26 April 2010

Famous Feuds: Bette Davis vs. Joan Crawford

Why am I so good at playing bitches? I think it's because I'm not a bitch. Maybe that's why Miss Crawford always plays ladies. - Bette Davis
The origin of the Davis-Crawford dispute was over a man – actor Franchot Tone. While Bette Davis was filming “Dangerous” (1935) opposite Tone, she fell in love with him, unaware that he was involved with Joan Crawford at the time. When she found out, animosity sparked. Davis was later quoted as saying about Crawford, “...She’s slept with every male star in MGM except Lassie.” Crawford attempted to become friends with Davis, but unfortunately, the damage was done.

It was not until both were older and lost their star power that the studios invested in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” (1962). Working so closely together on a project gave both actresses the chance to wreak havoc on one another for years of animosity. In one scene, Davis apparently kicked Crawford so hard that Joan ended up in the hospital with bruises and a concussion. When asked about working with Joan Crawford on the film, Bette Davis has commented: “The best time I ever had with Joan was when I pushed her down the stairs.”