Most of us know Bette Davis as a symbol of old Hollywood glamour, but the new FX show Feud has revealed a new side to the star that some people might not have known about. Susan Sarandon stars as Davis in the series that chronicles her infamous feud with fellow starlet Joan Crawford (played by Jessica Lange). The two women just did not like each other. It started way early in their career and only got worse on the set of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? which is where the FX series begins. Feud is all too real — and there are plenty of Bette Davis quotes about Joan Crawford to prove it.
The rivalry began when they were both starting out and competing for the unofficial title of America's favorite sweetheart. They were signed to different studios, so they weren't exactly competing for roles but for fame. And awards. Since they were two female actors, they were often nominated for the same awards, and every time the other won, there was shade to be thrown. There was also Franchot Tone, an actor that Davis adored but Crawford dated and eventually married. It was a perfect storm of two strong, talented women with larger than life egos and a certain "way with words."
1. Rest In Peace?
After Crawford died, Davis reportedly said, "You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good… Joan Crawford is dead. Good.”
2. They Laid On The Shame
They often accused each other of sleeping their way to fame, which is hard to imagine now. Could you imagine if Emma Watson and Emma Stone talked like this? Davis said of her rival, "She has slept with every male star at MGM except Lassie”
3. They Really Did Not Like Each Other
Davis also thought Crawford was a phony. She said, "She and I have never been friends. I admire her and yet I feel uncomfortable with her. To me, she is the personification of the movie star. I have always felt her greatest performance is Crawford being Crawford.”
4. Even A Little Violent
When asked if she ever enjoyed Crawford, Davis famously said, "The best time I ever had with Joan Crawford was when I pushed her down the stairs in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
5. With Enemies Like These...
They really didn't like each other. Davis said, "I wouldn’t piss on [Crawford] if she was on fire.”
6. Judging, All Of The Time
Although not specifically about Davis, this is the old fashioned version of a subtweet, for sure. "Some young Hollywood starlets remind me of my grandmother's old farmhouse — all painted up nice on the front side, a big swing on the backside, and nothing whatsoever in the attic," she said of her peers. Yikes.
7. She Simply DNGAF
Davis never held back when it came to delivering sly jabs at Crawford. Like the time she said, "Why am I so good at playing b*tches? I think it’s because I’m not a b*tch. Maybe that’s why [Joan Crawford] always plays ladies."
These days, it's hard to imagine two stars going at it so publicly and so viciously in the press, which is part of what makes the Davis and Crawford feud so legendary. (Can you imagine if they had Twitter back then?) Suffice to say, there was never any love lost between these two stars.