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Berlin-bound Joan Crawford

not ready for grandmother roles yet


By Ralph Bennington

Stars & Stripes, Saturday, June 29, 1963



See larger versions of these photos on the '1963 Images' page.


Tony Evanoski / İS&S

Actress Joan Crawford, a member of the board of directors of Pepsi-Cola, makes sure a bottle of the beverage is noticed as she talks to reporters at a Frankfurt hotel in June, 1963.

FRANKFURT  — Joan Crawford didn't exactly wrinkle her nose but she may as well have done so when she retorted, "No, I haven't seen 'Cleopatra' and don't intend to!"

The veteran actress, stopping off at a Frankfurt hotel Friday on her way to the Berlin Film Festival, added, " I wouldn't contribute to the delinquency of adults by paying to too IL."

"Cleopatra" star, Elizabeth Taylor, got a brickbat from Miss Crawford when she reiterated a 1962 statement that Liz and the late Marilyn Monroe both acted like children.

Started as Dancer

Miss Crawford, who got her start as a dancer and once was known as 'The Charleston Kid," can still kick up her heels despite her grandmother status. She proved It by doing the twist at 3 a.m. after her arrival late Thursday.

"In fact, I was the floor show," she added "and I like the twist very much ... it's wonderful exercise."

Charming at 55, Miss Crawford isn't worried about following on the heels of President Kennedy's triumphant visit to Berlin.

"I timed it so as not to get mixed up in it although we were scheduled to arrive the same day," she said.

Miss Crawford, grandmother of two, was asked if she was interested in grandmother roles. She threatened to throw a soft drink bottle, and then said, "Not ready for that."

Her favorite film role?

"I have to lean toward 'Mildred Pierce' because that brought me an Academy Award (1948)," she said, "but I must add that 'Humoresque,' 'Johnny Guitar' and both filmings of 'Possessed' also gave me much pleasure."

"Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" — her latest film — was "an exciting and most rewarding experience," she said. "I had wanted to do a picture with Bette (Davis) since 1942 but this was the first chance. I liked doing all the pantomime in this one because I had little dialogue. Projecting yourself in this way is very fascinating,"

Miss Crawford will return to Hollywood next Saturday to start a new film, "Strait Jacket" far Columbia.

"A thriller," she said. "and it better be."

She is designing her own costumes.

She no longer uses the vinegar and water diet to keep the Crawford craft shipshape.

"In fact I would like to gain a few pounds," she said.

While traveling to Berlin as the official representative of American motion picture industry, Miss Crawford also is the No. 1 Pepsi-Cola huckster around the world. Her husband, Alfred Steele, was president of the firm until his death in 1959.

Hasn't Seen "Freud"

The official U.S. film entry in the festival is John Huston's "Freud," but Miss Crawford has not had the chance to see it or "Lilies of the Field," the invited entry. She said "Lilies" has not even been released in the United States.

However, she did have one interesting point about "Lilies."

"Director Ralph Nelson, who is a good friend." she said, "called to ask me how you sell a movie that has five nuns ... no sex and no horses?" 

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