Joan Crawford had caustic relationships with her children, film studios, and fellow stars (ahem), earning a reputation as a hard-nosed bitch who prized her career above all else. She was a relentless self-promoter, difficult, and was dubbed box office poison as quickly as she was “Queen of the Movies.” But Crawford was known for playing the determined working girl in cinema — women who had a rough start, but eventually found love, respect, and success. These big-picture images were inspirational to female audiences, and Crawford became one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood during Tinseltown’s male-dominated reign. By her own admission, Crawford loved playing bitches on film. In honor of the Queen B’s deathiversary this month, we gathered some of Crawford’s bitchiest quotes.
“I love playing bitches. There’s a lot of bitch in every woman — a lot in every man.”
“[In The Women (1939)] Norma Shearer made me change my costume sixteen times because every one was prettier than hers. I love to play bitches, and she helped me in this part.”
“I never go outside unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.”
“She has a cult, and what the hell is a cult except a gang of rebels without a cause. I have fans. There’s a big difference.” —on rival Bette Davis
“Love is a fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.”