Joan Crawford and Bette Davis Fought Over a Man on the Set of ‘What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone attend an event in Los Angeles, California.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford each had storied careers, busy social lives, and the adoration of followers the world over. Two of the world’s authentic film stars, Davis and Crawford, solely ever starred in a single film collectively. The pair’s movie, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, is taken into account a traditional, however the two famed actresses have been really feuding on the set of the film. In truth, Davis and Crawford had a feud that spanned a number of a long time. Their distaste for one another will be traced again to a person.

Bette Davis claimed Joan Crawford stole Franchot Tone from her

Crawford, identified for her a number of marriages, started seeing Franchot Tone whereas he was working with Davis on the set of Dangerous. Davis, who admitted to being head-over-heels in love with Tone, claimed Crawford solely confirmed curiosity within the rising star after discovering Davis had her eye on him. Davis was so shocked and heartbroken that she talked about Tone and Crawford years after they each died.

Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone attend an event in Los Angeles, California.
Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone | William Grimes/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

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Tone and Crawford married in 1935 however divorced 4 years later. Tone went on to marry three extra instances earlier than his dying in 1968. Crawford, who had been married as soon as earlier than Tone, went on to marry Phillip Terry in 1942. They divorced in 1946. In 1955 she married Alfred Steele. Steele, an govt at Pepsi, died instantly of a coronary heart assault in 1959. He was married to Crawford on the time of his dying. Crawford’s eldest little one has questioned the validity of his explanation for dying.  

The feud was nonetheless simmering when Davis and Crawford starred in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Together

By the time Davis and Crawford appeared in a movie collectively, the connection that reportedly began the feud had been over for nearly 30 years. It didn’t matter a lot to Davis, although. Davis acknowledged in interviews, years after the very fact, that she would by no means forgive Crawford for her love affair with Tone.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in between scenes from the film 'What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?'Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in between scenes from the film 'What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?'
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

Crawford, who is claimed to have satisfied Davis to star within the movie together with her, knew that there was significantly unhealthy emotions on Davis’ half. According to the Telegraph, Crawford was so scared of Davis that she requested a physique double throughout key scenes of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. Allegedly, she was afraid that Davis would take a possibility to harm her throughout the place Davis’ character, Jane Hudson, beat Crawford’s character, Blanche.

Davis was nonetheless speaking concerning the feud lengthy after Crawford’s dying

Crawford’s dying in 1977 did nothing to squash the feud. The 2017 miniseries, Feud: Bette and Joan, centered in on Davis and Crawford’s rivalry. According to the sequence, when Davis was knowledgeable of Crawford’s dying, she mentioned, “You should never say bad things about the dead, only good… Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”

Bette Davis attends the American Film Institute Party on March 11, 1987 at Kat Mantilini Restaurant in Beverly Hills, CaliforniaBette Davis attends the American Film Institute Party on March 11, 1987 at Kat Mantilini Restaurant in Beverly Hills, California
Bette Davis | Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection through Getty Images

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10 years after Crawford’s dying, Davis sat down for an interview with Bryant Gumbel. By then, Davis was 79, however she was nonetheless keen to speak about Crawford. She did provide a minor praise, claiming that Crawford was an expert on the set. Of Crawford, Davis mentioned she confirmed up on time and knew her strains. Later, she alleged that Crawford purposefully campaigned to make sure Davis didn’t obtain an Academy Award for her work in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?. The yr Davis was nominated, Crawford accepted the award for an absentee Anna Bancroft. 

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