Hardcover Book Details
- 336 Pages
- Illustrated in B&W
- Released: February 1, 2011
- Originally Released: 2010
- Publisher: Hutchinson (London)
Description by OLDIES.com:
Joan Crawford was a complex, contradictory, driven human being, but not the alcoholic, sadistic monster depicted in the notorious book, Mommie Dearest, which appeared a year after her death. In some ways, Donald Spoto's Possessed is the ultimate Hollywood book - about a young woman, poor, abandoned by her father, but determined at all costs to succeed . Born in Texas, Lucille Fay LeSueur escaped destitution by becoming a popular dancer and then managed to make the decisive leap that transformed her into a luminous, unique star of the screen. She became Joan Crawford. There were many important men in her life, not least Clark Gable, with whom she appeared in eight pictures and with whom she conducted a thirty-year affair. She was married four times, once to the debonair Douglas Fairbanks Jr, unaware that he had failed to discontinue his relationship with Marlene Dietrich. Dancer, dramatic actress, businesswoman, corporate executive with Pepsi-Cola, Joan Crawford during her lifetime (1906 - 1977) was rarely out of the news. With the use of only recently opened archives and personal papers, Donald Spoto probes behind the lurid headlines to bring us Joan Crawford, the private person as well as the movie legend.
Joan Crawford was one of the most incandescent film stars of all time, yet she was also one of the most misunderstood. In this brilliantly researched, 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 woman whose 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.