D is for the Divine Feud: Bette and Joan’s Famous Rivalry

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Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s much-publicized feud is one of Hollywood’s most famous scandals ever.

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They were two legendary queens with almost the same qualities (they’re both Aries; strong and independent, but weak and in desperate need of love) and personal battles (both have daughters whom they had problems with, and were married more than twice). Their feud became bigger than them— sprawling a number of controversies and exchange of insults over the years.

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This so-called “queen rivalry” became worse when they were teamed up in the 1962 classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? People were shocked and glad at the same time; seeing the queens portray their disdain at each other on the big screen sure was a delight to audiences.

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But, as much as people love a juicy gossip, I can’t bring myself to believe that Joan and Bette really hated each other. I think this whole feud was just a lie— a story cooked up by reporters to milk some cash.

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I’m not saying that they didn’t hate each other at all, though. Sure, they weren’t the best of chums, but they were casual to each other. They respected each other’s craft and talents. But going back… they weren’t really good friends, not as good as Joan and Barbara Stanwyck, or Bette and Olivia de Havilland.

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What was the reason behind their feud? It isn’t even clear up to now. Some sources claim that Franchot Tone (Joan’s second husband and Bette’s co-star in Dangerous (1935)) was the root cause of their hatred to each other, because at the time, Bette was in love with Franchot, who was pursuing Joan then (and will soon marry).

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However, some say that the reason why they hate each other is because of Joan’s upstaging in a party for newcomers in the mid-30s. Other sources state that it was because of their clashing personalities (just because they’re so alike).

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Nobody really knows how their “feud” began. But one thing’s for certain: it’s one of those Hollywood things that people will never, ever forget.

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I just wish, at some point, they became close friends… don’t we (OH fans) all? ❤

Happy blogging (and fangirling!)

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(Photos from Joan Crawford Best, Cake Chooser, Jake Weird and Daily Mail)

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11 thoughts on “D is for the Divine Feud: Bette and Joan’s Famous Rivalry

  1. Considering they apparently didn’t like each other very much, they spend a lot of time in those photos together smiling. I guess we’ll never really know because it would have been an image created by the media who could use it to spin a story, just like they continue to do today. 🙂

    Cait @ Click’s Clan

    • I agree. It’s really hard to believe what the media sends out to the public. Whether the feud was true or not, I still wish that, at some point, they became best friends. Haha. Thanks for visiting and reading Cait! 🙂

  2. What wonderful photos of these two women and Hollywood Stars. I enjoyed reading your review of their on-off relationship. I am visiting from the Co-Host AJ Lauer’s Team to welcome you to the 2015 Challenge. Hope the first week has been a good one for you. Keep up the good work.
    Sue at CollectInTexas Gal
    AtoZ 2015 Challenge
    Minion for AJ’s wHooligans

  3. I bet they, or their agents, realised that they could get more media mileage over milking a mild dislike of each other. And it certainly makes “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?” more fun to watch!

  4. Pingback: Reflection: A-Z Blogging Challenge ’15 | Etcetera

  5. It does sound like something constructed for the media. Probably they didn’t particulalry like each other. Happens a lot in show-biz. But they probably also didn’t hate each other the way the media made it out.
    It must be tough, living in such an environment.

    • I agree. I believe they weren’t good friends, but they weren’t each other’s enemies. That’s a big statement to make. Shame on the media… ironically, I’m a Journalism graduate. Haha. Oh well. And yes, it must be so tough. Hollywood is a rough business, and one must be tougher than nails to survive. So kudos to Bette and Joan!

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