FX’s “Feud” (Sundays at 10 p.m.) is a scathing look at the rivalry between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford centered around their 1962 camp horror classic “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”
And while the movie resuscitated the career of Davis, who kept working up to her death in 1989, you may wonder whatever happened to Crawford?
The success of “Baby Jane” sealed Crawford’s fate as the grande dame of shlocky horror films. The actress, who won an Oscar for “Mildred Pierce” (1945), spent the remainder of the 1960s playing an assortment of loonies in the likes of William Castle’s “Strait-Jacket” (1964) and the psycho-circus thriller “Berserk!” (1967). After the disastrous “Trog” (1970), in which she starred as an anthropologist who finds the “missing link,” Crawford called it quits.
Then a year after her death in 1977, Crawford’s adopted daughter Christina released the tell-all “Mommie Dearest,” in which she painted the screen legend as an alcoholic and abusive parent. The image of Faye Dunaway as the former movie queen ranting “No wire hangers, ever!” in the 1981 movie version seems to have overshadowed Crawford’s screen accomplishments. As a parting shot, in 2003, Dunaway’s “Mommie Dearest” was listed as villain No. 41 on the American Film Institute’s “100 Years . . . 100 Heroes & Villains” list.