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Books About Joan Crawford
Below is a list of Joan biographies (and related books, such as paper doll collections, letters, etc.). Click on a pink link to go directly to the book's description. (The descriptions follow the main list, and include cover photos, when available.)
If you have a review of any of the below Joan books that you'd like to share, please e-mail me. Feel free to include a star-rating (with 5 stars the best).
In addition to this page, you can also visit three other book pages on this site:
Fill in Joan's name in the Google Book Search below to find an extensive list of books both about Joan and with Joan mentions. For many of the books, you'll be able to see actual pages.
Books About Joan List
Alpha order. Click on a title to see its description and photo below.
Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud (Shaun Considine, 1989)
Conversations with Joan Crawford (Roy Newquist, ed., 1980)
Crawford's Men (Jane Ellen Wayne, 1988)
Crawford: The Last Years (Carl Johnes, 1979)
The Films of Joan Crawford (Lawrence J. Quirk, 1968)
Jazz Baby (David Houston, 1983)
Joan Crawford (ed. Silvio Berlusconi)
Joan Crawford (Stephen Harvey, 1974)
Joan Crawford: A Biography (Bob Thomas, 1978)
Joan Crawford: The Enduring Star (Peter Cowie, 2009)
Joan Crawford: The Essential Biography (Lawrence J. Quirk, William Schoell, 2002)
Joan Crawford: Her Life in Letters (Michelle Vogel, 2005)
Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr (David Bret, 2006)
Joan Crawford: The Last Word (Fred Lawrence Guiles, 1995)
Joan Crawford Paper Dolls (Marilyn Henry, 1996)
Joan Crawford Paper Dolls in Full Color (Tom Tierney, 1983)
Joan Crawford: The Raging Star (Charles Castle, 1977)
Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Star (Alexander Walker, 1983)
Joan Crawford: Uma Homenagem (Walter Machado, 1994)
Just Joan: A Joan Crawford Appreciation (Donna Marie Nowak, 2010)
Legends: Joan Crawford (John Kobal, ed., 1986)
My Way of Life (Joan Crawford, 1971)
Noches de Joan Crawford: 12 Cuentos Argentinos (various authors, 1996)
Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, a Personal Biography (Charlotte Chandler, 2008)
A Portrait of Joan (JC, with Jane Kesner Ardmore, 1962)
Possessed: The Life of Joan Crawford (Donald Spoto, 2010)
Books About Joan Descriptions
Bette & Joan: The Divine Feud (1989, E.P. Dutton)
Description: Parallel bios of the two divas, and how their alleged "feud" began and continued. Lots of dish, with interesting backstory info on the making of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.
Click here for a reader review.
Description: Author Newquist interviewed Joan for a magazine
but before the articles could be published, she passed away. This book is an
uncensored compilation of those conversations. Includes Joan's frank (and
sometimes humorous) opinions of each of her films up until What Ever Happened to Baby
Jane? ("...everything afterwards was just trash," she says).
You're asking me to compare peas and beans. The films
are so different, for the most part, there's no comparison. There are
exceptions, but not many. In my day we made films that had class. Today, if
class sneaks into a picture, it's by accident. I'm of the old school, and proud
of it. I find suggestion a hell of a lot more provocative than explicit detail.
You didn't see Clark and Vivien rolling around in bed in Gone with the
Wind, but you saw that shit-eating grin on her face the next morning and you
knew damned well that she'd gotten properly laid. I watched the picture a few
months ago, on television, and everyone with me got the same chuckle out of it
we got when it was first released. The impact was stronger because of the
Description: Johnes was a young assistant initially sent by Columbia as a favor to help Joan sort out her book collection in 1972. The two eventually became friends and remained so from 1974 'til her death in '77. Johnes' recollections of their times together are honest and humorous.
Description: An overview of Joan's relationships with the many
men (and women) in her life. Largely based on other bios, with little new info
(aside from the interesting preface Wayne writes about meeting Joan). Book also
annoyingly uses made-up dialogue.
Description: An overview of
almost every major film Joan appears in (up to Berserk!) Each film is given a
detailed synopsis and a reprint of the press reviews given at the time each film
was released. The book also includes black and white publicity photos from each
film. (Note: This book was re-issued in 1988; the new edition includes info
on Joan's 1970 film Trog.)
Description: The true
story of Joan's childhood, which was often ignored or changed when she became a
star. Author David Houston pieces together the little-known facts about Joan's
early life and her rise to stardom from numerous interviews with the people who
knew her family. This book deals primarily with Joan's life up until 1925 and
includes a few pages of photos including her College yearbook photo from
1922-23, a picture of the Cassin home, Rockingham Academy, and St. Agnes
Description: Softcover, 128 pages, photos.
Description: Part of the Pyramid Illustrated History of the
Movies series, this volume focuses primarily on Joan's film career from her
first film to Trog with some mentions
made to her personal life during the films. The book is filled with various
publicity photos from her films including one from the aborted Hush...Hush Sweet
Description: A thorough and detailed biography of Joan
Crawford. Thomas knew Joan for 30 years and conducted many interviews with her.
Description: 226 pages, 213 photos (with accompanying text). Intro by Mick LaSalle; afterword by George Cukor.
Click here for a reader review.
Joan Crawford: Her Life in Letters (2005, Wasteland Press) Michelle Vogel
Description: Letters from Joan, accompanied by photos, with a foreword by Joan grandson Casey LaLonde.
Description: From the inside jacket: "...[author Bret] discusses...her marriages--three of them to gay men--and her obsessions with rough sex. Bret divulges...how her loathed mother forced Crawford to work as a prostitute, appear in pornographic films and sleep her way to the top...."
Click here for a reader review.
Description: From the dust jacket: "Meticulously
researched, Joan Crawford: The Last Word deals in full with her long movie
career and explores in detail her turbulent private life. Respected biographer
Fred Lawrence Guiles uses newly discovered sources and recent interviews with
many who knew her, and some who loved her, to establish the person behind the
carefully crafted screen icon."
Joan Crawford Paper Dolls (1996, B. Shackman & Co.) Marilyn Henry
Description: Two 9-inch paper dolls, with 27 outfits plus accessories
Description: 32 pages. From the back: "Fashion Illustrator has captured Miss Crawford in three lifelike paper dolls, representing three distinct phases in her long screen career, and twenty-eight meticulously rendered costumes from as many films, including Pretty Ladies, Grand Hotel, Rain, Letty Lynton, The Gorgeous Hussy, The Bride Wore Red, The Women, Mildred Pierce, Humoresque, Johnny Guitar, Female on the Beach, I Saw What You Did and Berserk!
This collection, a tribute to a striking beauty and magnetic actress, is also a salute to the many talented costume designers - Adrian, Milo, Anderson and Sheila O'Brien, to name a few - who made Hollywood a fashion house. Miss Crawford's many fans, fashion enthusiasts, as well as paper doll collectors will welcome this Tom Tierney effort."
Description: An analysis
of Joan's life and career, with an emphasis on the years Joan spent at MGM.
Author Walker had unlimited access to previously unreleased information stored
in the MGM vaults and peppers the text of this book with that information, along
with anecdotes from Joan's friends and peers. Filled with numerous
black-and-white publicity photos and film stills.
Description: 747 pages, illustrated. In Portuguese. Title translates as: "An Homage."
Description: 580 pp. Reviews, essays, photos.
Description: From the back of the book: "The Hollywood
portrait photographers were responsible for turning mere mortals into myths.
Only recently, following the revival of interest in still photography, have
their achievements become recognized as an art form. John Kobal, the editor of
this series, has lovingly and meticulously collected the work of the studio
photographers and has one of the leading libraries of film photographs in the
world, from which the portraits for this volume has been selected. The Legends
series forms an instant and compelling collection of classic stars and
Description: Joan's adopted daughter Christina Crawford published this book in 1978, a year after her mother's death. Christina details the allegedly erratic and violent behavior and treatment of her mother toward herself and brother Christopher. The 20th-anniversary edition released in 1997 by Christina's vanity press contains 100 pages of new material. The book was made into a movie in 1981.
Description: An audio version of the infamous
book written by Joan's adopted daughter Christina Crawford shortly after her
death in 1977. In this three hour abridged version, Christina herself narrates
the book. This two-tape audio book also includes a portion of the 1949 Christmas
Eve performance in which Joan is heard telling the world that she plans to give
away all of the children's Christmas presents.
Description: From the back of the book: "Joan Crawford
shows you how to get more out of life...your work...your play...your
clothes...your looks...your home...your marriage. A great film star tells of her
glamorous life and shares her secrets for successful living."
Description: 165 pages.
Description: 352 pages.
Click here to read a review by John Epperson in the Washington Post (Feb. 24, 2008).
Description: 239 pages. Joan's somewhat sanitized autobiography. Cover painting by Lucerne Robert.
Description: 336 pages. 16 pages of photos.
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