Saturday, March 22, 2014
Birthday Wishes to Joan Crawford
Born Lucille Fay LeSueur, Crawford began her career as a chorus girl on Broadway where she was discovered by Metro Goldwyn Mayer. She promoted herself as a flapper and rose to fame not only due to the studio's push but because of her own, relentless self-promotion, becoming one of the most adored film stars and most highly paid women of the Depression era.
After being labeled "Box Office Poison" later in her career at Metro, she moved to Warner Brothers and starred in Mildred Pierce, probably her most iconic and quintessential film, winning an Oscar for her starring (and stirring) performance.
In the mid-1950s, Joan married her fourth husband, Alfred Steele, and was on the board of the Pepsi-Cola company. In 1962, she starred with rival screen diva, Bette Davis, in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane. My grandmother, who idolized Ms Crawford (she was once a flapper herself and even taught me some Charleston moves), took me to see that in a theater when I was a child. Afterwards, she sighed and said, "It's so sad. They used to be so beautiful."
Joan, unfortunately, went on to star in films of dwindling stature. Her last role was in 1970's Trog. I always felt that, had she lived into the 1980s (she left us in '77), she could have played Joan Collins' mother on tv's Dynasty and gotten her grandeur and glamor back.
If she were alive today, Joan Crawford would be 110.
Here are some of her most fabulous quotes to the press:
"I think the most important thing a woman can have ~ next to talent, of course ~ is her hairdresser!"
"I need sex for a clear complexion. But I'd rather do it for love."
"I am just too much!"
Joan Crawford, I love you! It is a privilege to see your films because you brought theatrical drama and glamor to my life, as a child, nestled with my grandmother on the couch (as part of her culturally educating me), watching you on tv. I will adore you eternally. RIP and Happy Birthday!