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Joan Crawford Biography

Birth Name:
Lucille Fay LeSueur
Birth Place:
San Antonio, Texas, United States

Fast Facts

  • Introduced to showbiz at an early age by her stepfather, who was a vaudeville theater manager
  • Dance lessons led to work on Broadway and in nightclubs as a teenager, performing under the name Billie Cassin
  • Although she was initially credited with her given name Lucille LeSueur, MGM later dubbed her Joan Crawford after a nationwide publicity contest
  • With more than 20 films under her belt, broke out as a star in 1928's Our Dancing Daughters
  • Labeled "box-office poison" by an exhibitors' poll in 1938
  • Was released from MGM by Louis B
  • Mayer, but regained her stature at Warner Bros
  • , which led to an Oscar-winning performance in 1945's Mildred Pierce
  • After three failed marriages to actors, wed Pepsi-Cola chairman Alfred Steele in 1956 and became active on the company's board of directors
  • In 1968, at the age of 60, she appeared on the soap The Secret Storm, substituting for her ailing daughter Christina, 30 years her junior
  • Appeared in the 1969 pilot of Rod Serling's anthology series Night Gallery
  • Her segment was directed by newcomer Steven Spielberg
  • After her death, her adopted daughter Christina published a scathing tell-all book, Mommie Dearest


  • 1964BAFTA Film Awards-Best Foreign Actress: nominated
  • 1953Golden Globe-Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture - Drama: nominated
  • 1952Oscar-Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: nominated
  • 1947Oscar-Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: nominated
  • 1945Oscar-Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: winner
  • 1945National Board of Review-Best Actress: winner