Joan CRAWFORD | Lucille Fay Le Sueur
* 23.03.1906, San Antonio, USA † 10.05.1977, New York (City), USA

Schauspielerin * 1924 Chormädchen am Broadway * wird von einem Talent-Scout der MGM entdeckt - bekommt einen Vertrag bei Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (bis 1943) * 1925 Filmdebüt - ändert ihren Namen in Crawford * 1928 Durchbruch mit Our Dancing Daughters * in 30er Jahren gehört zu den zugkräftigen Top-Stars * 1938 als Kassengift ("box-office poison") abgeschrieben * feiert ein sensationelles Comeback bei Warner Bros. * ab 1953 wirkt auch in Fernsehenproduktionen mit * (nach dem Tode ihres 4. Mannes in 1959) Mitglied des Aufsichtsrates von Pepsi-Cola Company - in der Öffentlichkeitsarbeit tätig * verheiratet mit Douglas Fairbanks, Jr (1. Ehemann, 1929-33) und Franchot Tone (2. Ehemann, 1935-39) | Bild: Joan Crawford in Possessed (1931)
SOUND FILMS

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929-USA * Charles F. Reisner) 113/8m (2906, LA | 2911) > MGM's all-star revue introducing its silent-film stars as talkie personalities

Untamed (1929-USA; d: Jack Conway, B: Sylvia Thalberg, Frank Butler; Willard Mack, K: Oliver T. Marsh, D: Joan Crawford: Alice "Bingo" Dowling, Robert Montgomery, Ernest Torrence) 85m-Tragikomödie (Kurzgeschichte von Charles E. Scoggins, ?) (2911)

Montana Moon (1930-USA; d: Malcolm St. Clair, B: Sylvia Thalberg, Frank Butler; Joe Farnham, K: William H. Daniels, D: Joan Crawford: Joan, John Mack Brown, Dorothy Sebastian, Benny Rubin, Cliff Edwards) 91m-Musikwestern (3003)

Our Blushing Brides (1930-USA; d: Harry Beaumont, B: Bess Meredyth, John Howard Lawson; Edwin Justus Mayer, K: Merritt B. Gerstad, D: Joan Crawford: Jerry Marsh, Anita Page, Dorothy Sebastian, Robert Montgomery, Raymond Hackett, John Miljan) 88m-Melodram (3008)

Paid (1930-USA; d: Sam Wood, B: Lucien Hubbard, Charles MacArthur, K: Charles Rosher, D: Joan Crawford: Mary Turner, Robert Armstrong, Marie Prevost) 85m-Melodram (Bühnenstück Within the Law von Bayard Veiller, 1912) (31 Tage; 3012)

Dance, Fools, Dance (1930-USA; d: Harry Beaumont, B: Aurania Rouverol; Richard Schayer, K: Charles Rosher, D: Joan Crawford: Bonnie Jordan, Lester Vail, Cliff Edwards) 80m-Krimidrama (11-?; 3102)

Laughing Sinners (1931-USA; d: Harry Beaumont, B: Bess Meredyth; Edith Fitzgerald, K: Charles Rosher, D: Joan Crawford: Ivy Stevens, Neil Hamilton, Clark Gable, Marjorie Rambeau, Guy Kibbee) 71m-Melodram (Bühnenstück Torch Song von Kenyon Nicholson, 1930) (02-?; 3105)

This Modern Age (1931-USA; d: Nicholas/Nick Grinde, B: Sylvia Thalberg, Frank Butler; John Meehan, K: Charles Rosher, D: Joan Crawford: Valentine, Pauline Frederick, Neil Hamilton, Monroe Owsley) 68m-Romanze (Kurzgeschichte Girls Together von Mildred Cram, 1931) (03-04; 3108)

Possessed (Alles für dein Glück, 1931-USA; R: Clarence Brown, B: Lenore J. Coffee, K: Oliver T. Marsh, D: Joan Crawford: Marian Martin * Clark Gable) 76m-Melodram (09-10; 3111)

Grand Hotel (Menschen im Hotel, 1931/32-USA * Edmund Goulding ... Flämmchen) (Roman + Bühnenstück von Vicki Baum) (12-02; 3204)

Letty Lynton (1932-USA; d: Clarence Brown, B: John Meehan; Wanda Tuchock, K: Oliver T. Marsh, D: Joan Crawford: Letty Lynton * Robert Montgomery) 84m-Drama (Roman von Marie Belloc Lowndes, 1931) (02-03; 3205)

Rain (Regen, 1932-USA; R: Lewis Milestone, B: Maxwell Anderson, K: Oliver T. Marsh, M: Alfred Newman, D: Joan Crawford: Sadie Thompson, Walter Huston) 93m-Drama (Bühnenstück von John Colton & Clemence Randolph, 1922 > Kurzgeschichte Miss Thompson von W. Somerset Maugham, 1921) (?-06; 3210)

Today We Live (1932/33-USA; d: Howard Hawks; [co-director] Richard Rosson, B: Edith Fitzgerald, Dwight Taylor; William Faulkner, K: Oliver T. Marsh, D: Joan Crawford: Diana * Gary Cooper) 113m-Dreiecksdrama (Kurzgeschichte Turn About von William Faulkner, 1932) (12-02; 3304)

Dancing Lady (Ich tanze nur für Dich, 1933-USA * Robert Z. Leonard ... Janie Barlow) (Roman von James Warner Bellah) (06-10; 3311)

Sadie McKee (1934-USA; d: Clarence Brown, B: John Meehan, K: Oliver T. Marsh, D: Joan Crawford: Sadie McKee, Franchot Tone, Gene Raymond, Edward Arnold) 90/5m-Liebesdrama (Kurzgeschichte von Vina Delmar, 1933) (02-04; 3405)

Chained (1934-USA; d: Clarence Brown, B: John Lee Mahin, K: George J. Folsey, M: Herbert Stothart, D: Joan Crawford: Diane Lovering * Clark Gable) 74m-Melodram (05-07; 3408)

Forsaking All Others (Heirate nie beim ersten Mal, 1934-USA; R: W.S. Van Dyke, B: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, K: Gregg Toland, George J. Folsey, M: William Axt, D: Robert Montgomery * Joan Crawford: Mary Clay * Clark Gable) 84m-Liebeskomödie (Bühnenstück von Frank Cavett & Edward Barry Roberts, 1933) (09-10/+11+12; 3412)

No More Ladies (1935-USA; d: Edward H. Griffith, B: Donald Ogden Stewart, Horace Jackson, K: Oliver T. Marsh, M: Edward Ward, D: Joan Crawford: Marcia Townsend * Robert Montgomery) 79/82m-Liebeskomödie (Bühnenstück von A.E. Thomas, 1934) (03-04; 3506)

I Live My Life (Wo die Liebe hinfällt, 1935-USA; R: W.S. Van Dyke, B: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, K: George J. Folsey, M: Dimitri Tiomkin, D: Joan Crawford: Kay Bentley, Brian Aherne, Frank Morgan, Aline MacMahon, Eric Blore) 81/99m-Liebesdrama (Kurzgeschichte Claustrophobia von Abbie Carter Goodloe, 1926) (06-07; 3510)

The Gorgeous Hussy (1936-USA; d: Clarence Brown, B: Ainsworth Morgan, Stephen Morehouse Avery, K: George J. Folsey, M: Herbert Stothart, D: Joan Crawford: Margaret O'Neal Eaton * Robert Taylor * Lionel Barrymore * Franchot Tone * Melvyn Douglas * James Stewart) 102m-Historiendrama (Roman von Samuel Hopkins Adams, 1934) (04-06; 3608)

Love on the Run (1936-USA; d: W.S. Van Dyke, B: John Lee Mahin, Manuel Seff, Gladys Hurlbut, K: Oliver T. Marsh, M: Franz Waxman, D: Joan Crawford: Sally Parker * Clark Gable) 81m-Tragikomödie (Kurzgeschichte Beauty and the Beat von Alan Green & Julian Brodie, 1936) (08-09; 3611)

The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1936/37-USA; d: Richard Boleslawski, B: Leon Gordon, Samson Raphaelson, Monckton Hoffe, K: George J. Folsey, M: William Axt, D: Joan Crawford: Fay Cheyney * William Powell * Robert Montgomery) 98m-Drama (Bühnenstück von Frederick Lonsdale, 1925) (11-02; 3702)

The Bride Wore Red (Die Braut trug rot, 1937-USA; R: Dorothy Arzner, B: Tess Slesinger, Bradbury Foote, K: George J. Folsey, M: Franz Waxman, D: Joan Crawford: Anni, Franchot Tone, Robert Young) 103m-Liebesfilm (06-08; 3710)

Mannequin (1937-USA; d: Frank Borzage, B: Lawrence Hazard, K: George J. Folsey, M: Edward Ward, D: Joan Crawford: Jessie Cassidy * Spencer Tracy) 95m-Drama (09-10; 3801)

The Shining Hour (Brennendes Feuer der Leidenschaft, 1938-USA * Frank Borzage ... Olivia Riley) (Bühnenstück von Keith Winter) (08-10; 3811)

The Ice Follies of 1939 (Tanz auf dem Eis, 1938-USA; R: Reinhold Schünzel, B: Leonard Praskins, Florence Ryerson, Edgar Allan Woolf, K: Joseph Ruttenberg; [technicolor] Oliver T. Marsh, ML: Franz Waxman, Georgie Stoll, D: Joan Crawford: Mary McKay, James Stewart, Lew Ayres, Lewis Stone) 83m-Musikkomödie (10-?; 3903)

The Women (Die Frauen, 1939-USA; R: George Cukor, B: Anita Loos, Jane Murfin, K: Oliver T. Marsh, Joseph Ruttenberg, M: Edward Ward, David Snell, D: Norma Shearer * Joan Crawford: Crystal Allen * Rosalind Russell) 133m-Komödie (Bühnenstück von Clare Boothe Luce, 1936) (04-07; 3909)

Strange Cargo (Die wunderbare Rettung, 1939-USA; R: Frank Borzage, B: Lawrence Hazard, K: Robert Planck, M: Franz Waxman, D: Joan Crawford: Julie * Clark Gable) 113m-Melodram (Roman Not Too Narrow, Not Too Deep von Richard Sale, 1936) (10-12; 4003)

Susan and God (Susan und der liebe Gott, 1940-USA; R: George Cukor, B: Anita Loos, K: Robert Planck, M: Herbert Stothart, D: Joan Crawford: Susan Trexel * Fredric March) 116m-Tragi/komödie (Bühnenstück von Rachel Crothers, 1937) (02-?; 4006)

A Woman's Face (Erpressung, 1941-USA; R: George Cukor, B: Donald Ogden Stewart, Elliot Paul, K: Robert Planck, M: Bronislau Kaper, D: Joan Crawford: Anna Holm * Melvyn Douglas) 105m-Thrillermelodram (Bühnenstück Il était une fois von Francis de Croisset, 1932) (01-03; 4105)

When Ladies Meet (1941-USA; d: Robert Z. Leonard, B: S.K. Lauren, Anita Loos, K: Robert Planck, M: Bronislau Kaper, D: Joan Crawford: Mary Howard * Robert Taylor * Greer Garson) 104m-Drama (Bühnenstück von Rachel Crothers, 1932) (06-08; 4108)

They All Kissed the Bride (Ein Kuß zuviel, 1942-USA; R: Alexander Hall, B: P.J. Wolfson; Andrew P. Solt, Henry Altimus, K: Joseph Walker, M: Werner R. Heymann, D: Joan Crawford: Margaret J. Drew * Melvyn Douglas) 86m-Komödie (02-04; 4206)

Reunion in France (1942-USA; d: Jules Dassin, B: Jan Lustig, Marvin Borowsky, Marc Connelly, K: Robert Planck, M: Franz Waxman, D: Joan Crawford: Michèle de La Becque * John Wayne * Philip Dorn) 101m-Romanze (06-09; 4212)

Above Suspicion (Gefährliche Flitterwochen, 1942/43-USA * Richard Thorpe ... Frances Myles) (Roman von Helen MacInnes) (11-02; 4308)

Hollywood Canteen (Hollywood-Kantine, 1944-USA * Delmer Daves ... sie selbst) 124m-Komödie (06-08; 4412)

Mildred Pierce (Solange ein Herz schlägt, 1944/45-USA * Michael Curtiz ... Mildred Pierce) (Roman von James M. Cain) (12-02; 4509)

Humoresque (Humoreske, 1945/46-USA * Jean Negulesco ... Helen Wright) (Kurzgeschichte von Fannie Hurst) (12-04; 4612)

Possessed (Hemmungslose Liebe, 1946-USA * Curtis Bernhardt ... Louise Howell Graham) (novelette von Rita Weiman) (06-11; 4707)

Daisy Kenyon (Daisy Kenyon, 1947-USA; R: Otto Preminger, B: David Hertz, K: Leon Shamroy, M: David Raksin, D: Joan Crawford: Daisy Kenyon * Dana Andrews * Henry Fonda) 100m-Melodram (Roman von Elizabeth Janeway, 1945) (06-08; 4712)

Flamingo Road (Die Straße der Erfolgreichen, 1948-USA * Michael Curtiz ... Lane Bellamy) (Bühnenstück von Robert Wilder & Sally Wilder) (09-10; 4904)

The Damned Don't Cry (Im Solde des Satans, 1949-USA; R: Vincent Sherman, B: Harold Medford, Jerome Weidman, K: Ted McCord, M: Daniele Amfitheatrof, D: Joan Crawford: Ethel Whitehead [Lorna Hansen Forbes] * David Brian) 103m-Gangstermelodram (09-11; 5005)

Harriet Craig (Die Lügnerin, 1950-USA; R: Vincent Sherman, B: Anne Froelick, James Gunn, K: Joseph Walker, M: George Duning, D: Joan Crawford: Harriet Craig * Wendell Corey) 94m-Frauendrama (Bühnenstück Craig's Wife von George Kelly, 1925) (04-05; 5011)

Goodbye, My Fancy (1950-USA; d: Vincent Sherman, B: Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts, K: Ted McCord, ML: Ray Heindorf, D: Joan Crawford: Agatha Reed * Robert Young * Frank Lovejoy) 107/10m-Tragikomödie (Bühnenstück von Fay Kanin, 1948) (09-11; 5105)

This Woman Is Dangerous (1951-USA; d: Felix E. Feist, B: Geoffrey Homes [=Daniel Mainwaring], George Worthing Yates, K: Ted McCord, M: David Buttolph, D: Joan Crawford: Beth Austin * Dennis Morgan * David Brian) 98m-Drama (10-11; 5202)

Sudden Fear (Maskierte Herzen, 1952-USA; R: David Miller, B: Lenore [J.] Coffee, Robert Smith, K: Charles Lang, M: Elmer Bernstein, D: Joan Crawford: Myra Hudson, Jack Palance, Gloria Grahame) 111m-Thriller (Roman von Edna Sherry, 1948) (01-03; 5208)

Torch Song (Herzen im Fieber, 1953-USA; R: Charles Walters, B: John Michael Hayes, Jan Lustig, K: Robert Planck, M: Adolph Deutsch, D: Joan Crawford: Jenny Stewart, Michael Wilding, Gig Young, Marjorie Rambeau) 90m-Melodram (04-05; 5310)

Johnny Guitar (Wenn Frauen hassen, 1953-USA; R: Nicholas Ray, B: Philip Yordan, K: Harry Stradling, M: Victor Young, D: Joan Crawford: Vienna, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady) 110m-Western (Roman von Roy Chanslor, 1953) (10-12; 5405)

Female on the Beach (Das Haus am Strand, 1954/55-USA; R: Joseph Pevney, B: Robert Hill, Richard Alan Simmons, K: Charles Lang, MS: Joseph Gershenson, D: Joan Crawford: Lynn Markham * Jeff Chandler) 97m-Krimidrama (Bühnenstück The Besieged Heart von Robert Hill, 194?) (12-01; 5508)

Queen Bee (Ehe in Fesseln, 1955-USA; R+B: Ranald MacDougall, K: Charles Lang, M: George Duning, D: Joan Crawford: Eva Phillips, Barry Sullivan, Betsy Palmer, John Ireland, Lucy Marlow) 94m-Melodram (Roman von Edna Lee, 1949) (03-05; 5511)

Autumn Leaves (Herbststürme, 1955-USA * Robert Aldrich ... Milly) (08-11; 5609)

The Story of Esther Costello (Esther Costello, 1956-GB; R: David Miller, B: Charles Kaufman, K: Robert Krasker, M: Georges Auric, D: Joan Crawford: Margaret Landi * Rossano Brazzi) 103m-Melodram (Roman von Nicholas Monsarrat, 1953) (08-12; 5708)

The Best of Everything (Alle meine Träume, 1959-USA; R: Jean Negulesco, B: Edith Sommer, Mann Rubin, K: William C. Mellor, M: Alfred Newman, D: Hope Lange ° Stephen Boyd ° Suzy Parker ° Martha Hyer ° Diane Baker ° Brian Aherne ° Robert Evans & Louis Jourdan & Joan Crawford: Amanda Farrow) 121m-Drama (Roman von Rona Jaffe, 1958) (05-07; 5910)

The Caretakers (Frauen, die nicht lieben dürfen, 1962-USA; R: Hall Bartlett, B: Henry F. Greenberg, K: Lucien Ballard, M: Elmer Bernstein, D: Robert Stack * Polly Bergen * Joan Crawford: Lucretia Terry * Janis Paige * Diane McBain) 97m-Drama (Buch=Roman von Dariel Telfer, 1959) (?-07; 6308)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Was geschah wirklich mit Baby Jane?, 1962-USA * Robert Aldrich ... Blanche Hudson) (Roman von Henry Farrell) (07-09; 6210)

Strait-Jacket (Die Zwangsjacke, 1963-USA; R: William Castle, B: Robert Bloch, K: Arthur E. Arling, M: Van Alexander, D: Joan Crawford: Lucy Harbin, Diane Baker, Leif Erickson, Howard St. John) 89/93m-Psychothriller (08; 6401)

I Saw What You Did (Es geschah um 8 Uhr 30, 1964-USA; R: William Castle, B: William P. McGivern, K: Joseph Biroc, M: Van Alexander, D: Joan Crawford: Amy Nelson, John Ireland, Leif Erickson, Andi Garrett, Sara Lane) 82m-Thriller (Roman Out of the Dark von Ursula Curtiss, 1964) (?-11; 6507)

Berserk (Zirkus des Todes, 1966-GB; R: Jim O'Connolly, B: Aben Kandel, Herman Cohen, K: Desmond Dickinson, M: John Scott, D: Joan Crawford: Monica Rivers, Ty Hardin, Diana Dors, Michael Gough, Judy Geeson, Robert Hardy) 96m-Krimi (10-11; 6709)

Trog (Das Ungeheuer, 1969-GB; R: Freddie Francis, B: Aben Kandel, K: Desmond Dickinson, M: John Scott, D: Joan Crawford: Dr. Brockton, Michael Gough, Bernard Kay, Kim Braden, David Griffin) 91m-Sci-Fi-Horror (08-?; 7106)


The Karate Killers (Die Karate-Killer, 1967-USA * Barry Shear ... Amanda True) 93m-Agentenkrimi (02-03; 6801-D) > Zusammenschnitt einer Doppelfolge (The Five Daughters Affair) aus der TV-Serie The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

AWARDS

National Board of Review Award (beste Darstellerin) für Mildred Pierce (1945)

Academy Award / Oscar (beste Hauptdarstellerin) für Mildred Pierce (1946)

Cecil B. DeMille Award [Golden Globes 1970]

BOOKS

Joan Crawford (mit Jane Kesner Ardmore): A Portrait of Joan: The Autobiography of Joan Crawford. New York: Doubleday, 1962

Joan Crawford: My Way of Life. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1971

Christina Crawford: Meine liebe Rabenmutter. München: Goldmann, 1995

Fred Lawrence Guiles: Joan Crawford: The Last Word. London: Pavilion, 1995

Michelle Vogel: Joan Crawford. Her Life in Letters. Louisville: Wasteland Press, 2005


David Bret: Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr. London: Robson Books, 2006

Astonishingly, this is the first biography of Joan Crawford to give the full, completely uncensored story. Bestselling author David Bret tells - in his inimitable way - Crawford's rags to riches story, from working in a Kansas City laundry to collecting an Oscar for her defining role in 'Mildred Pierce' and on to her devotion to Christian Science and reliance on vodka. He discusses the star's legendary relationship with Clark Gable, her countless love affairs, her marriages - three of them to gay men - and her obsessions with rough sex. Bret divulges what really happened that lead her to practically disinherit her children, earn her the nickname 'mummy dearest', as well as how her loathed mother forced Crawford to work as a prostitute, make blue movies and sleep her way to the top. Bret analyses her films, many of which were constructed purely as Joan Crawford vehicles where actress and character were often indistinguishable. Overtly generous towards her coterie of gay friends, she was unspeakably heartless towards her enemies, particularly Betty Davis, her co-star in 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?' with whom she shared a lifelong feud. Drawing on a wealth of unpublished material and interviews, including Marlene Dietrich and Douglas Fairbanks, Bret presents a riveting portrait of a single-minded, uncompromising woman. > x, 299 s., [16] tav. : ill. * index ; bibliogr.


Charlotte Chandler: Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, a Personal Biography. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2008 | 2010

In this fascinating new biography of screen legend Joan Crawford, Charlotte Chandler draws on exclusive and remarkably candid interviews with Crawford herself and with others who knew her, including first husband Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., and Crawford's daughter Cathy. As a result, this biography is fresh and revealing, a brand-new look at one of Hollywood's most acclaimed stars. Joan Crawford was born Lucille LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas, in 1908 (as she always insisted, though other sources disagreed). Her father abandoned the family, and her mother soon remarried; Lucille was now known as Billie Cassin. Young Billie loved to dance and achieved her early success in silent films playing a dancer. Her breakthrough role came in Our Dancing Daughters. Soon married to Hollywood royalty, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (who called her "Billie"), she was a star in her own right, playing opposite John Barrymore and a stellar cast in M-G-M's Grand Hotel. Crawford was cast opposite another young star, Clark Gable, in several films. They would sometimes play lovers on screen - and off as well. After her marriage to Fairbanks broke up, Crawford married actor Franchot Tone. That marriage soon began to show strains, and Crawford was sometimes seen riding with Spencer Tracy, who gave her a horse she named Secret. Crawford left M-G-M for Warners, and around the time she married her third husband, Phillip Terry, she won her Oscar for best actress (one of three times she was nominated) in Mildred Pierce. But by the 1950s the film roles dried up. Crawford and Terry had divorced, and Crawford married her fourth husband, Pepsi-Cola executive Alfred Steele. In 1962, she and longtime cinematic rival Bette Davis staged a brief comeback in the macabre but commercial What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Following Steele's death, Crawford became a director of Pepsi- Cola while she continued raising her four adopted children. Although her daughter Christina would publish the scathing memoir Mommie Dearest after Crawford's death, Chandler offers a contrasting portrait of Crawford, drawing in part on reminiscences of younger daughter Cathy among others. Not the Girl Next Door is perhaps Charlotte Chandler's finest Hollywood biography yet, an intimate portrait of a great star who was beautiful, talented, glamorous, and surprisingly vulnerable. > xi, 316 p., [16] p. of plates : ill.


Peter Cowie: Joan Crawford: The Enduring Star. New York: Rizzoli, 2009 | 2011

Joan Crawford’s classic beauty, dazzling confidence, and sheer toughness made her the very definition of a star; her formidable talent won her an Oscar for Mildred Pierce and shines through in other classics such as Grand Hotel and The Women. Focusing on the often overlooked first half of her career, this is the first visual book to reclaim her place in the canon of glamour. Crawford pioneered a new depth that had not been seen before in roles for women. Her domineering charisma gave audiences a new kind of heroine, laying the path for today’s actresses from Meryl Streep to Cate Blanchett. Women - and many men - identified with her in ways they never had before. Drawing from archives around the world and including more than a hundred photos unseen in the past fifty years, Joan Crawford is sure to reintroduce fans to this ultimate Hollywood legend. "She was the perfect image of a movie star... You could photograph her from any angle, and the face moved beautifully." - George Cukor, director * foreword by Mick Lasalle; afterword by George Cukor | xiv, 225 p. : ill. * filmography


Donald Spoto: Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford. New York: William Morrow, 2010

Joan Crawford was one of the most incandescent film stars of all time, yet she was also one of the most misunderstood. In this brilliantly researched, thoughtful, and intimate biography, bestselling author Donald Spoto goes beyond the popular caricature - the abusive, unstable mother portrayed in her adopted daughter Christina Crawford's memoir, Mommie Dearest - to give us a three-dimensional portrait of a very human woman, her dazzling career, and her extraordinarily dramatic life and times. Based on new archival information and exclusive interviews, and written with Spoto's keen eye for detail, Possessed offers a fascinating portrait of a courageous, highly sexed, and ambitious woman whose strength and drive made her a forerunner in the fledgling film business. From her hardscrabble childhood in Texas to her early days as a dancer in post-World War I New York to her rise to stardom, Spoto traces Crawford's fifty years of memorable performances in classics like Rain, The Women, Mildred Pierce, and Sudden Fear, which are as startling and vivid today as when they were filmed. In Possessed, Spoto goes behind the myths to examine the rise and fall of the studio system; Crawford's four marriages; her passionate thirty year, on-and-off-again affair with Clark Gable; her friendships and rivalries with other stars; her powerful desire to become a mother; the truth behind the scathing stories in her daughter Christina's memoir; and her final years as a widow battling cancer. Spoto explores Crawford's achievements as an actress, her work with Hollywood's great directors (Frank Borzage, George Cukor, Otto Preminger) and actors (Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Spencer Tracy, John Barrymore), and later, her role as a highly effective executive on the board of directors of Pepsi-Cola. Illuminating and entertaining, Possessed is the definitive biography of this remarkable woman and true legend of film. > xvi, 336 pages, [16] pages of plates : illustrations


Lawrence J. Quirk, William Schoell: Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2002 | 2013 [+ eBook]

Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography explores the life and career of one of Hollywood’s great dames. She was a leading film personality for more than fifty years, from her beginnings as a dancer in silent films of the 1920s, to her portrayals of working-class shop girls in the Depression thirties, to her Oscar-winning performances in classic films such as Mildred Pierce. Crawford’s legacy has become somewhat tarnished in the wake of her daughter Christina’s memoir, Mommie Dearest , which turned her into a national joke. Today, many picture Crawford only as a wire hanger-wielding shrew rather than the personification of Hollywood glamour. This new biography of Crawford sets the record straight, going beyond the gossip to find the truth about the legendary actress. The authors knew Crawford well and conducted scores of interviews with her and many of her friends and co-stars, including Frank Capra, George Cukor, Nicholas Ray, and Sidney Greenstreet. Far from a whitewash - Crawford was indeed a colorful and difficult character - Joan Crawford corrects many lies and tells the story of one of Hollywood’s most influential stars, complete with on-set anecdotes and other movie lore. Through extensive interviews, in-depth analysis, and evaluation of her films and performances - both successes and failures - Lawrence J. Quirk and William Schoell present Crawford’s story as both an appreciation and a reevaluation of her extraordinary life and career. Filled with new interviews, Joan Crawford tells the behind-the-scenes story of the Hollywood icon. * 312 pages, 6 x 9 photos

The Best of Everything: A Joan Crawford Encyclopedia (englisch)

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