Happy 106th birthday to the sensational Joan Crawford. (March 23, 1906 - May 10, 1977) NOTE: Although birth years of 1904, 1905, and 1908 have all been mentioned for Miss Crawford, I am going with the birth year of 1906 based on information obtained from The Legendary Joan Crawford website (HERE).
Born Lucille Fay LeSueur, Miss Crawford began her career as a dancer and, among other "gigs," was part of a chorus line. After getting her start in silent films, she successfully made the transition to "talkies" and was one of the biggest female stars of the early-to-mid 1930's.
The Academy Award-winning Joan (who, by the way, just upset top seed Barbara Stanwyck in the All Good Things Classic Movie Actress Tournament) is one of those stars for whom I have only recently developed an appreciation. Though I had seen two or three of her films a couple years ago, it's only been in the last eight months that I have really come to love her. So in the past eight months, she's gone from not even being on my radar to being in my top 15. Definitely...a gal on the move!! Since I lean to dramatic films over comedic ones---and since Joan excelled at high drama---it is natural that I would enjoy her works.
Of the dozen or so Joan Crawford films I've seen, my all-time favorite is Mildred Pierce...the film for which she received her Best Actress Academy Award.
Rounding out my list of five favorite Joan Crawford films are:
2. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (with Bette Davis)
3. Possessed (with Van Heflin and Raymond Massey---reviewed HERE)
4. Humoresque (with John Garfield---reviewed HERE)
5. Female on the Beach (with Jeff Chandler---reviewed HERE)
Since Miss Crawford has only recently come onto my "favorites list," there are many of her films I haven't seen yet; therefore, this list of favorites will probably change as I see more of her works. I am especially intrigued to see her eight collaborations with Clark Gable and her seven with one-time husband, Franchot Tone.
So, Miss Joan Crawford, here's to you on your 106th birthday! You were a terrific actress, and I'm really enjoying the opportunity of seeing all your wonderful films.