She was a leading film personality for more than fifty years, from her beginnings as a dancer in silent films of the s, to her portrayals of working-class shop girls in the Depression thirties, to her Oscar-winning performances in classic films such as Mildred Pierce. Crawford's legacy has become somewhat tarnished in the wake of her daughter Christina's memoir, Mommie Dearest, which turned her into a national joke. Today, many picture Crawford only as a wire hanger-wielding shrew rather than the personification of Hollywood glamour.
This new biography of Crawford sets the record straight, going beyond the gossip to find the truth about the legendary actress. Jazz Baby , St. Martin's Press David Houston. Description: The true story of Joan's childhood, which was often ignored or changed when she became a star.
Author David Houston pieces together the little-known facts about Joan's early life and her rise to stardom from numerous interviews with the people who knew her family. This book deals primarily with Joan's life up until and includes a few pages of photos including her College yearbook photo from , a picture of the Cassin home, Rockingham Academy, and St. Agnes Academy. Sample Text: This is the story of the raw material, of little Billie Cassin, an eccentric child lacking ordinary confidence who, Joan Crawford claimed, always lingered inside her.
When I need tears for a big emotional scene in a picture, I catch back some of her memories! Description: Softcover, pages, photos. Joan Crawford , Pyramid Stephen Harvey. Description: Part of the Pyramid Illustrated History of the Movies series, this volume focuses primarily on Joan's film career from her first film to Trog with some mentions made to her personal life during the films.
The book is filled with various publicity photos from her films including one from the aborted Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte. Sample Text Considering that Joan Crawford was an indisputable star long before the majority of living Americans were born, it must seem to many that as long as there have been movies there has been Crawford, as accomplished and unmistakable a personality fifty years ago as she is today.
As present-day audiences watch her films, they see an actress whose grasp of her skills may vary from film to film, but who undeniably possesses in full measure that ill-defined gift called star quality. Surely she always had it; one can't imagine Crawford as ever having been an ordinary and anonymous as the audience that for years genuinely worshipped her, and still regards her with affection and more than a little awe. Description: A thorough and detailed biography of Joan Crawford.
Thomas knew Joan for 30 years and conducted many interviews with her. Sample Text: On the morning of May 10, , Joan insisted on getting out of bed to make breakfast for the housekeeper and the longtime fan, who had both stayed overnight. Joan returned to the bedroom to begin watching her soap operas, and she called to the two women to make sure they were eating the breakfast she had prepared. Then she died. Press of Kentucky Lawrence J. Quirk, William Schoell.
Sample Text:. Bret divulges Respected biographer Fred Lawrence Guiles uses newly discovered sources and recent interviews with many who knew her, and some who loved her, to establish the person behind the carefully crafted screen icon. Sample Text: Whatever one may think of Mommie Dearest , its effect upon Joan Crawford's memory and reputation has been calamitous. Christina succeeded in this on a level that she may not have anticipated. Joan Crawford Paper Dolls , B. Marilyn Henry. Description: 32 pages. This collection, a tribute to a striking beauty and magnetic actress, is also a salute to the many talented costume designers - Adrian, Milo, Anderson and Sheila O'Brien, to name a few - who made Hollywood a fashion house.
Miss Crawford's many fans, fashion enthusiasts, as well as paper doll collectors will welcome this Tom Tierney effort. Filled with numerous black-and-white publicity photos and film stills.
Sample Text: Crawford also underwent a disconcerting physical change during these years. The contours of her face, understandable altering with the onset of middle-age, began to reassert themselves in a strikingly aggressive fashion. Her features became more pronounced, more masculine, suggesting some radical disturbance taking place in her metabolism, upset perhaps by the tensions of life and melodrama of her movie roles. With her hollowed-out cheeks, her accentuated eyebrows, her eyeballs almost starting out of their sockets, her mouth by no means outside in itself which she now enlarged to rapacious extremes by obliterating its natural outline with heavily applied lipstick, she came to resemble the only known picture of her father, Thomas Le Sueur, who had fled the family circle before she had been born.
Description: pages, illustrated.
Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography Hardcover – September 30, " Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography explores the life and career of one of Hollywood's great dames. Lawrence J. Quirk is the author of many books on film, including Bob Hope: The Road Well-Traveled. " Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography explores the life and career of one of Hollywood's great dames. She was a leading film personality for more th.
In Portuguese. Title translates as: "An Homage. Description: pp. Reviews, essays, photos.
John Kobal, ed. Description: From the back of the book: "The Hollywood portrait photographers were responsible for turning mere mortals into myths. Only recently, following the revival of interest in still photography, have their achievements become recognized as an art form. John Kobal, the editor of this series, has lovingly and meticulously collected the work of the studio photographers and has one of the leading libraries of film photographs in the world, from which the portraits for this volume has been selected.
The Legends series forms an instant and compelling collection of classic stars and magnificent images. Description: Joan's adopted daughter Christina Crawford published this book in , a year after her mother's death. Christina details the allegedly erratic and violent behavior and treatment of her mother towards Christina and her brother Christopher.
A 20th-anniversary edition was released in by Christina's vanity press. It contains pages of new material. Sample Text: I was sound asleep in my bed when Mother burst into my room.
She was already yelling as she hauled me out of bed. But it seems that Quirk and his co-author's defense of Crawford rests simply on the contention that Christina was a spoiled brat.
I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle. May 23, Lee Anne rated it liked it Shelves: books-about-joan. I am always the first person to say, and loudly, to anyone who will listen or not that Christina was an exaggerator and an ingrate, but this book has a genuine axe to grind no pun intended, "Bring me the axe! At first, I was thrilled to see Joan so vociferously defended, but as I went on, it became obvious that the authors could excuse away any imperious, catty, or demanding behavior Joan exhibited. Any celebrity who wrote a memoir in the post- Mommie Dearest era which included a negative story about Joan only did so because she was then an easy target, anything and everything Christina said was a lie because she was envious of her mother's stardom and resentful of Joan's ultimate rescinding of financial support.
They even claim Joan wasn't an alcoholic, almost immediately after recounting a story in which producers of one of her later films "The Caretakers" or "Berserk," I think ask that she refrain from sipping vodka all day to keep herself "peppy. I love her movies, good and bad; she was beautiful, glamorous, and loved a clean house and vodka. I've read countless biographies of her, and her life story, of a difficult childhood overcome by sheer will, is as familiar to me as my own life.
But there is no way she was an easy woman to be married to, work with, or be mothered by.
I love her despite that, and the authors one, Lawrence Quirk, knew Joan for the last 20 years or so of her life lacked a subjective eye. All that said, this book, which pays more attention to her films than most Quirk was also the author of The Films of Joan Crawford , a book I keep close by my DVR , frankly portrays Joan's love life and career, even if it does sugar coat most of her professional, non-sexual relationships. With her penchant for control, cleanliness, and sex, she reminded me of Martha Stewart as she was depicted in Jerry Oppenheimer's unauthorized biography Just Desserts.
And hmmmm, isn't that interesting? Apr 28, Robert rated it it was ok Shelves: biography , film-music-television , hollywood.
Agnes Academy. Book also annoyingly uses made-up dialogue. John Gilbert. Description: An overview of Joan's relationships with the many men and women in her life. Not price clipped.
A biographer should never be so shamelessly biased about their subject. Christina's book basically destroyed the elder Crawford's post-death reputation for a good few decades, but the veracity of her account has been under more and more scrutiny in the past decade. But here's the thing: all that A biographer should never be so shamelessly biased about their subject.
But here's the thing: all that happened between the two Crawfords can and never will truly be known by any of us, either way I suspect both parties had legit grievances. Up until his diatribe, I enjoyed this book for what it was: a light romp through Crawford's storied career though I generally found the reviews of Joan's films to be written in a pedestrian, puddle-deep manner. The title claims this as the "Essential Biography" of Joan Crawford and it's anything but; even Donald Spoto's tome wasn't this hagiographic.
Someday, perhaps a good, truly impartial writer will take on Crawford's life, warts and all. I'd really like to read that book. But for this one my final score is 2 out of 5 stars, and the second star is mostly for the excellent photos peppered throughout.
Feb 18, Katy St. Clair rated it it was ok. May 10, Tifnie rated it really liked it Shelves: biography. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I had no idea Joan Crawford Lucille LeSueur had a really hard life and she never really matured into a normal person. More on that in a moment. From a very early age her father left her, her mother and her brother. She was sexually abused at age 11 by her step father which started her whole promiscuous behavior toward not only men but women as well. Her mother kicked her out of the house and from then on she worked her ass off both horizontal as well as vertical.
Sex for her was seen as a means to an end and she had an insatiable appetite. Oozing sex appeal at a young age she made her way Hollywood and slept with everyone adopting the attitude much like a man. As she climbed the Hollywood ladder and made a name for herself her mother and brother returned to her life to leech money from her. Though the twins went on with their lives, Joan's oldest did not and continued to be supported by Joan for much of their lives. To the point of Joan downsizing when she got to be too old for Hollywood but still managed to pay her 2 first born's way until she cut them off and Mommy Dearest soon followed much to the dismay of many associates and close friends of Joan's.
Joan Crawford was beautiful and had this amazing drive to pull out of her station and rise to become a quite famous. Though the road was tough she continued to make movies. However, it appeared that Joan was constantly searching for that father figure, love and security she never had as a family. Thinking that sex got what you needed, it often ended just the same, alone. She reflected back while making an autobiography that she wouldn't change a thing and she went well into her 70's thinking she would still like to get between the sheet with more actors.
On to Bette Davis. May 27, Christie rated it liked it. This is more a biography that follows some of Joan Crawford's films and mentions events that occurred during the time of filming, this is not a detailed biography. Saying this it is not a bad read and does give some insight on the actress. As others stated there is an agenda against Christina, which is understandable because I do think her claims is exaggerated, and that does show through. If looking for something more in-depth I would suggest a different book but if you are looking for basic in This is more a biography that follows some of Joan Crawford's films and mentions events that occurred during the time of filming, this is not a detailed biography.
If looking for something more in-depth I would suggest a different book but if you are looking for basic information then give this book a try. Dec 30, Ashanti Miller rated it liked it. This book has a promising setup, but a slow "second act". However, once you get past Joan's dull early films and her return to MGM, events become more intriguing.
I think the author concentrates too much on Joan herself and neglects the people she worked with.