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Monday, March 23, 2015

101 Groovy Things about Joan Crawford

Today is the birthday of actress Joan Crawford, who left us in 1977 at age 72. So to celebrate the life and career of this talented lady, here are a "few" groovy things about her:

1. Lucille Fay LeSueur was born on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas.

2. She made her Broadway debut in the chorus line of the revue, Innocent Eyes, at the Winter Garden Theatre, which opened on May 20, 1924. She continued to dance in her second Broadway show, The Passing Show of 1924, which opened on September 3, 1924.

3. After she made a screen test in December 1924, MGM offered her a five-year contract, and she arrived in Los Angeles in January 1925.

4. She made her film debut in the 1925 silent romantic drama, Lady of the Night, as an uncredited body double for MGM's most popular female star, Norma Shearer.

5. She made her first and only credited appearance as "Lucille LeSueur" in the 1925 silent film, Pretty Ladies, starring comedienne ZaSu Pitts.

6. In 1925, MGM sponsored a contest in Movie Weekly magazine to allow readers to select a new name for "Lucille LeSueur" - and "Joan Crawford" made her film debut in the 1925 silent drama, Old Clothes, starring Jackie Coogan.

7. She appeared in four films with her lifelong friend (and gay actor) William Haines - Sally, Irene and Mary (1925), Spring Fever (1927), West Point (1927) and The Duke Steps Out (1929).

8. She played an assistant to Lon Chaney's armless carnival knife thrower (who used his feet) in the 1927 silent film, The Unknown.

9. She starred opposite Ramón Novarro in the 1928 silent romantic drama, Across to Singapore.

10. Her performance in the 1928 silent drama, Our Dancing Daughters, made her a star.

11. She married her first husband, actor Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., on June 3, 1929 (they divorced in 1933).

12. She sang "Got a Feeling for You" in The Hollywood Revue of 1929, which was MGM's second feature-length musical and one of the studio's first all-sound films.

13. She placed her hand- and footprints in the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater in Hollywood on September 14, 1929.

14. Her first starring role in an all-sound feature-length film was in 1929's Untamed with Robert Montgomery.

15. She starred opposite John Mack Brown in the 1930 film, Montana Moon, about the relationship between a city girl and a rural cowboy.

16. She starred in the 1930 film, Our Blushing Brides, with Robert Montgomery and Anita Page.

17. She and MGM's biggest male star, Clark Gable, co-starred in their first of eight films - Dance, Fools, Dance, which was released in February 1931. They appeared in two other films in 1931 - Laughing Sinners and Possessed.

18. She starred in the 1932 drama, Grand Hotel, with Greta Garbo and John Barrymore.

19. She starred in the 1932 drama, Letty Lynton, which has never been shown on television or made available on home video due to a successful plagiarism suit.

20. She played prostitute Sadie Thompson in the 1932 drama, Rain.

21. She starred opposite Gary Cooper in the 1933 romantic drama, Today We Live, which also introduced her to her future husband, actor Franchot Tone.

22. She starred in the 1933 musical, Dancing Lady, with Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Fred Astaire (in his screen debut).

23. She starred opposite Clark Gable in two 1934 films, Chained and Forsaking All Others.

24. She married her second husband, actor Franchot Tone, on October 11, 1935 (they divorced in 1939).

25. She starred in the 1936 period film, The Gorgeous Hussy, with Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Franchot Tone and James Stewart.

26. In 1936, she and Clark Gable starred in their seventh film together, the romantic comedy, Love on the Run.

27. In February 1937, she was named "Queen of the Movies" by Life magazine.

28. She starred in the 1937 film, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, with William Powell and Robert Montgomery.

29. In 1937, she co-starred opposite her husband, Franchot Tone, for the seventh and final time in The Bride Wore Red.

30. She starred opposite Spencer Tracy in the 1937 film, Mannequin.

31. She starred in the 1938 film, The Shining Hour, with Margaret Sullavan, Robert Young and Melvyn Douglas.

32. She played an actress who marries an ice skater (James Stewart) in the 1939 musical drama, The Ice Follies of 1939.

33. She played the predatory Crystal Allen in the 1939 film, The Women.

34. In 1940, she co-starred opposite Clark Gable for the eighth and final time in Strange Cargo.

35. She starred in the 1940 film, Susan and God.

36. She starred as a facially disfigured blackmailer in the 1941 film noir drama, A Woman's Face.

37. She starred in the 1941 film, When Ladies Meet, with Robert Taylor and Greer Garson.

38. She replaced Carole Lombard (who died in early 1942) in the 1942 screwball comedy, They All Kissed the Bride.

39. She married her third husband, actor Phillip Terry, on July 21, 1942 (they divorced in 1946).

40. She starred opposite John Wayne in the 1942 film, Reunion in France.

41. In 1943, she starred opposite Fred MacMurray in Above Suspicion, her last contract film for MGM.

42. Her first film for Warner Bros. was a cameo appearance in 1944's Hollywood Canteen.

43. She received the Academy Award for Best Actress for the 1945 drama, Mildred Pierce, in which she played the title role - one that Bette Davis turned down.

44. She starred opposite John Garfield in the 1946 romantic drama, Humoresque.

45. She received a second Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the 1947 film, Possessed.

46. She starred in the 1947 film, Daisy Kenyon, with Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda.

47. She starred in the 1949 film, Flamingo Road, with Zachary Scott and Sydney Greenstreet.

48. She made a cameo appearance as herself in the 1949 musical comedy, It's a Great Feeling, starring Doris Day.

49. She starred in the 1950 drama, The Damned Don't Cry!

50. She played the title role in the 1950 drama, Harriet Craig.

51. She starred in the 1951 film, Goodbye, My Fancy.

52. She starred in the 1952 film, This Woman is Dangerous.

53. She received her third and final Academy Award nomination for Best Actress for her performance in the 1952 film, Sudden Fear.

54. She played a Broadway musical star in the 1953 film, Torch Song.

55. She played a saloonkeeper named Vienna in the 1954 western drama, Johnny Guitar.

56. She appeared on Steve Allen's Tonight Show on September 29, 1954.

57. On April 20, 1955, she served as hostess at the grand opening of the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas (with Liberace as the featured performer).

58. She married her fourth husband, Alfred Steele (President of Pepsi Cola), on May 9, 1955, and they were together until his death in April 1959.

59. She starred opposite Jeff Chandler in the 1955 film, Female on the Beach.

60. She starred in the 1955 drama, Queen Bee.

61. She starred opposite a young Cliff Robertson in the 1956 drama, Autumn Leaves.

62. On January 28, 1957, she and her husband Al were interviewed on the premiere episode of NBC's Tonight! America After Dark.

63. On March 2, 1957, she presented Ingrid Bergman with an award from Look magazine on NBC's Caesar's Hour.

64. She starred in the 1957 drama, The Story of Esther Costello.

65. She appeared in the 1959 romantic drama, The Best of Everything, with Hope Lange, Diane Baker and Suzy Parker.

66. On February 23, 1960, she appeared as a "talent scout" on the NBC series, Ford Startime, with host Dave Garroway and introduced Canadian actress Colleen Dewhurst.

67. On October 3, 1960, she appeared on the season premiere episode of The Bob Hope Buick Show with Patti Page and Bobby Darin.

68. In 1962, Doubleday published her autobiography, A Portrait of Joan (co-written with Jane Kesner Ardmore).

69. On October 1, 1962, she was a guest on the debut episode of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show (other guests were Rudy Vallee, Mel Brooks and Tony Bennett).

70. On October 14, 1962, she was the Mystery Guest on What's My Line?

71. She and Bette Davis played sisters Blanche and Baby Jane Hudson in the film, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, which was released on October 31, 1962. Davis received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

72. On April 8, 1963, she accepted the Best Actress Academy Award on behalf of an absent Anne Bancroft, who won for her performance in The Miracle Worker.

73. She starred in the 1963 drama, The Caretakers, with Robert Stack and Polly Bergen.

74. On October 4, 1963, she appeared in an episode of the CBS series, Route 66.

75. She starred in the 1964 TV movie, Della (aka Fatal Confinement), which was intended as a pilot for a series called Royal Bay. The short film was released in a few theaters around the country.

76. She replaced an injured Joan Blondell in the 1964 film, Strait-Jacket.

77. She was reunited with Bette Davis in the 1964 film, Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte (which was originally called What Ever Happened to Cousin Charlotte?), but director Robert Aldrich was forced to replace her with Olivia de Havilland after a prolonged absence due to illness.

78. On December 13, 1964, she was the Mystery Guest on What's My Line?

79. She starred in the 1965 horror film, I Saw What You Did.

80. On October 9, 1965, she was the host of ABC's The Hollywood Palace with guests Jack Jones and Joanie Summers.

81. On November 14, 1965, she and Sammy Davis Jr. co-host the "USO A Go Go!" show benefit at Madison Square Garden, featuring appearances by the Beach Boys, Johnny Carson, Henry Fonda and Bobby Vinton.

82. On March 9, 1966, she appeared on The Merv Griffin Show with actors Chris Connelly and Patricia Morrow (from TV's Peyton Place) and the comedy duo of Marty Allen and Steve Rossi.

83. On July 3, 1966, she was the Mystery Guest on What's My Line?

84. On March 31 and April 7, 1967, she appeared in a two-part episdoe of NBC's The Man from U.N.C.L.E., which was released as a feature film called The Karate Killers in August 1967.

85. On June 6, 1967, the BBC aired A Film Profile: Joan Crawford, which featured a December 1966 interview by Philip Jenkinson.

86. She appeared in a 1968 TV commercial for Mountain Dew, a PepsiCo soft drink.

87. She starred in the British film, Berserk!, which was released in the US in January 1968.

88. On February 26, 1968, she appeared as herself on the CBS sitcom, The Lucy Show.

89. On September 1, 1968, she appeared on the Jerry Lewis Telethon with her daughter Christina and answered phones.

90. In October 1968, she volunteered to replace her ill daughter Christina on the CBS daytime soap opera, The Secret Storm, in four episodes (sadly, no copies of her performance exist since the master tape was erased to be reused).

91. She appeared in a 1969 Pepsi promotional film called The Big Rock Candy Mountain.

92. She promoted Blackglama Furs in an ad that appeared in the October 1969 issue of Vogue (her photo in the ad was taken by photographer Richard Avedon​).

93. On November 8, 1969, she appeared in the pilot episode of NBC's Night Gallery, which was one of Steven Spielberg's earliest directing jobs.

​​94. On January 16, 1970, she and director Robert Gist appeared on The David Frost Show to promote her appearance on the NBC series, The Virginian, on January 21.

95. On February 2, 1970, she was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Award by John Wayne at the 27th Golden Globes Awards.

96. She was a guest on the CBS series, The Tim Conway Comedy Hour, on October 4, 1970.

97. She starred in her final film, Trog, which was released on October 24, 1970.

98. Her book, My Way of Life, was published on October 8, 1971, by Simon & Schuster (featuring a portrait of Joan by Margaret Keane on its cover).

99. In her final TV appearance, she starred in the "Dear Joan: We're Going to Scare You to Death" episode of the ABC series, The Sixth Sense, on September 30, 1972.

100. On April 8, 1973, she was interviewed on stage at New York's Town Hall as the final guest of the season in John Springer's "Legendary Ladies" series.

101. On September 23, 1974, she made her last public appearance at New York City's Rainbow Room as hostess of a book party for John Springer's book, They Had Faces Then, which also honored her friend Rosalind Russell.


William Stoneman said... gawd!!! Joan Crawford sitting on PLASTIC SLIPCOVERS??? Christina...GET ME THE SCISSORS!

Marc Harshbarger said...

Love your comment, Mr. Stoneman! :)