Soap Firsts

Joan Crawford Was Mommie Dearest on THE SECRET STORM

If you’re watching FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN on FX, you probably already knew about the legendary battle between the film icons, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, and you definitely know about the infamous book and movie, Mommie Dearest, in which Crawford’s daughter Christina makes a lot of harsh claims about the movie star. But did you know that both Crawfords appeared on a soap opera? In 1968, Christina had a role on THE SECRET STORM, and when she went on medical leave, the show found a temporary recast—Joan! Despite the fact that Joan was over 60 and playing a character who was, well, young enough to be her daughter, it was a delicious spectacle and viewership spiked, which didn’t help the mother/daughter relationship. Christina did eventually return to the role but ended up getting written out. She had a tough act to follow.

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