The one time queen of MGM…and Warner Brothers…and the daytime soap scene, Joan Crawford has a special place in the heart of distinguished horror lovers everywhere. Allowing herself to be humbled for her art, she gave victimhood a special glow in the classic Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Her subsequent terror offerings may not have been as distinguished as this oft nominated chiller, but they sure were fun! From Strait Jacket to Berserk! to Trog, the lady Crawford always gave her professional best.
She was similarly committed when given a song and dance number to do in The Hollywood Revue of 1929.
Meanwhile, The Best of Everything: A Joan Crawford Encyclopedia covers everything else that this golden age superstar accomplished in her lifetime.
One of the first to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk Fame, the dazzling Virginia Mayo added gleeful zest to such projects as White Heat, (the award winning) The Best Years of Our Livesand (the truly fun) She’s Working Her Way Through College. Her finely tuned acting antics also found spooky purchase in a diverse array of macabre settings. Her performances in Castle of Evil, Haunted, Evil Spiritsand an episode of Night Galleryunderstandably brought her great acclaim.
Some lucky appreciators also got a chance to see her perform onstage in such shows as No, No Nanette, Good News and, perhaps most importantly, Stephen Sondheim’s Follies.
The Follies clip is especially notable as it gives people a chance to actually hear Mayo’s singing voice. While her characters often silkily warbled tunes in her movies, she was almost always dubbed, allowing people to concentrate fully on her smooth dance moves as opposed to favoring her dulcet tones.
Mayo, who died at the age of 84 in 2005, also made appearances in such cult films as Midnight Witness, the notorious Won Ton Ton: The Dog Who Saved Hollywood, and The Silver Chalice, which featured an oft-robed Paul Newman in his first major role.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!