The final episode of Ryan Murphy‘s anthology series “Feud: Bette and Joan” aired April 23 on FX. The series, which focuses on the decades-long rivalry between Hollywood legends Joan Crawford (Jessica Lange) and Bette Davis (Susan Sarandon), has been a critical and ratings hit, and has already been renewed for a second season that will focus on the relationship between Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Viewers have tuned in week after week to see these two Oscar-winning stars go after each other, and the show has rewarded audiences with scenes of the divas at each other’s throats. Click through our photo gallery above of the Top 10 bitchiest moments from the series.
Davis and Crawford were rivals for decades during the peak of Hollywood’s studio system. But by the beginning of the 1960s, both actresses were considered to be over the hill, and the offers were drying up. It was Crawford who found the vehicle that would revitalize both of their careers: 1962’s horror classic “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
It fell to director Robert Aldrich (Alfred Molina) to juggle the egos and performance styles of these two very different actresses, and from the beginning there a tension that came out in their performances. Warner Bros. studio chief Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci) wanted to help the film by increasing that tension, and used the gossip columns, particularly Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis), to stoke the flames of their animosity on the set.
That hatred was cemented during the Oscars of 1963. Davis was nominated for Best Actress for “Baby Jane,” but Crawford was snubbed. Crawford began to actively campaign against Davis, and asked the other nominees if she could accept the award should one of them win. On Oscar night, Anne Bancroft (Serinda Swan) was named Best Actress for “The Miracle Worker,” and Crawford strode to the stage to accept the award, rubbing Davis’s loss in her face.
Though the duo reunited for 1964’s “Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte,” Crawford feigned illness after feeling that Davis was trying to undermine her. Crawford was ultimately fired from the film, replaced by Davis’s close friend Olivia de Havilland (Catherine Zeta Jones), effectively destroying Crawford’s reputation in Hollywood.
Look for the series to be a big player at this year’s Emmy Awards, with nominations likely for Lange and Sarandon in the Movie/Miniseries Lead Actress categories, and potential supporting noms for Tucci, Molina and Davis. The show is also a strong contender in the Limited Series category, and could reap numerous bids in the directing and craft categories.
Relive the 10 bitchiest moments from “Feud: Bette and Joan” in our gallery above, and then sound off with your favorite scenes down in the comments section.
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