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Crawford and Davis

The Hollywood Huckster used to love to tell classic Hollywood stories.

Here’s one that demonstrates of the epic cattiness between two of old time Hollywood’s most famous leading ladies. Years after their prime Joan Crawford and Bette Davis were teamed in what would turn out to be a 1962 horror classic, What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?

At the time, Joan was the widow of Alfred Steele, the former head of the Pepsi Corporation. Bette didn’t like it that Joan, ever the star, consistently arrived late to the set. So, to get back at fellow Oscar winner Crawford, Davis took advantage of the waiting time and had the prop man replace all of the Pepsi machines on the set with Coke machines.

But it didn’t stop there. Bette refused to address her co-star directly, except when the camera’s were running. Whenever Joan showed up late on set, Davis would loudly announce Crawford’s arrival to the crew with, “Places everyone, the widow Steele has deigned us with her presence.”

Crawford hated that, so she extracted her revenge in her own classic way. She retaliated by lining her costume dress pockets with weights so when shooting the climactic scene where Bette Davis had to drag Crawford’s nearly dead character across the floor, Davis almost broke her back.

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