave few details of his Hollywood career to his children. From a scrapbook, archival sources, and his lifelong friend and fellow actor, the late Bob St. Angelo, it is known so far that he had credited roles in A Fight to the Finish (1925), Clancy of the Mounted (1933), Pioneer Trail (1938) and The Law Comes to Texas (1939). He had uncredited roles in Cleopatra (1934), Folies Bergère de Paris (1935), Fugitive at Large (1939), Les Misérables (1935), The Call of the Wild (1935), The Freshman (1925), The Mighty Barnum (1934) The Sea Wolf (1930), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Vagabond King (1930) and Western Frontier (1935). He often played the bad guy in Ken Maynard's westerns. During his acting days, Leon ran an ice cream shop in Hollywood. He was also an inventor, creating one of the first wireless radios, the record changer on record players, and numerous other gadgets. During World War 2, Leon joined the Army Air Corps and remained stateside. Subsequently he became a real estate broker, and eventually an industrial landlord. Leon remained single until 1961 when he married Theresa (Hermine Gruber). They made their home in a Los Angeles suburb and had three children, Florence, Anthony and Monique. Leon never retired, even putting a roof on a building when he was in his 70s. His beloved wife preceded him in death, in 1978. Leon passed away from cancer in 1981, at the age of 83. His nephew and his nephew's wife, Jim and Marj Smerber, generously took care of him in his illness and finished rearing his minor children.

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      Credits

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