Joan proceeded to get herself booked, solo, on a local TV show. The afternoon it was scheduled to be shown, she asked Bob Aldrich if she could watch it at work. “Bob Aldrich had a portable TV brought to the soundstage,” said Bob Gary. [script supervisor] “We all sat around this big oval table to watch the show. There was a chair for Joan, and one for Bette, and in between them Bette placed a chair for her Baby Jane doll. When the show began, Bette got up and went to a corner of the room where a phonograph was set up. As soon as Joan appeared on the TV, Bette turned on the phonograph and began to play her Baby Jane song (“I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy”). While Joan was trying to watch herself on TV, Bette was dancing and singing in the corner, as loud as she could.
Just that nosey Mrs. Bates going on
about your picture last night.
“Bette is of a different temperament than I. She has to yell every morning. So I just sat and knitted. I knitted a scarf from Hollywood to Malibu.” — Joan Crawford
Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in a publicity still for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, 1962.
A year would pass before Davis would offer a comment on the death of her most faithful and formidable rival. The occasion was the Academy Awards ceremonies in Hollywood, which featured a special tribute to the stars who had died the previous year. As Sammy Davis, Jr., sang “Come Light the Candles”, Bette was backstage watching the tribute on television, in a dressing room with Green Garson, Barbara Stanwyck and Olivia de Havilland. As the song was ending and photographs of the deceased — Charles Chaplin, Groucho Marx, Bing Crosby and Elvis Presley — appeared on the TV monitors, Bette stood up and prepared for her appearance as a presenter. Suddenly the sound of a tumultuos ovation filled the entire auditorium. Appearing on the giant screen and monitors was the luminous face of the ultimate movie star, Joan Crawford. Looking up at the wide, lustrous eyes of Crawford, Bette Davis paused, nodded, then, clipping each syllable, bestowed a final benediction on her long-time rival. “Poor Joan,” said Bette, “gone but not forgotten. Bless you!” And then she exited the room to seize the stage for her own appearance.
Bette & Joan — The Divine Feud
Blanche: You wouldn’t be able to do these awful things to me if I weren’t still in this chair.
Jane: But you are, Blanche! You are in that chair!