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      Joan Crawford

      Joan Crawford

      Highest Rated: 100% The Unknown (1927)

      Lowest Rated: 13% Trog (1970)

      Birthday: Mar 23, 1905

      Birthplace: San Antonio, Texas, USA

      A major Hollywood star of the 1930s and '40s, Joan Crawford essayed physically strong and emotionally pliable women in such films as "Mildred Pierce" (1945) and "Possessed" (1947) before devolving into a sort of camp self-parody in such potboilers as "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962) Born Lucille Fay LeSeuer in San Antonio, Texas on March 23, 1904, Crawford endured an emotionally turbulent childhood: her father, Thomas LaSuer, left the family shortly after her birth, and she believed that her stepfather, theater owner Henry J. Cassin, was her biological father until her brother, Hal, told her the truth. She received little primary education - an accident involving a broken milk bottle required multiple surgeries, which kept her out of elementary school. Cassin was later accused of embezzlement, which required the family to relocate to Kansas City; there, she attended St. Agnes Academy and later, Rockingham Academy, for which she paid through menial labor jobs at the schools. After leaving both schools, she began working as a dancer after winning a Charleston contest, and performed in revues across the country under the stage name Billie Cassin. While appearing in Detroit, Michigan producer Jacob J. Shubert hired her to perform in the chorus line for his 1924 Broadway show "Innocent Eyes." Flush with ambition, she pressed publicist Nils Granlund to arrange a screen test for her with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; the gambit paid off, and by 1925, Crawford - now billed as Lucille LeSeur - made her screen debut as Norma Shearer's body double in "Lady of the Night." Minor, often unbilled roles soon followed, but Crawford remained determined to achieve stardom, and after rechristening herself Joan Crawford - a name taken from a national magazine campaign organized by MGM publicity chief Pete Smith - began her ascent to screen fame. Her first significant movie role in "Sally, Irene and Mary" (1925) led to turns opposite the likes of John Gilbert ("Twelve Miles Out" 1927), Lon Chaney ("The Unknown," 1927) and Ramon Navarro"("Across to Singapore," 1928). Her star status was confirmed with a pair of pictures - the Oscar-nominated "Our Dancing Daughters" (1928), which cemented her in the minds of viewers as a free-spirited icon of the Jazz Age, and "The Hollywood Revue of 1929," where her performance of the song "Got a Feeling For You" assured that she would make a smooth transition to talking pictures. Crawford soon transitioned from ingénue to more sophisticated roles - she appeared opposite MGM's biggest male star, Clark Gable, in five films, beginning with 1930's "Dance, Fools, Dance" - and held her own opposite a cast that included Greta Garbo and Lionel Barrymore in the Oscar-winning "Grand Hotel" (1932). After leaving a tumultuous marriage to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. in 1933, Crawford became one of MGM's most bankable players on the strength of such hits as "Dancing Lady" (1933) with Gable, Fred Astaire and Franchot Tone, to whom she would be married between 1935 and 1939. It, along with many of her output during the 1930, was lightweight fare, and Crawford pushed MGM chief Louis B. Mayer to place her in more dramatic projects; she made a successful transition to such films with 1936's "The Gorgeous Hussy" and "The Last of Mrs. Chaney" (1937), but subsequent efforts were met with audience indifference, and a string of expensive failures like "The Bride Wore Red" (1937) and "The Shining Hour" (1938), helped to earn her a spot in a notorious letter penned by Harry Brandt head of the Independent Theatre Owners Association of America, who compiled a list of "box office poison" - stars whose high salaries and appearances in films with limited appeal had a detrimental effect on movie exhibitors. Crawford continued to act for MGM, earning solid reviews for "A Woman's Face," while cultivating her personal life with the adoption of a daughter, Christina, in 1940 and another brief marriage to actor Philip Terry. In 1943, she signed with Warner Bros. for a three-picture deal; by most accounts, her tenure there was marked by open hostility from studio chief Jack L. Warner and director Michael Curtiz, who forced her to test for the title role in "Mildred Pierce." The film - an emotionally potent blend of melodrama and film noir - was a huge success for Warner Bros. and Crawford, who netted an Academy Award for Best Actress. She soon settled into a string of films that drew upon her "Pierce" screen persona - the long-suffering, lovelorn heroine - including "Humoresque" (1946), "Possessed," for which she earned another Oscar nomination, and "Daisy Kenyon" (1947). The tentative relationship between Warner and Crawford began to falter in the early 1950s, and she would cap her career with the studio with another hit, the tense thriller "Sudden Fear" (1952), for which she earned a third Oscar nomination. After marrying Pepsi executive Alfred Steele - who tapped Crawford to promote the beverage - in 1955, Crawford returned to MGM, where she continued to suffer -and inflict suffering - onscreen in such films as Nicholas Ray's "Johnny Guitar" (1954) and "Autumn Leaves" (1956). But the MGM output retained a patina of camp - fueled in part by Crawford's ripening screen image of the middle-aged but still lusty female - that would come to haunt her subsequent work. By the end of the decade, Crawford was investing a significant portion of her time to Pepsi - she assumed Steele's position on the company's board of directors following his death in 1959 - but wished to continue acting in an industry that was gradually turning her back on her. She was lured back to Warner Bros. with the offer of a lead in a psychological thriller, "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Seeing that no other significant parts were coming her way, Crawford accepted the role of faded star Jane Hudson, even with the knowledge that Bette Davis - with whom she had been locked in a rivalry with since the 1940s - would play the showier role of Jane's psychotic sister, former child star "Baby" Jane. According to some accounts - including the 2018 TV miniseries "Feud: Bette and Joan" (FX, 2017) - the actresses waged open war on the set, but knew that the film's success might provide their careers with a second life. Their gambit proved correct: though Davis earned the lion's share of the critical praise, as well as an Oscar nomination, both actresses continued to work for the better part of the next decade. However, Crawford's roles largely echoed her "Baby Jane" work: emotionally damaged harridans in films like "Strait Jacket" (1964) for horror producer William Castle. She reunited with Aldrich and Davis for another horror title "Hush Hush, Sweet Charlotte" (1964), but fled the picture under allegations of abuse from Davis, and was eventually replaced by Olivia de Havilland. Her remaining years were marked by bouts of alcoholism and illness, as well as a slew of professional embarrassments, most notably the absurd horror film "Trog" (1970), in which she played a scientist trying to civilize a revived Neanderthal, though her turn in a Steven Spielberg-directed segment for the 1969 pilot for "Night Gallery" (1970-1973) as an avaricious blind woman received solid reviews. She spent her final years in isolation before succumbing to a myocardial infarction on May 13, 1977. She bequeathed $77,000 each to her two youngest children, a pair of adoptees named Cindy and Cathy, and money to numerous charities, but nothing to Christina and her adopted brother, Christopher. That animosity between mother and daughter appeared to be repaid with the publication of Christina's autobiography, "Mommie Dearest" (1978), which alleged that Crawford was physically and emotionally abusive to her and her brother. It would later be adapted into a feature film, with Faye Dunaway as Crawford; the book and film would soon become part and parcel of the pop culture/camp veil that enveloped the whole of Crawford's career.

      Highest rated movies

      A Woman's Face
      The Unknown
      Johnny Guitar
      The Women
      What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
      Sudden Fear
      Autumn Leaves
      Rain

      Photos

      Joan Crawford HARRIET CRAIG, Joan Crawford posting a 'do not feed' note on her French poodle, Cliquot, between scenes, on set, 1950 A WOMAN'S FACE, from left: Albert Bassermann, Joan Crawford, 1941 SALLY, IRENE AND MARY, Joan Crawford, Sally O'Neil, 1925 RAIN, Walter Catlett, Ben Hendricks, Frederic Howard, Guy Kibbee, William Gargan, Joan Crawford, 1932 STRANGE CARGO, Peter Lorre, Joan Crawford, 1940 DANCE, FOOLS, DANCE, Joan Crawford, Lester Vail, 1931 SADIE McKEE, Edward Arnold, Joan Crawford, Leo G Carroll, 1934 THE WOMEN, from left: Joan Crawford, Alice Keating, Norma Shearer, 1939 OUR BLUSHING BRIDES, Raymond Hackett, Robert Montgomery, Joan Crawford, 1930 JOHNNY GUITAR, Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, 1954 PAID, Joan Crawford, Douglass Montgomery, 1930 HUMORESQUE, Joan Crawford, Paul Cavanagh, John Garfield, 1946. TORCH SONG, Joan Crawford, Michael Wilding, 1953 DANCE, FOOLS, DANCE, Earle Foxe, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, 1931. MILDRED PIERCE, Joan Crawford (center), 1945 mildredpierce1945-fsct15(mildredpierce1945-fsct15) PAID, John Miljan, Joan Crawford, Douglass Montgomery, 1930 THE SHINING HOUR, Melvyn Douglas, Joan Crawford, Robert Young, 1938 DANCING LADY, Clark Gable, Joan Crawford being directed by Robert Z Leonard, 1933 THE DUKE STEPS OUT, Delmer Daves, Gwen Lee, Joan Crawford, Eddie Nugent, 1929

      Filmography

      Movies

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet That's Action! Unknown (Character) - 1977
      13% 23% Trog Dr. Brockton (Character) - 1970
      No Score Yet 78% Night Gallery Miss Menlo (Character) - 1969
      No Score Yet 35% Berserk Monica Rivers (Character) - 1967
      No Score Yet 45% I Saw What You Did Amy Nelson (Character) - 1965
      89% 66% Strait-Jacket Lucy Harbin (Character) - 1964
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Della Della Chappell (Character) - 1964
      No Score Yet 23% The Caretakers Lucretia Terry (Character) - 1963
      92% 91% What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Miss Blanche Hudson (Character) - 1962
      57% 59% The Best of Everything Amanda Farrow (Character) - 1959
      No Score Yet 48% The Story of Esther Costello Margaret Landi (Character) - 1957
      91% 63% Autumn Leaves Millicent Wetherby (Character) - 1956
      No Score Yet 45% Female on the Beach Lynn Markham (Character) - 1955
      20% 57% Queen Bee Eva Phillips (Character) - 1955
      94% 85% Johnny Guitar Vienna (Character) - 1954
      No Score Yet 44% Torch Song Jenny Stewart (Character) - 1953
      No Score Yet 29% This Woman Is Dangerous Elizabeth `'Beth'` Austin (Character) - 1952
      92% 84% Sudden Fear Myra Hudson (Character) - 1952
      No Score Yet 32% Goodbye, My Fancy Agatha Reed (Character) - 1951
      No Score Yet 83% Harriet Craig Harriet Craig (Character) - 1950
      80% 75% The Damned Don't Cry Ethel Whitehead/Loran Hansen Forbes (Character) - 1950
      No Score Yet 30% It's a Great Feeling Self - 1949
      83% 72% Flamingo Road Lane Bellamy (Character) - 1949
      83% 76% Possessed Louise Howell Graham (Character) - 1947
      86% 59% Daisy Kenyon Daisy Kenyon (Character) - 1947
      57% 70% Humoresque Helen Wright (Character) - 1946
      88% 90% Mildred Pierce Mildred Pierce Beragon (Character) - 1945
      No Score Yet 64% Hollywood Canteen Self - 1944
      No Score Yet 33% Above Suspicion Frances Myles (Character) - 1943
      No Score Yet 40% They All Kissed the Bride Margaret "M.J." Drew (Character) - 1942
      No Score Yet 49% Reunion in France Michele de la Becque (Character) - 1942
      No Score Yet 45% When Ladies Meet Mary Howard (Character) - 1941
      100% 83% A Woman's Face Anna Holm, aka Ingrid Paulson (Character) - 1941
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Strange Skirts Mary "Minnie" Howard (Character) - 1941
      75% 60% Strange Cargo Julie (Character) - 1940
      40% 26% Susan and God Susan Trexel (Character) - 1940
      No Score Yet 31% Ice Follies of 1939 Mary McKay (Character) - 1939
      94% 88% The Women Crystal Allen (Character) - 1939
      No Score Yet 42% The Shining Hour Olivia Riley (Character) - 1938
      No Score Yet 63% Mannequin Jessie Cassidy (Character) - 1937
      No Score Yet 68% The Bride Wore Red Anni Pavlovitch (Character) - 1937
      No Score Yet 50% The Last of Mrs. Cheyney Mrs. Fay Cheyney (Character) - 1937
      No Score Yet 32% The Gorgeous Hussy Peggy Eaton (Character) - 1936
      80% 62% Love on the Run Sally Parker (Character) - 1936
      No Score Yet 40% No More Ladies Marcia (Character) - 1935
      40% 50% I Live My Life Kay Bentley (Character) - 1935
      No Score Yet 68% Chained Diane Lovering (Character) - 1934
      No Score Yet 50% Forsaking All Others Mary Clay (Character) - 1934
      No Score Yet 72% Sadie McKee Sadie McKee (Character) - 1934
      80% 70% Dancing Lady Janie Barlow (Character) - 1933
      20% 27% Today We Live Diana (Character) - 1933
      87% 77% Grand Hotel Flaemmchen (Character) - 1932
      90% 67% Rain Sadie Thompson (Character) - 1932
      No Score Yet 69% Possessed Marian (Character) - 1931
      No Score Yet 11% Paid Mary Turner (Character) - 1931
      No Score Yet 20% Laughing Sinners Ivy "Bunny" Stevens (Character) - 1931
      No Score Yet 48% Dance, Fools, Dance Bonnie (Character) - 1931
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Possessed Unknown (Character) - 1931
      No Score Yet 0% This Modern Age Valentine `'Val'` Winters (Character) - 1931
      No Score Yet 41% Our Blushing Brides Geraldine "Gerry" March (Character) - 1930
      No Score Yet 0% Montana Moon Joan "Montana" Prescott (Character) - 1930
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Untamed Alice `'Bingo'` Dowling (Character) - 1929
      No Score Yet 45% Our Modern Maidens Billie Brown (Character) - 1929
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Duke Steps Out Susie (Character) - 1929
      43% 18% The Hollywood Revue Self - 1929
      No Score Yet 64% Our Dancing Daughters Diana Medford (Character) - 1928
      No Score Yet 50% West Point Betty Channing (Character) - 1928
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Across to Singapore Priscilla Crowninshield (Character) - 1928
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Law of the Range Betty Dallas (Character) - 1928
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Rose-Marie Rose-Marie (Character) - 1928
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Four Walls Frieda (Character) - 1928
      No Score Yet 40% Spring Fever Allie Monte (Character) - 1927
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Twelve Miles Out Jane (Character) - 1927
      100% 88% The Unknown Nanon (Character) - 1927
      No Score Yet 60% Tramp, Tramp, Tramp Betty Burton (Character) - 1926
      No Score Yet 11% The Boob Jane (Character) - 1926
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Pretty Ladies Bobby - a Showgirl (Character) - 1925
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Sally, Irene and Mary Irene (Character) - 1925

      TV

      Credit
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Sixth Sense Unknown (Guest Star) 1972
      No Score Yet No Score Yet The Lucy Show Unknown (Guest Star) 1968
      No Score Yet No Score Yet What's My Line? Guest 1957 1961-1962 1964 1966
      No Score Yet No Score Yet I've Got a Secret Guest 1963
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Zane Grey Theater Unknown (Character) 1959 1961
      No Score Yet No Score Yet Startime Unknown (Character) 1960
      No Score Yet No Score Yet G.E. Theater Mary Andrews (Character) 1954