Lucille Fay LeSueur aka Joan Crawford was born March 23, 1906 in San Antonio, Texas. A step father renamed her Billie Cassin and she went to work in a laundry. An amateur dance contest winner in 1923 led her to Chicago, New York and Detroit for chorus work. In 1925 she left for Hollywood and a Photoplay contest gave her the name Joan Crawford. Our Dancing Daughters in 1928 made her a star. During the 1930s Crawford was one of the biggest stars at MGM. She played in Grand Hotel in 1932, Sadie McKee in 1934, No More ladies in 1935 and Love on the Run in 1936. By the 1940s however, newcomers where making more films than Crawford until Mildred Pierce in 1945. This film garnered Crawford an Oscar.
Crawford appeared in Humoresque in 1945 and Possessed in 1947. She was nominated for an Oscar for this film. She played Myra Hudson in Sudden Fear in 1952 and was again nominated for an Oscar.
Crawford made more than 70 films, married Alfred Steele chairman of Pepsi-Cola, and adopted four children. In 1962 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? reinvented her career, but the next several roles were awful. Crawford retired form film and devoted herself to Christian Science and vodka. Her final appearance was in Trog in 1970; this film flopped.
Crawford died on May 10, 1977 of cancer. She was 72. Crawford had four husbands: Douglas Fairbanks Jr. from 1929 until 1933, Franchot Tone from 1935 until 1939, Phillip Terry from 1942 until 1946 (one child), Alfred Steele from 1956 until his death in 1959. She adopted four children two of whom she disinherited.