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Paul Causey Hurst
Paul Hurst 01.JPG
Who's Who in the Film World, 1914
Born(1888-10-15)October 15, 1888
DiedFebruary 27, 1953(1953-02-27) (aged 64)
Resting placeReedley Cemetery
OccupationActor, director
Years active1912–1953
Spouse(s)Hedda Nova
(m. 1919; ? 19??)

Paul Causey Hurst (October 15, 1888 – February 27, 1953) was an American actor and director.


Born in Traver, California,[1] Hurst was half-Cherokee and half-Seneca.[2] He was raised on a ranch. He appeared in hundreds of films during the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. However, he got his start painting scenery as part of the backstage crew during the silent movie era. By 1911, he was active in films as an actor, writer and director. He freelanced and worked for many of the movie studios, building a solid reputation for his work both on and off screen.

Hurst is best remembered for two roles: as the Yankee deserter who trespasses at Tara and is shot by Scarlett in Gone with the Wind (1939);[3] and his memorable characterization of the drunken and sadistic vigilante Smith in The Ox Bow Incident (1943).

However, he was most proud of his role as a crotchety, old rancher who refuses water to a Quaker family in the movie Angel and the Badman, until John Wayne's character convinces him to share the water. It was after this latter role that Republic Pictures signed him as the comic sidekick in Monte Hale's Western series. His last film was John Ford's The Sun Shines Bright.

Hurst in The Sphinx (1933)
Hurst in The Sphinx (1933)

Personal life and death

Hurst was married to actress Hedda Nova.[1] He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 1952,[citation needed] and committed suicide on February 27, 1953.[1] He is buried in Reedley Cemetery in Reedley, California.[citation needed]


Lobby card for Take the Stand (1934),L-R: Russell Hopton, Thelma Todd, unknown player, and Paul Hurst
Lobby card for Take the Stand (1934),
L-R: Russell Hopton, Thelma Todd, unknown player, and Paul Hurst

As actor

As director


  1. ^ a b c Katchmer, George A. (2015). A Biographical Dictionary of Silent Film Western Actors and Actresses. McFarland. p. 175. ISBN 978-1-4766-0905-8. Retrieved May 20, 2020.
  2. ^ "Paul Hurst signs Tiffany contract". The Los Angeles Times. July 19, 1930. p. 18. Retrieved May 20, 2020 – via
  3. ^ Publishing, Taylor Trade (2014). Fan's Guide to Gone With The Wind eBook Bundle: Collected Biographies of Margaret Mitchell, Vivien Leigh, and Gone With the Wind Trivia. Rowman & Littlefield. ISBN 978-1-4930-1701-0. Retrieved May 20, 2020.