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Hedda Hopper (born Elda Furry) is a main character on the first season of Feud. She was an American actress and gossip columnist. After years of struggling as an actress, she was offered the chance to write the column Hedda Hopper's Hollywood for the Los Angeles Times in 1938, which skyrocketed her career.

She is portrayed by Judy Davis.[1]

Biography

Pilot

Hedda Hopper is a journalist and one of the latest and greatest gossip columnist during that time. Her magazines and other columns are greatly influential. This gossip columnist visits Joan Crawford before Joan gets cast in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? to get the scoop on how Joan felt about Marilyn Monroe’s Oscar’s win. Hedda is greeted at the front door by Joan’s personal attendant, Mamacita, who tells Hedda that Joan was busy getting ready and that she doesn’t see visitors at this time, but Hedda enters anyway, ignoring Mamacita. When Joan enters the sitting room or parlor, where Hedda was waiting, she tells the journalist that she doesn’t even let her family in at this hour. But, Hedda was too thirsty for the latest drama to care. According to one of Hedda’s contacts, Joan was seen after the Oscar’s, exiting the ceremonial auditorium in a “drunken fit”. Joan makes several excuses, struggling to defend herself from the ruthlessly nosy columnist. But, Hedda insists that she must print something on Joan, so Joan gives a monotonous announcement that “after mourning the death of her late husband, Alfred Steele (known greatly for his contributions to the Pepsi Cola company), she was ready to begin making pictures again.” Unsatisfied with the uneventful quote, Hedda asks for more, stating that, if Joan doesn’t give her anything juicier, she’d have to publicize the drunken scene after the Oscar’s. So, with no other choice, Joan spills all her feelings on Monroe’s win, stating that Monroe’s vulgarity was ruining the industry and that actresses should be role models, like her, Joan said. Hedda, finally satisfied, jokes that another large difference between Joan and Marilyn was that Marilyn was actually making pictures.

Later, after both Joan Crawford and Bette Davis had been cast for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Hedda invites the two of them to her home, which she nicknames “the house that fear built.” She offers them drinks and readily awaits the drama on their relationship on the set of the film. Bette, under her breath, warns Joan “it’s an ambush.” In other words, the two of them were to appear perfectly friendly to each other. So, the two actresses put on a fake show to defy Hedda’s nosiness and the three women have the rest of the dinner together as the night falls.

The Other Woman

Hedda attends a press meeting for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, in which she questions Bette Davis and Joan Crawford if the two of them were really getting along. In response to Hedda’s question, both actresses confirm the fact that they were getting along perfectly, “like a house on fire.” Hedda is evidently displeased and is ready to stir up some turmoil.

Eager to get all the dirt on Bette and Joan, Hedda agrees to meet Robert Aldrich, the director and supervisor of the two actresses in the film they were currently filming: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. While entering the restaurant, she waves to several patrons, including some by the names of Bill, Roger, Nancy, and Barbara. When she sits down with Bob, he begins by stating how thrilled he is to be working with two such brilliant actresses. Unfortunately, Hedda doesn’t buy it and asks for more, but when Bob tells her that it’s all he has, she tells him that he could become relevant again if he just gave her some juicy details on the Bette and Joan’s relationship. When he denies her any dirt, she begins to leave, but Bob stops her and tells her that he has something small, but that he didn’t want to be the source. Pleased, Hedda states that blind items are her specialty and opens her notebook, ready to listen. Bob dives right into the topic: Joan’s false breasts. Astounded and overjoyed by the new, juicy story, Hedda smiles and asks for more. Bob says that Bette complains about the perkiness of them. She especially worries that they may become a problem in the beach scene if she falls on them. Bette jokes that she may even break a tooth and that the fake breasts are “hot as rocks.” Hedda is more than happy and satisfied with this response and finishes up jotting down her notes, including the little joke about breaking a tooth. She then thanks Bob happily, but he doesn’t seem very happy with what he’s just done.

When Joan sees the column written by Hedda, she complains loudly to Bob, accusing Bette of leaking the information. Bette simply giggles, revealing that she’s always suspected the unusual appearance of Joan’s breasts. Angered, Joan phones Hedda’s arch enemy, Louella, to get revenge on both Hedda and Bette, and requests the columnist to write a column on Bette. Joan then says: “Bette Davis is old enough to be my mother.” And Louella when asks if she could quote Joan on this, Joan is all for it.

When Hedda sees the column Louella wrote on Joan’s opinions on Bette Davis, she is enraged and demands to see Joan immediately. She barges into Joan’s mansion, ignoring Mamacita as she tries to stop Hedda. Hedda then jumps right to the point, questioning Joan’s actions and the strength of their friendship. Joan brushes it off smoothly, and attempts to soothe Hedda by telling her that she was the only decent person in the industry and that, whenever Joan is having an unfortunate day, Hedda is always there, extending a hand. Joan reasons with a still fuming Hedda that she only published the quote through Louella to get Hedda’s attention in such a demanding time. Finally, Hedda simmers down to a last few bubbles as Joan orders Mamacita to bring drinks to the pool where the two of them would be, soaking up some Vitamin D. To Hedda, Joan says that they need to talk.

At the pool, Joan and Hedda arrange themselves under the shelter of a patio overhang, and Joan begins. She declares that she’s in great need of help. When Hedda begins to pull out her notepad, Joan interjects, saying that it wasn’t for publication, simply talking as a friend. She then tells Hedda that she’s broke, two million dollars in debt. She explains that when Alfred, her husband, died, all his debts were inherited by her. Flustered and taken aback, Hedda argues that Joan still owns Pepsi Cola, but, Joan responds saying that “Pepsi-Cola owns me.” At this point, Hedda is on the verge of tears of sympathy for her close friend and Mamacita calls both women over for drinks. While walking to Mamacita, Joan ponders how she could find a rich man for her. Hedda contradicts her, saying they don’t need men. The friends move on to talk about how women are oppressed in the film industry and Joan says Hedda is lucky she isn’t an actress. Hedda moves on to say that this town’s women are doomed.

The two of them sit at another patio lounge as Mamacita serves them their drinks. After thanking Mamacita, Joan continues, saying that she only wants a few more years, but she’s been sabotaged, by Bette Davis. To console Joan, Hedda reasons that Bette isn’t one of them, that she isn’t part of this town like they are. Hedda moves on to say that if Joan wins an Oscar for the film she was working on, she could easily run five more years with a decent amount of money to pay off some of the debt. Joan refuses to believe that she’d win an Oscar and that she wasn’t worthy any longer. But Hedda strongly disagrees, stating that she believed Joan could win and that her opinion is the only opinion that matters.

More, or Less

Hedda visits Joan after the special preview of Baby Jane’. Joan declares her anger over the way the critics were swooning over Bette’s performance, while there was nothing in the papers about her. Hedda first addresses the newspaper, claiming that the New York Times was untrustworthy. But, then moves on to assure Joan that Bette was just receiving praise from the critics, while the fans, young and old, were all Joan’s. Joan, unsatisfied, groans that, after all of the filming, she wishes the picture had been a flop so Bette wouldn’t have gotten all the praise, she also cries out in despair that Bette would surely get an Academy Award nomination. Desperate to cheer Joan up, Hedda responds by agreeing that Bette would receive a nomination, but so would Joan. And she reassured Joan that she would be the one to win.

And The Winner Is... (The Oscars of 1963)

Hedda and Joan meet at Joan's house to discuss how to sabotage Bette Davis's chance at a record-breaking third Oscar win. They decide to call all of the Academy members and campaign against Bette, by suggesting that they vote for one of the other candidates for Best Actress: Anne Bancroft, Geraldine Page, Katharine Hepburn, or Lee Remick. After all the calls, Joan and Hedda sit down by the pool. Joan discusses her worries, deeming the calling and campaigning useless and that Bette would always be luckier than her. Hedda forces Joan to look up and tells her that Bette wouldn't receive Best Actress and that Joan would.

Eventually, Hedda is proved correct, in a sense, for Joan ends up nosing her way into accepting the award for either Geraldine Page or Anne Bancroft. In the end, Anne Bancroft wins the award and Joan receives it for her.

Hagsploitation

Hedda visits Joan yet again and, as per the usual, Mamacita declares that Joan is busy resting for the long trip to Albuquerque the next day, on tour for her latest movie Strait-Jacket. Hedda insists on coming in and walks in on Joan taking a well-needed break from everything. Hedda apologizes, but Joan brushes it off, saying that she would always have a few minutes for Hedda. Suddenly vulnerable, Hedda collapses onto the floor for a quick breath. Astonished, Joan inquires as to what was wrong. Hedda reveals that she has a heart condition and that her first heart attack hit her a few days earlier. The doctor said that the next one could come on any time now. Sympathetic, Joan tries comforting Hedda and offers her a more comfortable place to sit.

Hedda begins to reflect on all her life's accomplishments. She questions if all of the work was worth it. Joan tells her to take happiness in all the careers Hedda's made, including Joan's. But, Hedda says that she would rather think about all the careers she's broken. And, surprisingly, she is happy with it. In a smooth change of subject, Hedda begins to think about a final scoop for her gossip column. She insists that Joan gives her some insight on a supposedly secret "stag film". Joan stands her ground and refuses to cooperate with Hedda. The two exchange angry looks, and, before Hedda can leave, she tells Joan that it is always better to cooperate.

Abandoned!

Hedda publishes a gossip article about the filming of Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte. The article describes many of the behind the scenes events including Joan’s admission to the hospital and how the crew for the film continues to work on the production without her with a step-in instead. After reading the article, Joan calls Hedda to have her publish a comment on the article and the events the article covered.

Appearances

Bette and Joan (7/8)

Trivia

  • Hopper is noted for her hats, which are considered her trademark, due to her taste for large, flamboyant ones.

Multimedia

Images

Pilot

Videos

References

Navigation

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