The fans were more loyal to her than any man would have been… or ultimately any child.
– Charles Busch (playwright)
For the whole duration of Joan’s career (which lasted for almost 50 decades), she never regarded her fans as, well, fans.
She considered them as her friends, some even became her penpals for years. She knew that the public helped in the creation of Joan Crawford, the movie star, that’s why she gave back to them by loving and cherishing them until her last days.
Truly devoted to her fans, Joan picked up the habit of answering each and every fan mail from fellow player, renowned actress Gloria Swanson. She discovered that Gloria has a list of her fans’ names and addresses, and that she replied to fan mails herself. Amazed by the actress’ dedication, Joan emulated this act for the rest of her life.
As we all know now, she religiously answered each and every fan mail that she got. Her replies were usually typewrittten and hand-signed, like this one (which I luckily obtained from a fellow Joanut):
Joan never disappointed her fans. From her stellar performances to public presence, she was always spot-on. Her friend, director Herbert Kenwith, said, “lf we went to the theater, she kept giving autographs until she got the last one done.” Really, I would give ANYTHING to travel back in time and experience this!
She really cared for her fans, and even though I didn’t live early enough to have my picture taken with Joan, I’m glad to know the wonderful legacy she left behind. 🙂
Happy blogging (and fangirling!)
(All photos from Joan Crawford Best… well except for the one with Joan’s letter and envelope in it— that’s mine)