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Joan Crawford Biography and Filmography
Joan Crawford
Birthday: March 23, 1904
Birth Place: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Height: 5' 5"
Below is a complete filmography (list of movies he's appeared in)
for Joan Crawford.
If you have any corrections or additions, please email us.
We'd also be interested in any trivia or other information you have.
Lucille LeSueur's parents separated before she was born. By age 16 she had known three fathers, one of whom (a vaudeville theater manager) had given her the name Billie Cassin. By 1915 she and her mother lived in Kansas City and Billie worked in a laundry and also as a menial to pay school tuition. Winning an amateur dance contest in 1923 led to chorus work in Chicago, Detroit and New York. On New Year's Day of 1925 she left for Hollywood. Before her second picture, a "Photoplay" contest led to the name "Joan Crawford". With Our Dancing Daughters (1928) she became a star. She had a string of successes playing a socialite or rags-to-riches shopgirl, most notably as Crystal Allen in The Women (1939). She stayed with MGM for 18 years, signing with Warners in 1943. Mildred Pierce (1945) was a defining role and won her an Oscar. After more than 70 films she married the Chairman of the Board of the Pepsi-Cola Co., a company with which she remained as an executive and spokesman after her husband's fatal heart attack in 1959 (in 1972 when the company's executives saw no further use for her, they pushed her out; after that she referred to the CEO as "Fang"). What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) brought new careers to both Crawford and Bette Davis in 1962--although the two despised each other--but the ensuing roles were neither numerous nor flattering. Horrified by a photo taken of her in 1974, she retired completely, devoting herself to Christian Science and increasing use of vodka. Her four adopted children received little from her -million estate: ,500 each for Cathy and Cindy, nothing for Christopher or Christina Crawford "for reasons best known to them".
Beyond the Water's Edge (1972)
Journey to Murder (1971)
[ Jade Parfitt ][ Ingrid Boulting ]
Trog (1970)
Night Gallery (1969)
Journey to the Unknown (1969)
[ Patty Duke ][ Vera Miles ]
Berserk! (1968)
[ Judy Geeson ][ Diana Dors ]
Journey to Midnight (1968)
I Saw What You Did (1965)
Strait-Jacket (1964)
[ Diane Baker ]
Della (1964)
[ Diane Baker ]
The Caretakers (1963)
[ Polly Bergen ][ Susan Oliver ]
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
[ Betty Davis ]
The Foxes (1961)
[ Colleen Dewhurst ]
Woman on the Run (1959)
Rebel Ranger (1959)
The Best of Everything (1959)
[ Diane Baker ]
Strange Witness (1958)
The Story of Esther Costello (1957)
Autumn Leaves (1956)
[ Vera Miles ]
Queen Bee (1955)
[ Fay Wray ][ Juanita Moore ]
Female on the Beach (1955)
[ Jan Sterling ]
The Road to Edinburgh (1954)
Johnny Guitar (1954)
Torch Song (1953)
Sudden Fear (1952)
[ Gloria Grahame ]
This Woman Is Dangerous (1952)
[ Sherry Jackson ]
Goodbye, My Fancy (1951)
[ Eve Arden ]
Harriet Craig (1950)
The Damned Don't Cry (1950)
Flamingo Road (1949)
Possessed (1947)
Daisy Kenyon (1947)
Humoresque (1946)
Mildred Pierce (1945)
[ Eve Arden ]
Above Suspicion (1943)
Reunion in France (1942)
[ Ava Gardener ]
They All Kissed the Bride (1942)
[ Billie Burke ]
When Ladies Meet (1941)
A Woman's Face (1941)
Susan and God (1940)
[ Rita Hayworth ]
Strange Cargo (1940)
The Women (1939)
[ Joan Fontaine ][ Paulette Goddard ][ Rosalind Russel ]
The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939)
The Shining Hour (1938)
[ Hattie McDaniel ]
Mannequin (1937)
The Bride Wore Red (1937)
[ Billie Burke ]
The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937)
Love on the Run (1936)
The Gorgeous Hussy (1936)
I Live My Life (1935)
No More Ladies (1935)
[ Joan Fontaine ]
Forsaking All Others (1934)
[ Billie Burke ][ Rosalind Russel ]
Chained (1934)
Sadie McKee (1934)
Dancing Lady (1933)
[ Eve Arden ]
Today We Live (1933)
Rain (1932)
Letty Lynton (1932)
Grand Hotel (1932)
[ Greta Garbo ]
Wir schalten um auf Hollywood (1931)
Possessed (1931)
This Modern Age (1931)
Laughing Sinners (1931)
Dance, Fools, Dance (1931)
Paid (1930)
Our Blushing Brides (1930)
Montana Moon (1930)
Great Day (1930)
Untamed (1929)
Our Modern Maidens (1929)
The Duke Steps Out (1929)
Dream of Love (1928)
Our Dancing Daughters (1928)
Four Walls (1928)
Across to Singapore (1928)
Rose-Marie (1928)
The Law of the Range (1928)
West Point (1928)
Tide of Empire (1928)
Spring Fever (1927)
Twelve Miles Out (1927)
The Unknown (1927)
The Understanding Heart (1927)
The Taxi Dancer (1927)
Winners of the Wilderness (1927)
Paris (1926)
The Boob (1926)
Tramp, Tramp, Tramp (1926)
Pretty Ladies (1925)
[ Myrna Loy ]
Proud Flesh (1925)
Lady of the Night (1925)
Sally, Irene and Mary (1925)
The Only Thing (1925)
Old Clothes (1925)
The Midshipman (1925)
The Circle (1925)
The Merry Widow (1925)
A Slave of Fashion (1925)
  • Quit Stephens College, a posh university for women in Columbia, Missouri, in the early 1920s.
  • Worked as an elevator operator at Harzfeld's department store in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
  • Each time Crawford married, she changed the name of her Brentwood estate and installed all new toilet seats.
  • Interred at Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York, USA.
  • Was asked to take over Carole Lombard 's role in They All Kissed the Bride (1942) after she died in a air crash during a war bond tour. She then donated all of her salary to the Red Cross who found Lombard's body, and promptly fired her agent for taking his usual 10%.
  • She was so dedicated to her fans that she always personally responded to her fan mail by typing them responses on blue paper and autographing it. A great deal of her spare time and weekends were spent doing this.
  • After her friend Steven Spielberg hit it big, Joan sent him periodic notes of congratulations. The last one came two weeks before her death.
  • She taught director Steven Spielberg how to belch while filming their episode of "Night Gallery" (1970).
  • Cartoonist Milton Caniff claimed he created the character of "Dragon Lady" for his popular "Terry and the Pirates" comic strip, based on Joan Crawford.
  • At the time of her death, the only photographs displayed in her apartment were of Barbara Stanwyck and President John F. Kennedy.
  • Daughter-in-law of Douglas Fairbanks.
  • Cousin-in-law of Lucile Fairbanks.
  • Niece-in-law of Robert Fairbanks.
  • Born at 10:00 PM
  • She had a cleanliness obsession. She used to wash her hands every ten minutes and follow guests around her house wiping everything they touched, especially doorknobs and pieces from her china set.
  • She would never smoke a cigarette unless she opened the pack herself, and would never use another cigarette out of that pack if someone else had touched it.
  • Always slept in white pyjamas.
  • Was forced by MGM boss Louis B. Mayer to drop her real name Lucille LeSueur because it sounded too much like "sewer".
  • Her 1933 contract with MGM was so detailed and binding, it even had a clause in it indicating what time she was expected to be in bed each night.
  • She was named as 'the other woman' in at least two divorces.
  • Was born Catholic but converted to Christian Science in later years.
  • Whenever she stayed in a hotel, no matter how good and well-reputed it was, Joan always scrubbed the bathroom herself before using it.
  • In the early 1930s, tired of playing fun-loving flappers, Joan wanted to change her image. Thin lips would not do for her, she wanted big lips. Ignoring Crawford's natural lip contours, Max Factor ran a smear of color across her upper and lower lips; it was just what she wanted. To Max, the Crawford look, which became her trademark, was always 'the smear'. To the public, it became known as 'Hunter's Bow Lips'. Crawford is often credited as helping to rout America's prejudice against lipstick.
  • Adoptive mother of Christina Crawford.
  • After hearing that a plumber had used a toilet after installing it in her Brentwood home, she immediately had the fixture and pipes ripped out and replaced.
  • Her cleanliness obsession lead her to prefer showers to tubs, as she abhorred sitting in her own bathwater.
  • Despite being a big star, Crawford really didn't appear in that many film classics. One she missed out on was From Here to Eternity (1953) in 1953. When the domineering actress insisted that her costumes be designed by Sheila O'Brien, studio head Harry Cohn replaced her with Deborah Kerr.
  • In her final years at MGM, Crawford was handed weak scripts in the hopes that she'd break her contract. Two films she hungered to appear in were Random Harvest (1942) and Madame Curie (1943). Both films went to bright new star Greer Garson instead, and Crawford left the studio soon after.
  • Her final words before dying were quoted as being "Damn it . . . Don't you dare ask God to help me." which was said to her housekeeper, who had begun to pray aloud.
  • "Joan Arden" was chosen as the young star's screen name after a write-in contest was held in the pages of "Movie Weekly" magazine, but a bit player came forward and said she was already using it. Mrs. Marie M. Tisdale, a crippled woman living in Albany, New York, won 0 for submitting the runner-up name "Joan Crawford".
  • She disliked her 'new' name and initially encouraged others to pronounce it Jo-Anne Crawford. In private, she liked to be referred to as Billie.
  • - It was recently learned from an excellent, detailed and objective TV biography of her (including information from Christina Crawford) that Joan Crawford's hatred of wire hangers derived from her poverty as a child and her experiences working with her mother in what must have been a grim job in a laundry. [6 August 2002]
  • Joan always considered The Unknown (1927) a big turning point for her. She said it wasn't until working with Lon Chaney in this film that she learned the difference between standing in front of a camera and acting in front of a camera. She said that was all due to Lon Chaney and his intense concentration, and after that experience she said she worked much harder to become a better actress.
  • Sister of actor Hal Le Sueur.
  • Because Joan was bullied and shunned at Stephens College by the other students due to her poor homelife, she answered every single piece of fanmail she received in her lifetime except those from former classmates at Stephens.
  • Decided to adopt children after suffering a series of miscarriages with her husbands and being told by doctors that she would never be able to have a baby.
  • Drank excessively and smoked until she began practicing Christian Science, at which time she abruptly quit doing both.
  • During her later years, Crawford was drinking up to a quart of vodka a day.
  • When her daughter Christina Crawford decided to become an actress, Joan demanded that she change her last name, so it wouldn't appear that Christina was using it to further her career. Christina refused.
  • Joan adopted all of her children except Christopher Crawford while she was unmarried. Since the state of California did not allow single men and women to adopt children at that time, Joan had to search for agencies in the eastern United States. The agency in charge of the adoption of Christina Crawford was later uncovered as part of a black market baby ring.
  • As a child, Joan was playing in the front yard of her home in Texas when she got a large piece of glass lodged in her foot. After it was removed, doctors told her she would likely never walk again without a limp. Joan was determined to be a dancer, so she practiced walking and dancing every day for over six months until she was able to walk without pain. Not only did she make a full recovery, she also fulfilled her dream of becoming a chorus dancer.
  • Joan was dancing in a chorus line in 1925 when she was spotted by MGM and offered a screen test. Joan, who wanted more than anything to continue dancing, turned down the offer at first. But another chorus girl pursuaded Joan to try the test, and a few weeks later she was put under contract.
  • When Joan adopted her eldest daughter, Christina Crawford, she first named her 'Joan, Jr.'. Baby pictures from the book 'Mommie, Dearest' show baby Christina lying on a towel with 'Joan, Jr.' monogrammed on it. Later, for reasons that can only be speculated, Joan changed the baby's name to Christina. Joan did the same thing to her adopted son, who was named 'Phillip Terry, Jr.', after the man that Joan was married to at the time he was adopted. After her divorce to Phillip Terry was finalized, Joan changed the boy's name to Christopher.
  • Joan adopted another son in the early 1940s, but during a magazine interview, she disclosed the location of his birth, and his biological mother showed up at her Brentwood home wanting the baby back. Thinking that a fight would hurt the well-being of the child, Joan gave him back to his mother, who then sold him to another family.
  • Joan never liked the name "Crawford", saying to a friend that it sounded too much like "Crawfish". He replied that it was much better than "Cranberry".
  • Blue Oyster Cult wrote a song about her, entitled "Joan Crawford".
  • Adopted four children: Christina, Christopher, and twins Cynthia and Cathy.
  • Measurements: 35-25-35 (as model 1930), 35-25 1/2-37 (precise studio stats, 1937) (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Wore size 4C shoes. (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine)
  • Her little tap dancing in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (1929) was the first audible tap dance on the screen.
  • Her Oscar statuette for Mildred Pierce (1945) went on auction after her death and sold for ,000. The auction house had predicted a top bid of ,000.
  • Her popularity grew so quickly after her name was changed to Joan Crawford that two films in which she was still billed as Lucille Le Sueur: Old Clothes (1925) and The Only Thing (1925) were recalled, and the billings were altered.
  • WAMPAS Baby of 1926
  • She was a favorite model of 'Walt Disney (I)' and Ub Iwerks for their early experiments in animation ("The Hand Behind The Mouse," by Leslie Iwerks).
  • Met her biological father only once when he visited her on the set of Chained (1934). She would never see him again.
  • One of the original MGM Contract Stars from the studio's early period.
  • She was voted the 47th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
  • After she was signed to MGM, someone attempted to extort money from the studio by claiming they had a porn film that featured a young Crawford. The attempt failed when MGM pointed out they could not definitely prove the actress in the film was Crawford. The incident was mentioned in a couple of biographies.
  • Was approached twice by the producers of the Airport disaster movie series. She was offered two different roles in both Airport 1975 (1974) and Airport '77 (1977), but refused.
  • Comedic actress Betty Hutton, who lived near Crawford for a time, stated that she seen some of the abuse claimed by Joan's daughter Christina Crawford. Hutton would often encourage her own children to spend some time with "those poor children", as she felt they needed some fun in their lives.
  • After her husband died, she still continued to set a place for him at the dinner table.
  • Although Crawford claimed her youngest daughters Cathy and Cindy were twins, most sources, including her two older children, claim they were just two babies born about a month apart. Her two older children claimed they couldn't be twins because they looked nothing alike. In the early 1990s, Cathy found their birth certificate, which proved that they were indeed twins, born on January 13, 1947. The fact that they were fraternal twins, rather than identical, can account for the fact that they did not look alike. The twins eventually met their birth father and other biological relatives. They found out that their birth mother had died of kidney failure soon after birth and that their father, who had not been married to their mother, did not find out about them until after it was too late. They were sold illegally to Joan Crawford by Tennessee Children's Home Society director Georgia Tann.
  • She has a granddaughter, Chrystal, from son Christopher. She has a granddaughter Carla, born c. 1970, from daughter Cathy. She has eight grandchildren altogether (four from Christopher and two each from Cindy and Cathy).
  • She has a grandson, Casey LaLonde, by her daughter Cathy. He was born c. 1972.
  • In 1963, she accepted the Oscar for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" on behalf of Anne Bancroft, who wasn't present at the awards ceremony.
  • Is portrayed by Barrie Youngfellow in The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980) (TV) and by Faye Dunaway in Mommie Dearest (1981)
  • She was of French descent on her father's side, and Irish/Scottish/English descent on her mother's side.
  • On AFI's "100 Years 100 Stars", she was ranked the #10 Female Greatest Screen Legend.
  • Often wore shoulder pads.
  • Was very close friends with William Haines and his partner Jimmy Shields.
  • Her performance as Mildred Pierce Beragon in "Mildred Pierce" (1945) is ranked #93 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • Adopted 4 children. her 2 oldest children, Christina and Chistopher were completely excluded from her will.

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