Bette Davis and Joan Crawford’s much-publicized feud is one of Hollywood’s most famous scandals ever.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
I just wish, at some point, they became close friends… don’t we (OH fans) all? ❤
Happy blogging (and fangirling!)
(Photos from Joan Crawford Best, Cake Chooser, Jake Weird and Daily Mail)