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This character is based on a real person. Click here to read about her.
Bette Davis looks old enough to be my mother.
—Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford (born Lucille Fay LeSueur) is a main character and one of the protagonists of the first season of Feud, which focuses on her rivalry with Bette Davis. She was an American film and television actress who began her career as a dancer and stage showgirl.

She is portrayed by Jessica Lange.[1]

Biography

Pilot

Olivia de Havilland, a friend of Bette Davis, gives an interview describing the infamous feud between Bette and Joan as one about pain rather than hatred.

Joan is seen attending the Golden Globes, where she is annoyed by the victory of Marilyn Monroe. She leaves in a drunk fit, spotted by multiple members of the press.

Hedda Hopper visits her home looking to talk to Joan and get a headline, or else she will default to posting a story about Joan's departure from the Golden Globes and other gossip. Joan, not wanting what she claims to be "lies" published, gives Hedda a quote saying that the people want wholesome actors like Joan instead of ones like Monroe.

Desiring to work in film again, Joan visits Marty to get a role. While he sends scripts over to her, she refuses all of them, as the scripts place her in roles like "Elvis' grandmother" and are unappealing to her. Marty tells her that it is all he has for her.

Displeased with this, she sends her housekeeper Mamacita to find books for her to get ideas from. One in particular stood out to the two - What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. She sends the book over to Robert Aldrich, who decides to give the idea a shot. He visits Joan at her home, and she says that he will have to give into her demands, and that she has the "perfect" co-star for the film - Bette Davis.

Joan goes to see The Night of Iguana, a play starring Bette Davis, in order to convince her to join the film. She tells Bette that the times have changed for both the film industry and for them, and that they need each other and this film. In order to persuade her further, she also offers the lead character, "Baby Jane", to Bette.

After Robert Aldrich convinces Jack Warner to distribute the film, the two women meet for a public signing of contracts. While initially excited, Joan notices that Bette is being paid 600 more dollars in expenses per week than she is, and leaves without signing the contract. Aldrich notices this and Joan tells him that the whole film project was her idea and that she deserves more. While he says he will get it fixed, she says that the issue is a matter of trust, rather than solely the money.

Joan Blondell gives an interview and describes Joan as a woman who succeeded in the 50s, while most struggled. She also describes Joan's marriage with Alfred Steele as a then-relief to her forty years of consecutive work and financial worries.

All throughout the night, Joan complains about Bette to Peter. While Peter thinks the two women should be friends, Joan says that all she wants from Bette (and other actresses) is respect, not friendship.

On the day filming begins, Joan, with the assistance of Mamacita, gives gifts to the film's crew. She arrives at her dressing room and is unhappy to find it being "small and dirty," but deals with it regardless. As Bette arrives on set, she notices the gifts Joan gave to the crew members and tells her daughter that Joan is doing it in order to get better lighting and treatment.

Bette visits Joan in her room, and notices that Joan is nervous to work again after three years. Bette tells Joans that she wants her to give it her all, because when she does, she does it well. While this makes Joan happy, Bette then proceeds to insult her shoulders and lips, beginning the tension between the two on set.

After getting into her "Blanche" outfit, Joan notices Bette and Aldrich talking to each other and asks them if they are talking about her. While Aldrich denies it, Bette admits to it, claiming to be giving input to him to help Joan. Upset by this, Joan tells Aldrich to take Bette back to her dressing room to prepare for her scenes or else she will walk off set.

As filming begins, Joan is still nervous, but is able to nail her part. Feeling reinvigorated, she says she wants to film the next scene immediately. During a break between scenes, Joan is giving input on the script to Aldrich when Bette walks out in her self-designed "Baby Jane" outfit. While Joan thinks that she looks ridiculous, the crew, including Aldrich, loves the look.

Joan, along with Aldrich, Pauline Jameson, and Bette, attends a viewing of the scenes shot so far. Joan is unhappy with some aspects of the shots, such as the lighting. While Aldrich tells her that the film has yet to be balanced, she chooses to leave early.

Hedda invites Joan and Bette over to her home for dinner, however, the two women find that they are alone with Hedda, who is looking for drama to write about. Instead, they decide to tell her only exaggerated, positive things about working together.

Profile

Relationships

Appearances

Bette and Joan (8/8)

Multimedia

Images

Pilot

Videos

References

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