The Enduring Rivalry
One of the most famous Hollywood feuds ever was between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Their decades-long saga even inspired a miniseries called “Feud: Bette and Joan.” In 1962, they starred in “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” portraying rival sisters, marking the peak of their tumultuous relationship.
The Feud Begins: A Clash of Careers
The notorious rivalry traces back to 1933, with Davis being a fresh face in Hollywood and Crawford an established star since 1925. A pivotal moment occurred when Davis, through “Ex-Lady,” anticipated a career milestone. Yet, Crawford’s divorce announcement overshadowed Davis’s achievement, sparking the flame of competition.
Love Lost: Crawford’s Marriage to Franchot Tone
Two years later, Crawford seemingly triumphed again by marrying Franchot Tone, whom Davis loved. Despite Davis being married, her feelings for Tone were no secret. In a candid interview years later, Davis expressed her enduring bitterness, stating, “She took him from me. She did it coldly, deliberately and with complete ruthlessness. I have never forgiven her for that and never will.”
Academy Awards Showdowns: Frosty Exchanges
The tension escalated at the 1936 Academy Awards when Davis won Best Actress for “Dangerous.” Crawford’s cold demeanor and sarcastic comment about Davis’s attire marked a memorable clash. Another face-off occurred at the 1963 Oscars when Crawford, not nominated, schemed against Davis, who was up for “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” Despite Davis losing, she had the last word.
The Final Blow: Bette Davis’ Callous Farewell
In 1977, Joan Crawford passed away, and Bette Davis seized the opportunity for a parting shot. Davis was quoted saying, “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good … Joan Crawford is dead. Good.” This callous remark closed the chapter on their tumultuous relationship, leaving an indelible mark on Hollywood history.
Conclusion: A Hollywood Feud for the Ages
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s feud was more than a Hollywood spectacle; it was a tale of two legends entangled in jealousy, competition, and bitterness. Despite the passage of time, their rivalry continues to be a captivating chapter in the annals of Hollywood, forever etched in the memories of those who witnessed the clash of these iconic actresses.