Portrait of Joan Crawford
Joan Crawford's journey to screen stardom began with a poor childhood moving from Texas to Oklahoma and finally Kansas City where she worked to help support her family while attending school. She won a Charleston contest at a local café in her early teens. Later, Crawford moved to Detroit where she danced under the stage name Billie Cassin. Coincidently, Billie Casssin is the name she was using at the time this photo was taken. It is in Detroit, that she caught the eye of a Hollywood talent scout. Crawford had an extraordinary career that included more than 80 films and a best-actress Oscar for 1945's "Mildred Pierce." In this image, Crawford looks directly at the camera from behind her shoulder, simultaneously withholding and revealing a nude upper body. The blurred focus and illumination of her figure emphasize her gaze and captivates the viewer.