Exactly when did Joan Crawford change her appearance drastically?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by elegant20, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. elegant20

    Gold Member

    Apr 23, 2008
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    Could it have been sometime in the 40s that her look became clowinish, ala Max Factor freezing her look permanently? Though I know she had her teeth capped sometime in the 30s, but I was just wondering which look was the most drastic change of it all? Michael Jackson itself....well, that's easy......just a little curious about what sort of surgeries she had over the years. A post from a while back mentoned her teeth were capped. Though I was wondering if she had cheek implants as well. Just wondering, that's all. It is kind of weird that Joan's look in the 20s and early 30s looked nothing like the Joan of the later years. Very completely different person. While I know that some of these old stars from that era did had some work done over the years, I was wondering if Joan did some surgery over the years.
  2. B_Stronzo

    B_Stronzo New Member

    Dec 29, 2005
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    Plimoth Plantation
    Max Factor didn't freeze Joan's looks. Joan did.

    Joan (aka Lucille Fay LeSueur 1905 -1977) was paranoically afraid of aging.

    She'd been arguably the loveliest woman in 1930s Hollywood.

    At the dawn of the 1940s Joan was already thirty-five. A new batch of MGM beauties was waiting in the wings to eagerly take Joan's place. Joan would have none of it but in hardening her appearance from the Art Deco look of th 30s (which so suited her) she began to become a caricature of herself.

    Say what you will about Crawford but she reinvented herself as many times as she needed to in order to remain marketable.

    By the time of her Oscar winning role in Mildred Pierce (1945) Joan was forty-one.

    She was still (from an aesthetic point of view) visually stunning. The late photographer George Hurrell said "Joan had no bad angles and the camera loved her".

    But but by that time Joan had hardened and it became manifest in her looks. She was no longer the ingenue.

    She had become the Joan Crawford of Mommie Dearest infamy ... she was all shoulders and long torso and over-drawn eyebrows.

    To respond to your I present:

    Joan in 1931

    Joan in 1944

    In the 1931 photo Joan's soft and her looks give themselves to the era like no one else's did in Hollywood. By the time of the 1944 shot she'd been through hell and back. Her looks were intact but the severe unforgiving style of the 1940s did nothing for her angular classical good looks.

    At any rate - from a perspective of sheer aesthetics one cannot image a purer more beautiful profile than Joan shows in this shot.

    There was always the rumor going around early-on in Hollywood that Joan had had her eyes "slit" to make them appear larger. There's no truth to it. The rumor that she had endured a botched abortion just prior to her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks Jr. are, probably, true however.

    I prefer to recall Joan as she was in this scene in 1931's Possessed with Clark Gable. She's just lovely.
    #2 B_Stronzo, Nov 2, 2009
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  3. nattynatt

    nattynatt Member

    Dec 9, 2008
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    I posted something related to this on a recent thread:
    Joan Crawford was unbelievably beautiful in the early 30s. Any George Hurrell photo from that period will attest this. By the 40s, however, i think she started to appear a bit too chiselled & the eyebrows went Groucho. Even though she was pretty old by this point, i actually think she looked better in the 60s than the previous two decades.
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