Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford
Colombia Pictures


Joan Crawford
Film: East side of the 1700 block of Vine Street
Born Lucille Le Sueur on March 23, 1908 in San Antonio, TX
Died May 10, 1977 of heart attack in Manhattan, NY

Joan Crawford, one of Hollywood's true movie queens, had a career that spanned more than 50 years and 80 films.

She won one Oscar for her title role in "Mildred Pierce" in 1945. But Crawford is best known for roles in which she played a self-made, strong woman who fought hard for success but usually had to pay a price for that success.

In some ways, her life followed her roles. She was married four times, and divorced actors Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Franchot Tone and Philip Terry. But she was widowed by the man who made her happiest, Pepsi Cola executive Alfred Steele. He died in 1959 after three years of marriage.

Her film roles included "chorines" and flappers in the '20s, career women, repressed older women and, finally, in 1962, the victimized sister in the suspense-horror classic "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" Her last film, "Trog," was made in 1970.

In addition to her portrayal of an ambitious mother in "Mildred Pierce," her best performances were in "Dancing Lady" (1933), "The Women" (1939), "Harriett Craig" (1950), "Sudden Fear" (1952), "Johnny Guitar" (1954), and "Queen Bee" (1955).

Her "Queen Bee" role was the epitome of the tough, driving woman, and speaking of it once she said, "Really. I love playing bitches."

In her Hollywood heyday, she lived in a 27-room mansion and was sometimes referred to as "the empress" because of her grand style. She never forgot the glamour of early Hollywood. She once said: "I always try to look like a star by appearing in public as well groomed as possible."

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Points of interest

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    Academy Awards

    Year Category Work
    1945 Best Actress Mildred Pierce Win
    1947 Best Actress Possessed Nomination
    1952 Best Actress Sudden Fear Nomination

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