Joan Crawford Biography

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Birth Name: Joan Crawford
Born: 03/23/1904
Birth Place: San Antonio, Texas, USA
Death Place: New York City, New York, USA
Died: 05/10/1977


In 1943 Crawford left MGM and her career took a decided upward turn after she signed with Warner Bros. the following year. In numerous Warner Bros. melodramas and "films noir", a new Crawford persona emerged: intelligent, often neurotic, powerful and sometimes ruthless, but also vulnerable and dependent. Memorable roles in "Mildred Pierce" (1945, for which she deservedly won an Oscar), "Humoresque" (1946) and "Possessed" (1947) restored and consolidated her popularity. In her nine "films noirs" for Warner Bros. and other studios, as well in most of her non-"noir" features (such as "Harriet Craig", 1950), Crawford gave expert and fully realized interpretations.

After this brief period of success, Crawford's career declined once again, and in 1952 her remarkable business acumen told her to leave Warners. She freelanced thereafter, notably for RKO in "Sudden Fear" (1952), a performance which earned Crawford her third Oscar nomination for Best Actress. She was also memorable as a female firebrand in Nicholas Ray's outrageously stylized Western, "Johnny Guitar" (1954). With the exception of "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" (1962), Crawford's performances of the 60s were mostly self-caricatures in second-rate horror films ("Berserk!" 1967, "Trog" 1970). Although these later features were poor vehicles for her talents, she was a resilient and consummate professional with an uncanny knowledge of the business of stardom who was fiercely loyal to her fans and who continued to impose the highest standards of performance upon herself. Crawford was married to actors Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and Franchot Tone and was portrayed as a cruel, violent and calculating mother by Faye Dunaway in the 1981 film, "Mommie Dearest", based on a scathing biography by her adopted daughter Christina.




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