Casablanca’s Last: Madeleine LeBeau

Madeleine LeBeau was one of the few memorable characters of 1942’s Casablanca. She played Bogart’s former lover and a lady of the night who accompanied men at the club. Her big moment in the film was when the patrons of the club begin to sing “La Marseillaise” the French anthem and the camera cuts to LeBeau’s character crying in the middle of the song. In the original script LeBeau’s character had a very pronounced role, sadly during production, her role was significantly reduced during script edits. Many speculated that her role was diminished because of Bergman’s prominent role in the film. Later in LeBeau’s career she struggled although she landed another great role in Fellini’s 8 1/2. 

You might not know that those tears in Casablanca were real tears. LeBeau and her husband both escaped Paris ahead of the German invasion of Paris. Her husband actor Marcel Dalio (who also appeared in Casablanca as a croupier) was Jewish and the couple was able to escape the Nazi’s through Spain and Portugal. Eventually they were able to get Canadian visas and enter into the United States. The couple moved to Hollywood and restarted their acting careers. Sadly the couple would divorce which unfortunately hurt LaBeau’s career for a decade. After the war the duo moved back to France to continue their career. Eventually she would move to the Italy and then onto Spain. LeBeau passed away recently, thankfully she did find love again in the late 80’s She was the last living credited member of the Casablanca cast. .