| Lucille Fay LeSueur, known as|
|Born|| March 23, c. 1904 |
San Antonio, Texas
|Died|| May 10, 1977 (aged 73) |
Manhattan, New York City
|Spouse|| (1) Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (married 1929-1933, divorced)|
(2) Franchot Tone (married 1935-1939, divorced)
Joan Crawford, originally Lucille Fay LeSueur (March 23, c. 1904 – May 10, 1977), was an American actress who became a director of the Pepsi-Cola Corporation after the death in 1959 of her fourth husband, company executive Alfred Steele.
Crawford began her acting career as a dancer on Broadway in New York City. She appeared on radio and starred in a large number of films, perhaps the most remembered is the horror picture, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, in which she appeared on screen in 1962 with her long-time rival, Bette Davis. She appeared three times in Ronald W. Reagan's General Electric Theater, an anthology television series on CBS. She was cast in two episodes of Dick Powell's Zane Grey Theater: "Rebel Range" (1959) and "One Must Die" (1961), a CBS western series. In 1963, she was cast as Morgan Harper in the episode "Same Picture, Different Frame" of the CBS drama, Route 66. In 1968, Crawford appeared in five episodes of the CBS former daytime drama, The Secret Storm. That same year, she appeared as herself on Lucille Ball's CBS situation comedy, The Lucy Show, in the episode "Lucy and the Lost Star." Her last film was the 1970 British horror picture, Trog. That same year, she appeared on NBC's The Virginian western series as Stephanie White in the episode "Nightmare".
She was estranged from her two older adopted children, Christina and Christopher, who she omitted in her will. Christina wrote a "tell-all" book in 1978 entitled Mommie Dearest, in which she alleged that Crawford was an abusive, alcoholic mother more interested in her film career than her children. Crawford's two youngest daughters, Cindy and Cathy, and some of Crawford's Hollywood associates, including Katharine Hepburn and Cesar Romero, expressed doubt about the book. However, Betty Hutton and Helen Hayes claimed to have witnessed abusive behavior by Crawford.
Crawford was a Democrat who particularly admired U.S. Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy, whom she believed were interested in the needs of the laboring class of Americans into which Crawford was born in San Antonio, Texas.
All four of Crawford's marriages ended after four years. Crawford's cremains are interred along with fourth husband, Alfred Steele, at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York.