Joan Crawford’s crush on Bette Davis also fueled feud, says new book by Davis confidante

circa 1935: Joan Crawford (1904 - 1977) the screen name of Lucille Le Sueur who was also known for a time as Billie Cassin. An American leading lady and one of Hollywood's most durable stars. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

For decades it’s been assumed that Bette Davis and Joan Crawford hated each other because of professional rivalry and because they came from contrasting backgrounds and characters.

Davis was a New England-born, classically trained stage actress, while Crawford was a social-climbing survivor of a hardscrabble Texas childhood who was assumed by Davis to have used her looks and sexuality to get movie roles.

More recently, it’s been revealed that the feud was sparked by the Oscar-winning actresses being in love with the same man back in the 1930s — with Davis losing to Crawford.

And now, Davis’ loyal assistant, who worked for Davis in the final 10 years of her life, has confirmed another feud origin story, a story that was actually advanced by Davis herself before she died in 1989.

Joan Crawford in 1935. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

The story is that Crawford was infatuated with Davis, but that the firmly heterosexual Davis rebuffed Crawford’s overtures, according to Kathryn Sermak, the author of the new book “Miss D and Me: Life with the Invincible Bette Davis.”

“Joan did have a crush on Miss Davis, but Miss Davis is a man’s woman,” said Sermak in an interview with Vanity Fair. Sermak began working for Davis as a 22-year-old recent college graduate and was with her until Davis’ death in 1989.

Davis originally dished about Crawford’s crush on her in a 1987 interview with journalist Michael Thornton, who addressed it this past spring in a story he wrote for the Daily Mail.

Thornton’s story was timed for the premiere of “Feud: Bette and Joan,” the acclaimed eight-part FX series produced and directed by Ryan Murphy.

“Feud” is nominated for 18 Emmy Awards, including for Best Limited Series and acting nods for Susan Sarandon (who plays Davis) and Jessica Lange (who plays Crawford).

Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford in FX’s
“Feud: Bette and Joan.” (FX)

“Feud” is set in 1962, the year in which Davis and Crawford made their only film together, “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?”

As “Feud” shows, the horror melodrama involved quite a bit of melodrama to make, with both actresses seeing the film as a chance to resurrect their careers, which were battered by a movie industry that has always shown little regard for mature female stars.

In spite of the professionalism that both actresses reportedly brought to making “Baby Jane,” “Feud” shows that their efforts at

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment

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