Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford

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9780061856006: Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford

New York Times bestselling author Donald Spoto has already brilliantly explored the lives and careers of numerous Hollywood stars and entertainment icons—Grace Kelly, James Dean, Alfred Hitchcock, and Marilyn Monroe, to name but a few. In Possessed, his subject is the inimitable Joan Crawford, one of the most electrifying divas of the Golden Age of American film. A more thorough, revealing, and sympathetic portrait of the often maligned movie star—most notably lambasted, perhaps, in the scandalous bestseller, Mommy DearestPossessed is a fascinating study of the real Joan Crawford, a remarkable actress, businesswoman, mother, and lover.

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From the Back Cover:

Joan Crawford was one of the most incandescent film stars of all time, yet she was also one of the most misunderstood. In this brilliantlyresearched, thoughtful, and intimate biography, bestselling author Donald Spoto goes beyond the popular caricature—the abusive, unstable mother portrayed in her adopted daughter Christina Crawford’s memoir, Mommie Dearest—to give us a three-dimensional portrait of a very human woman, her dazzling career, and her extraordinarily dramatic life and times.

Based on new archival information and exclusive interviews, and written with Spoto’s keen eye for detail, Possessed offers a fascinating portrait of a courageous, highly sexed, and ambitious womanwhose strength and drive made her a forerunner in the fledgling film business. From her hardscrabble childhood in Texas to her early days as a dancer in post–World War I New York to her rise to stardom,Spoto traces Crawford’s fifty years of memorable performances in classics like Rain, The Women, Mildred Pierce, and Sudden Fear, which are as startling and vivid today as when they were filmed.

In Possessed, Spoto goes behind the myths to examine the rise and fall of the studio system; Crawford’s four marriages; her passionate thirty year, on-and-off-again affair with Clark Gable; her friendships and rivalries with other stars; her powerful desire to become a mother; the truth behind the scathing stories in her daughter Christina’s memoir; and her final years as a widow battling cancer. Spoto explores Crawford’s achievements as an actress, her work with Hollywood’s great directors (Frank Borzage, George Cukor, Otto Preminger) and actors (Henry Fonda, James Stewart, Spencer Tracy, John Barrymore), and later, her role as a highly effective executive on the board of directors of Pepsi-Cola.

Illuminating and entertaining, Possessed is the definitive biography of this remarkable woman and true legend of film.

About the Author:

Donald Spoto has written two dozen bestselling biographies of film and theater stars—among them Grace Kelly, Alfred Hitchcock, Tennessee Williams, Ingrid Bergman, and Marilyn Monroe. Born in Westchester County, near New York City, he now lives in Denmark.

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