'She'd kill you' Joan Crawford shuts down interviewer over Bette Davis nickname


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Joan Crawford was an Oscar-winning actress, dancer and executive, who was best known for films like, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Mildred Pierce. Despite working alongside Bette Davis for a number of years, it was widely reported that the Hollywood legends didn’t have the best of friendships, and their feud lasted up until their deaths.

In an episode of BBC Four’s Talking Pictures, the programme looks at unearthed footage of the duo during the height of their careers.

As well as showing clips of the pair working together, it also shared an insight into the actresses’ family lives.

In one interview with Film Profile from 1967, Joan opened up about what it was like working with Bette.

When asked about her feud with her co-star, the interviewer pronounced Bette’s name in a different way.

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Shutting down the interviewer instantly, Joan explained Bette would hate for her name to be said in that way.

“She’d killed you if she heard you say, Bette,” the actress explained. “She’s a fascinating actress, Bette Davis.

“I didn’t have time to be friends with her because we only did the one picture movie.”

Meanwhile, Joan went on to discuss one scene she hated doing in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

“But something went wrong technically with the camera and I said, ‘Don’t take the lid off. Take it away’.”

Despite the mishap, Joan remained professional and continued with the scene as if nothing had happened.

She recalled: “I still kept the emotion ready for it, and when the technical things were fixed… the camera and the lights, then we went in and away we went… take one.

“I think if you rehearse too much with the actual rodent, I almost said animal because it looks so big.


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