Joan Crawford

Actor, Dancer, Waitress
Joan Crawford's extraordinary career encompassed over 45 years and some 80 films. After a tough, poor childhood, she was spotted in a chorus line by MGM and signed as an ingenue in 1925. Her portrayal of a good-hearted ... Read more »
Born: 03/23/1904 in San Antonio, Texas, USA


Actor (49)

That's Entertainment! III 1994 (Movie)

Song Performer (Actor)

MGM: When the Lion Roars 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)


Going Hollywood: The War Years 1987 (Movie)

Herself (Actor)

Birch Interval 1976 (Movie)

Lady on Bus (Actor)

Night Gallery 1969 - 1970 (TV Show)


Trog 1969 (Movie)

Dr Brockton (Actor)

Berserk 1967 (Movie)

Monica Rivers (Actor)

The Karate Killers 1966 (Movie)

Amanda True (Actor)

I Saw What You Did 1964 (Movie)

Amy Nelson (Actor)

Strait-Jacket 1964 (Movie)

Lucy Harbin (Actor)

The Caretakers 1962 (Movie)

Lucretia Terry (Actor)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? 1962 (Movie)

Blanche Hudson (Actor)

Zane Grey Theater 1956 - 1962 (TV Show)


The Best of Everything 1958 (Movie)

Amanda Farrow (Actor)

The Story of Esther Costello 1957 (Movie)

Margaret Landi (Actor)

Autumn Leaves 1956 (Movie)

Milly (Actor)

Female on the Beach 1955 (Movie)

Lynn Markham (Actor)

Queen Bee 1955 (Movie)

Eva Phillips (Actor)

Johnny Guitar 1954 (Movie)

Vienna (Actor)

Revlon Mirror Theater 1952 - 1954 (TV Show)


Sudden Fear 1952 (Movie)

Myra Hudson (Actor)

This Woman Is Dangerous 1952 (Movie)

Beth Austin (Actor)

Torch Song 1952 (Movie)

Jenny Stewart (Actor)

Goodbye, My Fancy 1950 (Movie)

Agatha Reed (Actor)

Harriet Craig 1950 (Movie)

Harriet Craig (Actor)

Possessed 1947 (Movie)

Louise Howell Graham (Actor)

Humoresque 1946 (Movie)

Helen Wright (Actor)

Mildred Pierce 1945 (Movie)

Mildred Pierce (Actor)

Reunion in France 1941 (Movie)


They All Kissed the Bride 1941 (Movie)


A Woman's Face 1940 (Movie)

Anna Holm (Actor)

Strange Cargo 1939 (Movie)

Julie (Actor)

Susan and God 1939 (Movie)

Susan Trexel (Actor)

The Women 1938 (Movie)

Crystal Allen (Actor)

Mannequin 1937 (Movie)

Jessie Cassidy (Actor)

The Bride Wore Red 1936 (Movie)

Anni (Actor)

The Gorgeous Hussy 1935 (Movie)


Chained 1933 (Movie)


Dancing Lady 1932 (Movie)

Janie Barlow (Actor)

Grand Hotel 1932 (Movie)

Flaemmchen (Actor)

Letty Lynton 1932 (Movie)

Letty Lynton (Actor)

Dance, Fools, Dance 1930 (Movie)


Our Blushing Brides 1929 (Movie)

Jerry Marsh (Actor)

Our Modern Maidens 1928 (Movie)

Billie Brown (Actor)

Our Dancing Daughters 1927 (Movie)

Diana (Actor)

West Point 1927 (Movie)

Betty Channing (Actor)

Spring Fever 1926 (Movie)

Allie Monte (Actor)

The Unknown 1926 (Movie)

Estrellita (Actor)

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp 1925 (Movie)

Betty Burton (Actor)


Joan Crawford's extraordinary career encompassed over 45 years and some 80 films. After a tough, poor childhood, she was spotted in a chorus line by MGM and signed as an ingenue in 1925. Her portrayal of a good-hearted flapper in her 21st film, "Our Dancing Daughters" (1928), made her a star. Crawford maintained this status throughout the remainder of her career, but not without setbacks. She successfully made the transition to sound films, her Jazz Age image being replaced by young society matrons and sincere, upwardly mobile, sometimes gritty working girls (memorably in "Grand Hotel" 1932) and her mien adopting the carefully sculptured cheekbones, broad shoulders and full mouth audiences remember her for. Her MGM films of the 1930s, though lavish and stylish, were mostly routine and superficial. Despite mature and impressive performances in "The Women" (1939) and "A Woman's Face" (1941), both directed by George Cukor, Crawford continued to be given less-than-challenging roles by the studio.


Anna LeSueur


Greg Bautzer

had affair in late 1940s

Henry Cassin


Catharine Crawford

adopted twin of Cynthia married name Lalonde

Christina Crawford

adopted wrote "Mommie Dearest" in 1978 which portrayed Crawford as a monstrous mother

Cynthia Crawford

adopted twin of Cathy

Michael Cudahy

wealthy society figure with whom Crawford is reported to have had an affair in the 1920s

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Actor

Married June 3, 1929 Divorced May 12, 1933

Clark Gable Actor

born on February 1, 1901 died on November 16, 1960 known as 'The King' of Hollywood, was American film's most popular male lead of the 1930s and early 40s reported to have had intermittent, ongoing affair with Crawford for over a 10-year period the two appeared together in "Dance Fools Dance", "Laughing Sinners", "Possessed" (all 1931), "Dancing Lady" (1933), "Chained" (1934), "Forsaking All Others" (1935), "Love on the Run" (1937), "Strange Cargo" (1940)

Thomas LeSuer

separated from Crawford's mother before her birth

Hal LeSueur


Edward Norris Actor

was simultaneously involved with Crawford and actress Hedy Lamarr

Jack Oakie Actor


Alfred Steele

married 1956 until his death from a heart attack in 1959 Crawford would later describe her years with Steele as the most fulfilling of her life

Phillip Terry Actor


Philip Terry

born in 1909 died on February 23, 1993 married in 1942 divorced in 1946 perhaps best remembered for his role as Ray Milland's brother in "The Lost Weekend" (1945)

Christopher Terry


Franchot Tone Actor

Co-starred in "Dancing Lady" (1933) and "Sadie McKee" (1934), among others Married in October 1935 Divorced in 1939


Rockingham School

was only working student; worked there with her mother; status interfered with her schooling

Stephens College

Columbia , Missouri
entered as working student via Rockingham records falsified by headmaster's wife; withdrew after three months when she realized she was not academically prepared



Last feature film, "Trog"


Co-starred opposite Diane Baker in made for TV film, "Della"


Career revived with starring role opposite Bette Davis in popular Grand Guignol semi-horror film, "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?"


Elected to board of directors of Pepsi-Cola two days after the death of husband Alfred Steele, Pepsi executive


Played first supporting character role in "The Best of Everything"; still received star billing


Played last romantic lead, "The Story of Esther Costello"


One-shot return to MGM to star in musical drama, "Torch Song"


Last film under Warner Bros. contract, "This Woman Is Dangerous"; began free-lancing


Regained her star clout with successful appearance in RKO's "Sudden Fear"


First starring film under Warners contract, the popular and acclaimed melodrama, "Mildred Pierce"


Signed contract with Warner Bros. paying her slightly less but giving her script approval


Made cameo appearance in all-star fund-raising film, "Hollywood Canteen"


Last film for MGM for ten years, "Above Suspicion"


Named "box office poison" by motion picture exhibitors; MGM renewed her contract nonetheless


Made motion picture exhibitors poll of top ten box office stars


First teamed with Clark Gable in "Dance Fools Dance", "Laughing Sinners" and "Possessed"


After singing in the all-star "Hollywood Revue of 1929" made full-fledged sound debut in "Untamed"


Voted one of 13 WAMPAS (Western Association of Motion Picture Advertisers) "Baby Stars" along with Dolores Del Rio, Mary Astor and others


Feature film debut (as double for Norma Shearer) in "Lady of the Night"


As Miss MGM introduced trailer reel of upcoming MGM films


Film acting debut in King Vidor's "Proud Flesh"


In chorus of New York production of "Innocent Eyes"; spotted "third from the left in the back row" by MGM producer Harry Rapf; subsequently given screen test


Won amateur dance contest; went to Chicago and Detroit in search of dance career


Grew up with mother and stepfather in Lawton, Oklahoma; moved with family to Kansas City, Missouri (date approximate)

Appearances in "The Women" (1939) and "Strange Cargo" (1940) helped Crawford regain popularity and garner new critical regard

Among the leading lady parts with which Crawford attained stardom are her roles in "Sally, Irene, and Mary" (1925), "Paris" (1926) and "Our Dancing Daughters" (1928)

Contest held by MGM to rename its new contract player; for a while used winning entry name of "Joan Arden" until an extra with that name was discovered on the set; name changed to second place entry, "Joan Crawford"

Bonus Trivia


There is some debate regarding the actual year of Crawford's birth. Many sources give 1906 or 1908, but 1904 is cited most often and by those references generally most reliable, although government records indicate 1908.


Crawford was one of MGM's biggest stars of the 1930s. She placed third on the first annual exhibitor's poll of top boxoffice stars in 1932, and later placed tenth in 1933, sixth in 1934, fifth in 1935 and seventh in 1936. Her boxoffice appeal plummeted for a time in the late 30s, leading her to be one of the stars dubbed "box office poison" in an exhibitors' poll. The most durable star of them all, though, Crawford, still a star three decades later, could look back at it all and laugh.


She was elected a fellow of Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusets


Designated as the first "Woman of the Year" by the United Service Organizations of New York for her qualities as "an actress, an executive, humanitarian" (1965).


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