10 Scathing Celebrity Feuds from the Golden Age of Hollywood

By | September 7, 2022

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source: getty/pinterest

From the moment the second celebrity crawled out from under the Hollywood Sign there have been celebrity feuds. To be honest celebrities at the time of Shakespeare or even Plato must have had feuds but those aren't the decades we deal with, we're digging into the nasty and brutal feuds between the stars of the Groovy era.

Whether they were stars during the studio system era of the 1950s or famous in the wild west of the 1970s these celebrities were at each other's throat for incredibly serious reasons such as "being mean," or "having a new girlfriend." These iconic feuds are honestly messy and we wish that we could go back in time and tell everyone involved to take a time out and go to the Brown Derby for a nosh.

Have you picked a side on any of these celebrity feuds from '50s, '60s, and '70s? If so, let us know and we'll pass that information along.

Joan Crawford Vs Bette Davis

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source: Warner Bros.

Celebrity feuds don't get any more nasty than this. Joan Crawford and Bette Davis are both iconic actresses who got their start in the early days of film, with Crawford acting in some of the final silent films of the era. Both of these women had major ups and downs in their careers and were able to not only maintain their fame, but achieve a vaulted status that many actresses of the era never found.

This feud started back in 1933 when Davis' first starring role in Ex-Lady was completely overshadowed by Crawford's divorce from Douglas Fairbanks Jr. - both of things hit the pages of the Old Gray Lady on the same day. What would become a trend, Crawford' drama overshadowed Davis' work and Ex-Lady was a massive bomb. Two years later, Davis appeared in a film with an actor named Franchot Tone and fell truly, madly, deeply in love with him. Crawford swooped in during the filming and snatched him out from under her. Crawford later said:

[Tone] thought Bette was a good actress but he never thought of her as a woman.

WOOF! Crawford and Davis spent the next, oh, 30 years trading barbs in the press, stealing roles from one another, and being generally nasty until they co-starred in their only film together, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? In the film the two aging actresses play sisters who's careers are behind them and they're stuck together in a Grey Gardens scenario in a big old decrepit mansion. It's amazing. Davis was really excited to go absolutely crazy as the grotesque Jane, but she later said that getting Crawford to try not to be beautiful while playing a character confined to a wheelchair. Davis said:

It was a constant battle to get her not to look gorgeous. [Joan Crawford] wanted her hair well-dressed, her gowns beautiful and her fingernails with red nail polish. For the part of an invalid who had been cooped up in a room for 20 years, she wanted to look attractive. She was wrong.

Crawford later responded:

Miss Davis was always partial to covering up her face in motion pictures. She called it 'art.' Others might call it camouflage — a cover-up for the absence of any real beauty.

To make this feud even more unhinged Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for her role but Crawford didn't let this bother her. She managed to worm her way up on stage to accept the award on behalf of Anne Bancroft who couldn't make it that night. Pure shade.