Twilight TV Career of Joan Crawford
Intro May 2017
In a 1968 episode of The Lucy Show, the car that Lucy and Viv are driving breaks down on the road. The road is a mile or two from Joan Crawford’s house. There it was, three Hollywood legends, camping it up on primetime with a mediocre a script and hackneyed premise, to make a buck near the end of their careers.
Feud, the FX TV mini-series that detailed the development and release of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane has given students of Women in TV something to think about. When Joan Crawford needed to skewer her opponent Bette Davis in a vulnerable moment, Crawford reminded Davis of the small, mediocre roles she was playing on TV, like one episode of Perry Mason.
Ooooh, burn. In fact, the 60s were the decade where the first generation of movie stars either willingly or begrudgingly migrated to TV rather than allow themselves to be put out to pasture.
Interview with Bryan Johnson
[Conclusion CBA] Economics, pride, ego – if you enjoyed FX’s Feud as much as I did – it’s a reminder that the golden days of Hollywood left a lot of talent to sit on the shelf. That’s not so much the case today. Future installments of Advanced TV Herstory will explore other big names of the silver screen who successfully managed the transition to TV. Why did it happen for some and not for Crawford and Davis?
To recognize how far concentrated power in the industry has come, you need only look at the fact that Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, two actresses who’ve earned great praise for film work, portrayed the Hollywood legends on FX’s series.
Many thanks to Bryan Johnson for an informative interview and to David Brown, audio wizard for making it seem like we were at YOUR kitchen table drinking coffee… or a Tab. Audio clips from The Lucy Show – episode entitled Lucy and the Lost Star came from YouTube. The music contained in the new intro is Take Me Higher by Jahzzar, found at Free Music Archive. Org. We love Free Music Archive !
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I’m your host, Cynthia Bemis Abrams.