A recent book contended that movie star Joan Crawford actually wasn’t such a bad person after all. I burned it in the backyard along with my copy of Trog. But now comes a Gay City News interview with Rita Moreno, who reminds us of what an utterly insincere, attention-grabbing c-word Joan always strove to be. In remembering the 1962 night she won the Oscar for West Side Story, Moreno told interviewer David Noh:
“Joan was cohosting that night and she had her Pepsi Cola cooler in her dressing room filled with vodka, and the lady was bombed. I went into the wings and only then did I burst into tears. And she grabbed me, and there was one lone photographer in the wings…and she put her arms around me and pressed my face to her chest while he was taking pictures. She was built like a linebacker and I couldn’t get out of her grasp. She kept saying, ‘There, there, dear, don’t feel bad!’ And I kept saying, ‘I don’t feel bad! I don’t feel bad!’ And the photographer kept saying, ‘Oh, Miss Crawford, we need to see Rita’s face!’ ‘But the poor dear is upset,’ she said, and in my muffled voice I kept saying, ‘I’m not upset!’ “
Amazingly, Lady C didn’t snatch the Oscar out of Moreno’s hands to add it to her collection and bash little Christina with it on the side. In fact, she generously sent a note a week later, thanking Moreno for visiting her in her dressing room when in fact Moreno had just been innocently standing in the wings. By the way, I could have sworn this exact same thing happened last year with Faye Dunaway and Jennifer Hudson!