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Legendary Joan Crawford / Cultperson

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Rumours of Joan Crawford’s freewheeling sex life had circulated Hollywood for many years. The star of such classics as Mildred Pierce, The Women and Grand Hotel conducted relationships with many of her directors and leading men. As we will see, these ranged from a disastrous liaison with Spencer Tracy to a deep bond with Clark Gable which lasted more than 30 years.

Although she was undoubtedly an exceedingly sensual woman, with no inhibitions, there was a darker reason for this seduction of her male colleagues. ‘She was trying to take control of me and the film,’ recalled actor-director Vincent Sherman, one of many who suspected Crawford of turning her sexual wiles to professional advantage.

If by doing so she could persuade directors to favour her with more close-ups shots, and render her male co-stars less likely to upstage her, Crawford saw this as all to the good. After all, her life-long project was to maintain her image as Joan Crawford the movie star, an ambition given unstoppable momentum by the misery of her childhood.

Her father deserted the family home shortly after Crawford was born in San Antonio, Texas, in 1906. As a child, Crawford (then called Lucille LeSueur) was treated as a skivvy by her laundress mother, fondled by one of her stepfathers, and frequently beaten. She never forgot her feelings of loneliness and isolation.

‘I never had any close chums,’ she recalled. ‘I was “different” because my mother wasn’t a very good seamstress, so my dresses were always too long or too short. I yearned to be famous, just to make the kids who had laughed at me feel foolish.’

As she blossomed into a beautiful teenager, with flame-red hair, expressive blue eyes and shapely legs, she soon attracted a different kind of attention. Dancing in a Chicago strip club at the age of 17, she later joined the chorus of a Broadway show in which she was spotted...


Продолжение читайте в журнале English4U №3 (март 2011) на который можно подписаться или купить здесь.

08 апреля 2011

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