Best Known For
Joan Crawford was an Oscar-winning actress, dancer and executive. She was known for films like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Mildred Pierce.
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Born on March 23, 1905, in San Antonio, Texas, Joan Crawford began dancing at a young age, and went on to act in dozens of films. She was one of Hollywood's top stars of the 1930s, earning an Oscar for her lead role in 1945's Mildred Pierce. She later became known for the horror classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and was the subject of the memoir Mommie Dearest. She died on March 10, 1997, in New York City.
Film actress Joan Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas, on March 23, 1905 (though some sources have reported her birth date as 1908). Her parents separated before she was born, and her mother later married theater owner Harry Cassin. Crawford would come to be known as Billie Cassin growing up, and periodically throughout of her entertainment career.
After her mother and stepfather split, Crawford attended two private schools, where she worked on the premises to pay for tuition while also being treated harshly, receiving corporal punishment for perceived misdeeds. Because of her workload, she was unable to attend classes and her scholastic record was faked.
After a short time at Stephens College, Crawford left to pursue a dancing career, a pastime to which she'd dedicated herself. She eventually danced in the Broadway show Innocent Eyes, and in 1925 started to work onscreen for MGM. She starred in a number of silent films during this period and was given the name "Joan Crawford" from a magazine contest sponsored by the studio. The actress hit it big with the smash Our Dancing Daughters (1928), in which she played a rich, lovelorn girl who loves to Charleston.
A prolific and long-lasting film career was to follow, with Crawford ultimately going on to star in more than five dozen films. She took on talking roles with projects like Hollywood Revue (1929) and Grand Hotel (1932), and her dancing skills were prominently displayed with Fred Astaire in the 1933 hit Dancing Lady. Clark Gable was also featured, and was a recurring co-star in works like Possessed (1931) and Strange Cargo (1940).
Crawford was a major, top-earning star of the 1930s, though by the end of the decade, her pictures were meeting with limited success. She rallied again with A Woman's Face (1941) before leaving MGM and signing with Warner Brothers, eventually garnering the lead role in 1945's Mildred Pierce, about a mother who rises from humble beginnings to become a successful restaurateur. The film received several Academy Award nominations, and Crawford won for best actress.
Crawford would receive two more Oscar nominations over the years, one for her role as a schizophrenic nurse in another film by the name Possessed (1947), and the other as a playwright in the thriller Sudden Fear (1952), which she'd also produced. She became known for a steadfast devotion to her career and a willingness to adapt to different vehicles while cultivating a fan base.
profile name: Joan Crawford profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Thanks to our unending fascination with all things terrifying, Hollywood is constantly churning out horror films for our enjoyment. With no end of gruesome combinations of stalking, murder and mutilation, these films hinge on the terrorizing of innocent victims by a sick, disturbed murderer. In the midst of all the bloodshed, actresses in the role of scream queen provide a dose of eye candy—and a killer set of lungs. Some of these women have made their name in horror flicks, while others have played one frighteningly convincing role. These are the women who have played some of the iconic scream queens of the big screen.
Scream Queens 25 people in this group
In entertainment, where the line between fiction and reality is often blurry, names are a crucial part of a celebrity's image. Stage names are often chosen to make an actor or musician's name easier to pronounce or remember, or simply to make it sounds more attractive. Here are famous celebrities who have changed their names.
Name Changers 236 people in this group
In the early years of motion pictures, actors were recruited from the stage, resulting in larger-than-life performances that seemed jarring when blown up to the size of a movie screen. As the years went on, actors began to understand the subtleties of the medium, and used more natural expressions to connect with their audiences. They became movie stars, known for their glamorous looks and identifiable personalities. As Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard would say, they didn't need dialogue, they had faces.
Silent Screen Stars 16 people in this group