In the spirit of the Oscars, I am counting down the week by honoring some of the strongest women in Classic Film. Today, I celebrate Joan Crawford.

Joan Crawford

  • Crawford often played hard-working young women who find romance and success. These stories were well received by Depression-era audiences and were popular with women.
  • Best known for Mildred Pearce (1945), Sudden Fear (1952), and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962)
  • Won 1 Academy Award, The Cecil B. DeMille Award, 2 Laurel Awards, and a National Board of Review Award.
  • Crawford reportedly suggested Bette Davis for the role of Jane in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (1962). Although they strongly disliked each other, it is noted they treated each other with the utmost respect.

Did you know? Joan once said in an interview that she and her arch-rival Bette Davis had nothing in common. They had a handful of similarities in their personal lives. They both had fathers who abandoned their families at a young age, they rose from poverty to success while breaking into films during the late 1920s and early 1930s, had siblings and mothers who milked them financially once they became famous, became Oscar-winning leading ladies, were staunch liberal Democrats and feminists, and had daughters who wrote books denouncing them as bad mothers.

Why I like her: I can relate to her obsession with cleanliness – maybe not to her extreme – she seems to have had a serious case of OCD, but I can understand where she is coming from.

Favorite Quote

Not that anyone cares, but there’s a right and wrong way to clean a house.