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SCREEN legend Joan Crawford slept her way to stardom and didn’t stop there as she shamelessly indulged her passion for bisexual men and kinky sex, according to a shocking book.
In his blockbuster biography, “Joan Crawford, Hollywood Martyr”, author David Bret reveals that the gritty but glamorous actress grew up with a sadistic brother and an abusive stepdad, bedded a slew of matinee idols during her five marriages, once tried to seduce gay heartthrob Rock Hudson by asking him to pretend she was Clark Gable, and forced FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to erase her sex arrest record by threatening to expose him as a drag queen!
Born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, Texas, the future star was terrorized by her older brother Hal, who enjoyed locking her up in dark closets. Her single mom Anna was the local tramp until she married a deliveryman named Harry Hough.
Bret says Hough had a lust for very young girls and attempted to rape his stepdaughter.
By the time Crawford was 14, she was already following in her mom’s sleazy footsteps, entertaining boys from the local high school football team – and demanding money for her services. A few years later, she launched her film career via the “casting couch” at MGM studios, infamously quipping, “It sure beat the cold, hard floor.”
Crawford’s career spanned 50 years and 80 movies – and her sex life was equally prolific. Bret says she slept with a veritable Who’s Who of Hollywood hunks, including Glenn Ford, John Wayne, Yul Brenner, Jeff Chandler, Dana Andrews, Kirk Douglas and even 17-year-old Our Gang alum Jackie Cooper.
But she had a special fondness for bisexual men, accounting for three of her five husbands. She even tried to seduce notoriously gay Rock Hudson, creeping naked into a shower with him and purring in his ear, “Close your eyes and pretend I’m Clark Gable.”
Gable was the closest Crawford would get to true love. Bret says he fit her mold – a strappingly handsome actor, who before hitting it big was known to flirt with men at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, prepared to “do anything” for money.
“She fell on him like a sex-starved bird of prey,” Bret writes, noting that their passionate off-and-on affair lasted 28 years despite the fact that Gable was “a closet bisexual with halitosis.”
Crawford had a closet stuffed with skeletons too – including some pornographic “stag” films and an arrest for prostitution when she was trying to break into showbiz. Bret writes that she and the bigwigs at MGM had to pay off blackmailers from time to time, including her own brother Hal, but Crawford took care of one threat herself.
Bret recalls how she once met with FBI chief Hoover and struck a deal – she wouldn’t reveal he was a cross-dresser if he’d destroy all the records proving she’d once been a hooker.
She was tough as a wife as well, emasculating her husbands by making them kneel and beg for sex.
“Joan Crawford wasn’t the first Hollywood actress to trade sex for stardom,” says Bret. “But few have matched her ruthlessness.”