GIFs Of Joan Crawford Upstaging Bette Davis At The 1963 Oscars Will Give You Life
It's all been leading to this moment… The bitter spat between the two Hollywood legends chronicled in FX's Feud: Bette And Joan reached its public zenith on April 8, 1963, at the 35th annual Academy Awards. In this Sunday's episode — "And The Winner Is… (The Oscars Of 1963)" — viewers will finally get to see the fateful Oscars night when the feud between Bette Davis and Joan Crawford erupted onto the the stage of the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium.
At the event, hosted by Frank Sinatra, Davis was nominated for an Oscar for What Ever Happened To Baby Jane? (her 10th nomination); Crawford wasn't. If Davis had won, she would have become the first actress in history to win three Oscars. But behind her back, the snubbed Crawford had made a deal to upstage Davis with two of Davis' competitors — Anne Bancroft (The Miracle Worker) and Geraldine Page (Sweet Bird Of Youth) — who couldn't attend the ceremony due to commitments in New York City. If either of them won, Crawford would accept the trophy for them in absentia.
As history remembers, Bancroft did end up winning over Davis… and Crawford got to swan onstage and clutch the trophy for Best Actress in front of her fuming co-star. (Katharine Hepburn, not Bette Davis, would go on to become the first actress to win three Oscars.)
In preparation for seeing a fictionalized version of this epic moment play out on Feud this weekend, here are seven GIFs from Giphy of the very real thing:
1. Arriving On The Red Carpet
You can totally see in Crawford's smile just how eagerly she's anticipating her devious master plan bearing fruit in a couple hours' time. She must have been cackling inside.
2. And The Winner Is…
You can just picture Crawford standing in the wings, ready to burst onstage as soon as presenter Maximilian Schell read Bancroft's name.
3. Strutting Her Stuff
Look at that. That is a woman for whom everything has gone according to plan. How many times do you think she practiced that confident walk and regal hand extension?
4. Savoring The Spotlight
Drink it in, Joan. This moment is yours.
5. Giving The Speech
Oh yes, and she was actually there to do a job: Read Bancroft's speech. Thankfully, it was short and to the point, as the absent actress simply thanked her director, screenwriter, and producer.
6. Presenting Best Director
And Crawford's moment in the sun wasn't even over! Aside from accepting the Best Actress trophy, she also got to present the award for Best Director at the climax of the ceremony… while Davis was relegated to presenting the less prestigious Writing categories earlier in the evening.
7. Taking Charge
When Best Director winner David Lean (Lawrence Of Arabia) tries to go offstage in the wrong direction, Crawford has no time for his nonsense. She simply stands there and, apparently through sheer willpower alone, reverses his course and hauls him off in the right direction. Expert.
And now here's Crawford's Best Actress speech in its entirety:
Watch Jessica Lange and Bette Davis recreate this iconic moment when Feud airs on FX this Sunday at 10:00 p.m. ET.