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Joan Crawford recounting her early screen tests for Mildred Pierce and director Michael Curtiz’s hatred towards her and her big shoulders on The David Frost Show, 1970. (x)

Happy Birthday Lucille Fay LeSueur aka Joan Crawford

(March 23, 1906 - May 10, 1977)

"Whatever she did, she did wholeheartedly. Including her love affair with the camera. In the days before zoom lenses and advanced electronics, cameras often had to be mounted on great cumbersome cranes, maneuvered by as many as twelve men,and close-ups might well require all this to be pushed from extreme long shots to within a few inches of an actor’s face. Many found it difficult to overcome some understandable nervousness as this juggernaut ground closer and closer. Not Joan Crawford. The nearer the camera, the more tender and yielding she became - her eyes glistening, her lips avid in ecstatic acceptance. The camera saw, I suspect, a side of her that no flesh-and-blood lover ever saw.” George Cukor  

"Joan Crawford is doubtless the best example of the flapper, the girl you see in smart night clubs, gowned to the apex of sophistication, toying iced glasses with a remote, faintly bitter expression, dancing deliciously, laughing a great deal, with wide, hurt eyes. Young things with a talent for living." F. Scott Fitzgerald 

"Joan and I approached being movie stars in a different way. She liked to take limos everywhere; she was much ‘grander’, for lack of a better word, and maybe I was much more down to earth, but so what? Joan certainly wasn’t the only movie star who liked the champagne and limousine treatment. I can tell you that when you made a friend in Joan you had a friend for life. She never forgot your birthday, and you’d get a congratulatory note from her when good things happened in your life. She cared about people and her friends, no matter what anybody says. I liked her, and I miss her, and I think her daughter’s stories are pure bunk. Even if they were true, if ever there was a girl who needed a good whack it was spoiled, horrible Christina. Believe me, there were many times I wanted to smack her myself.” Myrna Loy 

“I admire Joan. And I believe she feels the same way about me. I hope so. I think both of us have been hurt and embarrassed by the persistent stories of our rivalry and hatred… How could I hate Joan? She is so much like me. We have been through so many of the same painful but invaluable molding processes. We have both had to fight desperately to overcome self-consciousness. We have both made ourselves over, both struggled to create an illusion of glamour and beauty.” Norma Shearer

"Joan Crawford’s letters to her fans are a true testament of her character and show just how she treated her fans. Her lifelong dedication to corresponding with the people responsible for making her famous showed how much of a caring and loving person she really was. It is estimated that Joan Crawford wrote and sent out over three million fan letters in her lifetime. She answered every single piece of fan mail herself." Michelle Voge

I found working with Joan very relaxed. Very warm…. Joan was a star in every sense of the word. She didn’t remind you of it in any particular way. You just knew it. And you didn’t think any less of her for it.” Henry Fonda 

Joan Crawford and Johnny Mack Brown in "Our Dancing Daughters" (1928)

“I find suggestion a hell of a lot more provocative than explicit detail. You didn’t see Clark [Gable] and Vivien [Leigh] rolling around in bed in Gone With The Wind, but you saw that shit eating grin on her face the next morning and you knew damned well she’d gotten properly laid.” ― Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford in a promotional still for Grand Hotel, 1932.

Joan Crawford and Wallace Beery in Grand Hotel, 1932.

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