What Ever Happened to Mommie Dearest?
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Joan Crawford’s Descent
into Horror & Beyond

 

Fifty years ago in 1962 What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? offered a new lease on life to the careers of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, as well as numerous other aging actresses.  A new brand of horror films offered the actresses work, and opportunity to reach their fans, and a much-needed income – Joan Crawford, above all others, welcomed the opportunity.

For Crawford it meant a chance to wipe away a mountain of debt that hung over her upon the death of her last husband, Pepsi-Cola executive Alfred Steele.  While few biographers detail Crawford’s later work, a new book from Aplomb Publishing takes an in-depth look at Crawford’s later years, her desire to put herself on sound financial footing, and the horror genre that welcomed her with open arms.

What Ever Happened to Mommie Dearest:  Joan Crawford’s Descent into Horror and Beyond tracks Crawford’s life and career upon the death of her husband in 1959 through her death in 1977 offering rare insights and details into her films, TV work and personal life.

The book tackles all the films, from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? to Strait-Jacket, I Saw What You Did, Berserk!, Trog, and more.  It also offers rare details on the ill-fated filming of Hush … Hush, Sweet Charlotte, an attempted sequel to Baby Jane by teaming Crawford and
Davis together again. “Crawford
agreed to do the film and even
began work on the picture, but
bowed out after work with Davis
became too difficult,” says Law.

In addition to her film work, the title looks at her work with a young Steven Spielberg on his first TV project for NBC’s Night Gallery TV series, and several projects that never came to pass.

The title of the book is twist on the name of the infamous tell-all book by Crawford’s eldest Daughter. But the new title focuses on how Crawford found herself in serious debt following the death of her husband, Pepsi executive Alfred Steele. That debt drove her to make decisions that would ensure her financial security for the remainder of her life and Baby Jane was the one film that really turned her around financially and set the course for the career that followed.

 

Featured Content

  1. 1.Look Inside the Book

  2. 2.Listen to an audiocast on the book

  3. 3.What Ever Happened to Baby Jane Podcast

  4. 4.Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte Podcast

  5. 5.Berserk Podcast

  6. 6.Strait-Jacket

  7. 7.I Saw What You Did


Related Links

In addition to a print and eBook version, Aplomb Publishing has produced a special “Enhanced Edition” for Apple iPad that offers rare Joan Crawford audio from interviews conducted in the mid-1970, allowing Crawford’s own words to come to life in discussing her life and her career. The enhanced eBook is available through iBookstore.



 
Enhanced on iTunes with audio commentary from Joan herselfhttp://itunes.apple.com/us/book/what-ever-happened-to-mommie/id505826337?mt=11