3 March 2015

Damn those germs!

The story surrounding Joan Crawford's only Oscar win is legendary. Joan was not present at the Oscar Ceremony (held on 7 March 1946) to accept her prize for her performance in "Mildred Pierce" because she was sick in bed. At least, being sick was Joan's explanation then. It wasn't until years later that she admitted: "I remember how I felt the night the Awards were presented. Hopeful, scared, apprehensive, so afraid I wouldn't remember what I wanted to say, terrified at the thought of looking at those people, almost hoping I wouldn't get it, but wanting it so badly--no wonder I didn't go. I stayed home and fortified myself, probably a little too much, because when the announcement came, and then the press, and sort of a party, I didn't make much sense at all, even though I wanted to spill over..." [via]

After Joan had won her Oscar, it wouldn't be long before the congratulations came pouring in. Billy Wilder and his writing buddy Charles Brackett were amongst the ones to congratulate her, and it's their joint note to Joan which is shown below.

"Whether the Academy voters were giving the Oscar to me, sentimentally, for 'Mildred' or for 200 years of effort, the hell with it- I deserved it."
Image letter: heritage auctions (reproduced with permission)

Transcript:

March 16, 1946

Dear Joan: 

Goddamn those flu germs that kept you away. It was a circus, and you were the Queen.

We love you.

Always,

Charlie (signed)
Charles Brackett

Billy W. (signed)
Billy Wilder



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