In 1963, the Best Actress race at the Oscars boiled down to a heated battle between Bette Davis for Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and Anne Bancroft for The Miracle Worker (though the other nominees, Katharine Hepburn, Lee Remick, and Geraldine Page, all gave sterling performances as well.)
Well, that darling little Joan Crawford — who’d feuded with Bette Davis on the Baby Jane set, as well as all her adult life — had craftily sent letters to the non-Davis nominees saying that in case they couldn’t make the awards ceremony, she’d gladly be there to accept for them.
And so, as absentee Bancroft was named the winner, out barrels Joan Crawford to hold that trophy and rub it in Bette Davis’s face.
In the clip, Frank Sinatra brings on Maximilian Schell to announce the winner, and then out comes Blanche Hudson, looking glittery and very pleased with herself.
She’s so bursting with joy, in fact, that she stumbles on her first words.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 8, 2011