Old Hollywood: A Portrait of Joan Crawford

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Joan Crawford hit every high and low that a Hollywood actress could achieve. She was a rising starlet one moment and then box office poison then next. She was the young bride of Douglas Fairbanks, Jr, who was the son of the Douglas Fairbanks (swashbuckler extraordinaire) one moment and  a mother of four adopted children the next. She was known as a dedicated mother and then later as Mommie Dearest thanks to her daughter Christina's portrayal of her mother in her book by the same name. She was a lover of Clark Gable and a slew of others and a devoted friend to many more, There is no doubt volumes on this woman's life could be written.

But in 1930, her first husband, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. wrote to Vanity Fair about his then beloved bride that was both heartfelt and extremely forth coming. It was written very early on in their union and most likely they were both still mad for each other. Sadly their marriage ended as most Hollywood ones do because of infidelity.

I found his written sentiments online but the photos are really grainy so please click HERE to read his thoughts and views on this Hollywood icon. It's fantastic to read.
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I hope you were able to read Fairbanks's portrait of Joan Crawford. I felt like I got to know her personality better and the decisions she made later on in life made more sense. Fairbanks seemed to know her very, very well. It's a shame it didn't work out for either of them.

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  1. I find it so interesting to get such insight into her life. Sometimes when people are so famous and loved you forget that they're their own person with their own vulnerabilities and quirks.

  2. While of course there is Mommy Dearest, I think that someone needs to do a 21st century biopic of Joan's life. Ideally, one that is as objectively fair to her as can be. She was a true leading lady and culture figure of her time and deserves to be portrayed, IMO, in a kinder light (internal struggles, demons and all) than MD cast her.

    ♥ Jessica

  3. My introduction to Joan Crawford was via Mommy Dearest, and that movie absolutely terrified me. I didn't like her for the longest time because of that, although in the past couple of years, reading about her, I've come around quite a bit. It seems that the other kids also said that things didn't happen the way Christina said they did, and that their mother wasn't abusive. Who knows what the truth actually is. I agree with Jess, she's far too nuanced of a woman to be remembered as just the crazy child abuser with the wacky eyebrows.

  4. It is so hard for me to comment on Joan Crawford because I just never have cared for her. Something about her screen presence rubs me the wrong way. Who can't help but hate her in The Women?? Maybe it's because I adore Bette Davis, and they loathed each other. But really who knows what she was really like? Great post Daffny!
    ~xoxo, CoriLynn


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