Paul Hurst (actor)

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

Paul Causey Hurst
Hurst in The Sphinx (1933)
Born(1888-10-15)October 15, 1888
DiedFebruary 27, 1953(1953-02-27) (aged 64)
Resting placeReedley Cemetery
OccupationActor, director
Years active19121953
Spouse(s)Hedda Nova
(m. 1919; ? 19??)


Born in Traver, California, and 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); 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 was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 1952, and committed suicide in February 1953. He is buried in Reedley Cemetery in Reedley, California.

Partial filmography

As actor

As director


  • Rothel, David. 1984. Those Great Cowboy Sidekicks. Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, New Jersey. ISBN 0-8108-1707-1
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