Joan Crawford

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Joan Crawford Trivia

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  • Trivia

    • Joan was ranked at #10 of the 50 Greatest Actresses of All Time by the American Film Institute on June 16, 1999.

    • Joan's measurements, according to Celebrity Sleuth magazine, were 35-25-35 when she was a model in 1930, and 35-25 1/2-37 according to MGM Studio statistics in 1937.

    • Joan was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille award by John Wayne at the Golden Globes ceremony in 1970.

    • Joan appeared with Fred Astaire, Clark Gable and the Three Stooges in Dancing Lady (1933).

    • Joan's 1932 MGM film Letty Lynton was pulled from circulation shortly after release due to a plagarism lawsuit filed against MGM, and it has not been available to the public since. A dress that Joan wore in the movie was copied by Macy's and made available to the general public and sold over 500,000 units.

    • Joan's first house in the Roxbury section of Beverly Hills was 5 blocks away from where Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz as well as her second husband lived.

    • Joan placed her hand and foot prints as well as her signature in the cement of the forecourt of Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.

    • Joan was so jealous of her Johnny Guitar (1954) co-star Mercedes McCambridge that one night she broke into Mercedes' trailer in a drunken rage and threw her costumes in the middle of an Arizona highway near the filming location. Mercedes and the film crew spent the next morning picking them up.

    • Joan made an unsold pilot for her own series, "The Joan Crawford Show" in 1959.

    • Joan's final acting role was a guest shot on the 1972 ABC drama The Sixth Sense.

    • Joan stood 5 feet, 5 inches tall.

    • Joan's two twin daughters, Cynthia and Cathy, were purchased from a baby selling ring in Memphis run by a woman named Georgia Tan. Ms. Tan also sold babies to June Allyson and Dick Powell and Chicago Mob boss Frank Nitti and his wife among others.

    • Joan appeared five times as the Mystery Guest on What's My Line?

    • Joan Crawford was not related to actor Broderick Crawford.

    • In 1981, the rock group Blue Oyster Cult recorded a song entitled "Joan Crawford."

    • Joan has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is located at 1750 Vine Street.

    • Joan's autobiography was entitled My Way of Life. It was published in 1971.

    • Joan sold her Brentwood mansion and moved to a swank New York apartment when she married fifth husband Alfred Steele. She remodelled the building at a cost of $300,000, a sum Steele was unable to afford and which she continued to work on paying off after his death.

    • Joan's first talking motion picture was Untamed released in 1929.

    • Joan appeared in several commercials for Mountain Dew in the late 60's and early 70's.

    • Joan's last movie appearance was in a 1970 British horror film called Trog.

    • Joan's contract with MGM was terminated on June 29, 1943, by both her consent and MGM Studio head Louis B. Mayer, after a string of box-office failures she starred in. She repaid a $100,000 advance she received and cleared out her studio bungalow herself that day. Joan wasn't unemployed for long, though, being hired on July 1 that same year by Warner Brothers with a contract paying her $500,000 for 3 pictures to be completed, the first of which was her Oscar-winning performance in Mildred Pierce (1945).

    • One of Joan's least favorite film roles was as Sadie Thompson in 1932's Rain but her performance in that film is now considered by many critics to be one of her finest.

    • Joan appeared in ten films with Clark Gable.

    • After Joan's death, her daughter Christina published a book entitled Mommie Dearest in which she alleged years of physical and emotional abuse at the hands of her mother. However, in defense of Joan, her two youngest daughters, Cathy and Cynthia, deny to this day that many of the events described in Mommie Dearest ever took place.

    • Joan's birth name was Lucille Fay Le Sueur. According to a quote from Joan herself in the book "Stardust and Shadows: Canadians in Early Hollywood," fellow actor Sam De Grasse suggested she change it because it sounded too much like "sewer."

    • Joan's first big role was in 1928's Our Dancing Daughters. She played a flapper.

    • In 1968, Joan temporarily took over daughter Christina's role on The Secret Storm while Christina was ill.

    • Joan did a guest shot once on The Lucy Show and later referred to Lucille Ball as the most difficult actress she had ever worked with. Even more so than Bette Davis. Lucille, on the other hand, reported that Joan was so drunk in filming they had to repeat scenes multiple times, most memorably a scene where Joan was to sing and kept flubbing her lines; Lucille made her start over several times.

    • Joan's fifth and final husband, Alfred Steele, was CEO of Pepsi Cola. Before his death in 1959, he placed her on Pepsi's board of directors and she remained there until being bought out in 1972.

    • Joan cut her two oldest children, Christina and Christopher, out of her will completely, and left her two youngest the sum of $75,000 each from her $2,000,000 estate.

    • Joan was married five times:

      James Welton (1923-24)
      Douglas Fairbanks (1929-33)
      Franchot Tone (1935-39)
      Phillip Terry (1942-46)
      Alfred Steele (1956-1959) his death

    • She dated Yul Brynner for a time in the early 1950's.

    • Joan only met her biological father once on the set of one of her movies in 1934.

    • In 1963, Joan accepted the Best Actress Academy Award for Anne Bancroft who was absent from the ceremony.

    • Entertainment Weekly voted Joan the 47th greatest movie star of all time.

    • Joan pulled out of the filming of Hush....Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) by claiming she had pneumonia and spent 4 weeks in a hospital; however, the true reason later given by her was because she couldn't stand to work with Bette Davis again, saying that Bette was working with direct Robert Aldrich in cutting her lines and screen time down to accomodate Bette having a larger role in the picture. Bette also provoked her by having a Coca Cola machine installed on the set, mocking Joan's then status as chairwoman of the Pepsi Cola board of directors. She was replaced by Olivia de Havilland.

    • Joan had a long standing feud with Bette Davis with whom she appeared in 1962's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? This culminated in filming a scene in which Bette's character attacked Joan's by kicking and pummelling her; Bette actually struck Joan on the head and Joan wound up requiring two stitches for the wound. Bette also tormented Joan in scenes where her character was tied up, prolonging filming by engaging director Robert Aldrich in idle conversation while Joan was unable to move, and even when tying her in filming the scene, telling her it had to look real when Joan complained the ropes were too tight.

    • Joan adopted four children: son Christopher and daughters Christina, Cynthia, and Cathy.

    • Joan took her film name from a movie magazine which sponsored a contest in which applicants submitted names for her to use on-screen.

    • She was scheduled to appear in From Here to Eternity but her on the set demands caused the producers to replace her with Deborah Kerr.

    • She was born a Catholic but converted to Christian Science in her later years.

    • Joan smoked like a chimney but she always refused to smoke a cigarette out of someone else's pack or one of hers that had been left open.

    • Joan had a cleanliness obsession.

    • Joan co-starred with Greta Garbo in the 1932 classic Grand Hotel but the two actresses had no scenes together.

    • Only two photos were displayed in Joan's apartment at the time of her death: actress Barbara Stanwyck and President John F. Kennedy.

    • Cartoonist Milton Caniff claimed he based the character of the Dragon Lady in his comic strip Terry and the Pirates on Joan.

    • Joan admired Faye Dunaway who would later portray her on-screen in the 1981 clunker Mommie Dearest.

    • A young Stephen Spielberg once directed Joan in an episode of Night Gallery. Though Joan initially resented being directed by a less-experienced director at the time, the two became friends and kept in touch until the end of Joan's life.

    • Joan frequently spent much of her weekend time personally responding to fan mail.

    • Joan never refused an autograph request from a fan. However, at the funeral of Alfred Steele, a fan approached her there and she turned away, only to have the enraged fan grab her and tear off her mourning veil.

    • Joan donated all her salary from the film They All Kissed the Bride to the Red Cross in memory of her deceased friend Carole Lombard.

    • Joan is buried in Ferncliff Cemetary in Hartsdale, New York next to her fifth husband.

    • Joan once worked as an elevator operator in a Kansas City department store.

    • Joan attended Stephens College, a posh girls school in Columbia MO, for one year.

    • Joan appeared in two Broadway shows: Innocent Eyes and The Passing Show of 1924. Both were produced by J.J. Schubert in 1924.

    • Joan Crawford won one Best Actress Oscar, for 1945's Mildred Pierce, and was nominated for two others: 1947's Possessed and 1952's Sudden Fear.

    • Joan Crawford made over 100 television appearances from 1953 to 1974. 37 of these appearances were on talk shows, including the debut episode of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.

    • Her last words:"Damn it...Don't you dare ask God to help me." She said these words to her maid who was praying at her bedside.

    • Each time she got married, Joan changed the name of her Brentwood estate and installed all new toilet seats.

  • Quotes

    • Joan: I think the most important thing a woman can have -- next to talent, of course, is her hairdresser.

    • Joan: If you've earned a position, be proud of it. Don't hide it. I want to be recognized. When I hear people say, 'There's Joan Crawford!' I turn around and say, 'Hi! How are you!'

    • Joan: Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.

    • Joan: I need sex for a clear complexion but I'd rather do it for love.

    • Joan: I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.

    • Joan: If you have an ounce of common sense and one good friend you don't need an analyst.

    • Joan: Women's Lib? Poor little things. They always look so unhappy. Have you noticed how bitter their faces are?

    • Joan (regarding Hollywood): You have to be self-reliant and strong to survive in this town. Otherwise, you will be destroyed.

    • Joan: Send me flowers while I'm alive. The won't do me a damn bit of good after I'm dead.

    • Joan: If I can't be me, I don't want to be anybody. I was born that way.

    • Joan: I love playing bitches. There's a lot of bitch in every woman--a lot in every man.

    • Joan: Hollywood is like life. You face it with the sum total of your equipment.

    • Joan: I believe in the dollar. Everything I earn, I spend.

    • Joan: Nobody can imitate me. You can always see imperonations of Katherine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe but not me because I've always drawn on myself only.

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