BULLETIN — Coleen Gray, one of the most beautiful actresses to grace the film noir genre, died one week ago (Aug. 3) in Bel Air, Cal. She was 92. We note that Gray was the subject of our recent Monday Quiz (COLEEN GRAY — Good Girl Gone Noir — The Quiz) published on July 20-21. Just type in her name in the “type your search” box (above right) and take a look.
Now, back to our regular programming.
Shame on us.
We’ve devoted our many Monday Quiz formats to a wide range of Hollywood stars from Sessue Hayakawa to Tab Hunter. And we are only just now getting to one of its most notable and durable luminaries — Joan Crawford. Woe is us.
Her public profile began as a Twenties-era flapper, then shifted to the woman of humble origins who romantically punched over her weight. She was finally the screen personification of a stalwart woman dogged by unworthy men, many of whom she physically assaulted onscreen.
She had tremendous staying power. Her career traversed more than 100 movie and tv credits amassed over nearly a half century. And for much of the way she personified the ultimate status of Hollywood stardom. Not bad for a poor, accident-prone shop girl from San Antonio, Texas.
We concede that you may already know quite a bit about Crawford both as the screen luminary and the tempestuous offscreen personality. Even so, we’ll try and trip you up and in the process pass along new information.
Now to our Monday Quiz. As usual, questions today, answers tomorrow. Here we go:
1) Question: You probably know already that Crawford’s name at birth was Lucille Le Sueur, and that her screen name was chosen by MGM via a magazine contest. But she known by another name a few years into childhood. What was it?
2) Question: Crawford was renowned for being an equal opportunity slapper onscreen. Both men and women got it in the puss. Which one of the following did NOT get walloped by our gal? a) John Garfield; b) Diane Baker; c) Spencer Tracy; or d) Raymond Massey.
3) Question: Crawford was embarrassed at the outset of her career when a print of an underground pornographic movie in which she starred turned up in the MGM front office. a) True; or b) False?
4) Question: Which of the following actors did NOT have an affair with Crawford? a) Clark Gable; b) Van Heflin; b) Jackie Cooper; or d) John Ireland.
5) Question: By the end of the 1930′s, Crawford’s career was put in jeopardy because she was considered box office poison. a) True; or b) False?
6) Question: Crawford was Fred Astaire’s first dancing partner in Hollywood? a) True; or b) False.
7) Question: Who did Crawford regard as her chief rival in the glamour department at MGM? a) Hedy Lamarr; b) Jane Powell; c) Elizabeth Taylor; or d) Greta Garbo.
8) Question: Crawford famously won a best actress Oscar for her bold performance as a sexy entrepreneur in Mildred Pierce. But she insisted that her character’s wild sex life in the James M. Cain original novel be toned down for the big screen. a) True; or b) False?
9) Question: Which one of the following was NOT married at one time or another to Crawford. a) Greg Bautzer; b) Franchot Tone; c) Douglas Fairbanks Jr.; or d) Alfred Steele.
10) Question: Bette Davis and Crawford, who famously costarred in 1962′s Whatever Happened To Baby Jane, really did dislike each other. a) True; or b) False?