Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford

By Donald Spoto

Joan Crawford was once some of the most incandescent movie stars of all time, but she was once additionally probably the most misunderstood. during this brilliantly researched, considerate, and intimate biography, bestselling writer Donald Spoto is going past the preferred caricature—the abusive, volatile mom portrayed in her followed daughter Christina Crawford’s memoir, Mommie Dearest—to supply us a third-dimensional portrait of a really human lady, her excellent profession, and her terribly dramatic lifestyles and times.

according to new archival info and unique interviews, and written with Spoto’s willing eye for aspect, Possessed bargains a desirable portrait of a brave, hugely sexed, and impressive girl whose power and force made her a forerunner within the fledgling movie company. From her hardscrabble formative years in Texas to her early days as a dancer in post–World battle I ny to her upward thrust to stardom, Spoto strains Crawford’s fifty years of memorable performances in classics like Rain, The Women, Mildred Pierce, and Sudden Fear, that are as startling and vibrant this present day as after they have been filmed.

In Possessed, Spoto is going in the back of the myths to ascertain the increase and fall of the studio approach; Crawford’s 4 marriages; her passionate thirty yr, on-and-off-again affair with Clark Gable; her friendships and rivalries with different stars; her robust wish to turn into a mom; the reality in the back of the scathing tales in her daughter Christina’s memoir; and her ultimate years as a widow fighting melanoma. Spoto explores Crawford’s achievements as an actress, her paintings with Hollywood’s nice administrators (Frank Borzage, George Cukor, Otto Preminger) and actors (Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Spencer Tracy, John Barrymore), and later, her function as a powerful govt at the board of administrators of Pepsi-Cola.

Illuminating and wonderful, Possessed is the definitive biography of this notable girl and actual legend of film.

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She and the infant will stay in manhattan for a number of extra days. ” the times prolonged to a different 8 months, until eventually January 1941. The time was once spent with Charles McCabe—in suites at ny inns, at Pennsylvania lodges and (when his spouse was once absent) at his kingdom domestic in Connecticut. mom and daughter then traveled to la through Nevada, the place the adoption papers have been finalized, because of Bautzer’s specialist approach, which additionally facilitated the popularity of the Nevada adoption within the kingdom of California.

Lengthy traces shaped and tickets have been offered for standing-room buyers. inside per week of its unlock, Joan’s identify went up at the marquees. Her fan mail elevated to hundreds of thousands of letters every one week, magazines and newspapers hounded the studio for interviews together with her, or even she couldn't stay indifferent. “I drove round with a small field digital camera, capturing of ‘Joan Crawford’ in lighting fixtures. ” Her exposure persevered with one other information tale that ran national at the exact same time because the picture’s liberate.

Reviews approximately Crawford of, 69–70, 72–73, eighty four, ninety seven, ninety eight, ninety nine, 111; Crawford’s admiration for, seventy three; and Crawford’s objectives, sixty five, eighty four; Crawford’s reviews approximately, sixty five, one zero five; Crawford’s dependency on, seventy three; Crawford’s engagement to, fifty eight; Crawford’s eu journey with, ninety nine– a hundred; Crawford’s movie with, 63–64; Crawford’s first stopover at with, fifty one, fifty two; Crawford’s in©uence on, 54–55, 106; Crawford’s preliminary effect on, fifty three; Crawford’s marriage to, sixty three, sixty four; Crawford’s dating with, 52–55, 106, one hundred forty four, 244, 286; and Crawford’s self-improvement, 117; loss of life of, 111; and outline of Crawford-Fairbanks condominium, 67–68; divorce of Crawford and, 99–100, 105–6, 113; schooling of, fifty one; Fairbanks Sr.

131 “a vapid Cinderella pipe dream” Howard Barnes, overview of The Bride Wore crimson, manhattan Herald-Tribune, October sixteen, 1937. “underlying shabbiness” Frank S. Nugent, evaluate of The Bride Wore purple, long island occasions, October 17, 1937. 132 “she remained in her suite” “Joan Crawford’s Father Is Dead,” fortress worthy StarTelegram, January 1, 1938. 133 “The a part of me” Vogel, fifty five; the letter used to be despatched to her good friend Genie Chester. “Practically the entire significant studios” autonomous movie magazine, might 1938; see additionally Time, may possibly sixteen, 1938.

Occasionally I couldn’t sustain, and it embarrassed me. yet I did what I could,” and in reality the occasional dissensions have been outnumbered via the lengthy sessions of mutual, severe happiness. “We have been greatly in love. all people warned him it wouldn’t last—'You’re marrying one tricky large! '—but he knew my sturdiness used to be an act. ” a part of that durability got here from Joan’s compulsive have to preserve her snapshot as a celeb, which she now needed to remodel and reinvent because the full-time spouse of a company govt. there has been absolute confidence approximately the place the newlyweds may reside.

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