How much did Joan Crawford's 'Mildred Pierce' Oscar sell for?
September 26th, 2012
01:13 PM ET

How much did Joan Crawford's 'Mildred Pierce' Oscar sell for?

If history repeats itself, we might see Kate Winslet's Golden Globe and Emmy awards up for grabs at an auction one day.

The actress won plenty of accolades for her portrayal of Mildred Pierce in the HBO miniseries that aired in 2011, but she was following in the footsteps of Oscar winner Joan Crawford, who also stunned as Mildred Pierce in the 1945 adaptation.

Crawford's performance earned her the best actress Oscar in the spring of '46, beating out Ingrid Bergman in "The Bells of St. Mary's" (as well as Greer Garson in "The Valley of Decision"; Jennifer Jones in "Love Letters"; and Gene Tierney in "Leave Her to Heaven"). Crawford's award has since been auctioned off, selling for $426,732 on Tuesday.

That price earned the Oscar's new owner a piece of cinema history in more ways than one.

On the night of the ceremony in March 1946, Crawford stayed home in bed, too "ill" to attend. (After she won, press captured the actress receiving the award in her bed, as seen in the image above.)

As Nate Sanders, the owner of Nate D. Sanders Auctions, put it in a statement, "This Oscar carries with it a fascinating story ... and represents Joan Crawford's gutsy comeback in the industry that labeled her 'box office poison' several years earlier. It's really one of the most spectacular Oscars in existence."

Crawford is said to have commented of the win, "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."


Filed under: Celebrities • movies

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Bgmom

    Why was it auctioned off in the first place? None of her children wanted it?

    September 29, 2012 at 9:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. wilson

    "NO WIRE HANGERS!!!"

    September 29, 2012 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Andrew

    Joan sat on my lap iwhile filming 'Trog' in England. I was visiting the set with the producer, Herm Saunders, and was introduced to Joan during a break. She paid no attention to me until Herm informed Joan that i was a close friend of Andrew Barnet, son of herb Barnet, CEO of Pepsi cola at that time. Joan broke into a huge smile, sat on my lap and offered me a bottle of Pepsi filled with Vodka. She adored Herb Barnet and now i was family..Ahh, gotta love Hollywood stars..dying breed.

    September 28, 2012 at 6:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Hoo Rah For Hollywood

      What are you, 110 yrs old? Good for you for being on the Interweb!!

      September 29, 2012 at 6:37 am | Report abuse |
    • DaveinOhio

      HOO RAH: Trog was filmed in 1970. Not so long ago.

      September 29, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. clevercandi

    One of my favorite bad actresses.

    September 27, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. symone says

    i am guessing she probably said "... for 'Mildred' or for TWENTY years of effort, the hell with it ..." The esteemed and extremely vain "Miss Crawford" never would have implied that she'd done anything for 200 years :)

    September 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. gs

    Why does someone want someone else's award? Cause he can't win one of his own maybe... weird thing to buy

    September 27, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jackson

      Perhaps because it's a piece of hollywood history. No idea why you felt the need to be a hater and comment on the winning bidder's need to buy one. Is it because you can't afford it and he can?

      September 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • sybilquestion

      LOL. I agree totally. That kind of money would be nice to donate to homeless people in the USA. @Jackson, your politically correct response was annoying. Where did gs say anything hateful? And if he did, so what. You're annoying. Go away. You are the type of person that the minute I hear any politically correct buzzword, I just smile and when I am smiling at someone like you I am thinking what an idiot. Go away. And then I leave, with a smile of course, because I am no hater. LOL.

      September 28, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The Queen

    joan crawford had a mental disorder. plus there are speculations of her being an abusive mother. there was never ground proof other then her daughter trashing her after she died. not appropriate. joan dies and now all of a sudden the daughter becomes gutsy and tells the world she was abused. if the daughter had guts...why didn't she tell everyone her mother abused her while she was still alive?....daughter's a coward.

    September 27, 2012 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
    • emma

      Because so many young girls came forward about abuse in the 50s and 60s, especially when they had a famous parent. You are a pluperfect idiot.

      September 27, 2012 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • GailScottt

      What's not "appropriate" is for a mother to damage a child to the point where she feels the need to "trash" her mother after her mother has died (i.e., if the child is lying then it still puts Joan in a very bad light).

      September 27, 2012 at 9:58 am | Report abuse |
    • ATTENTION - Medical Marijuana Patients

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      September 27, 2012 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • patiat

      Maybe it's not so easy to come forward with that kind of thing while a controlling, manipulative and abusive parent is still around.

      September 27, 2012 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • patiat

      Emma, why are you likening "The Queen" to a verb tense?

      September 27, 2012 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Pete

      FYI......Joan DID know Christina was writing a book. It was not finished or published after she died. So get over yourself.
      Thats why she didn't leave anything to her "for reasons well known"

      September 27, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Christina Defender

      Hey Queen – Christina Crawford had every RIGHT to pen "Mommie Dearest", considering the decades of emotional abuse and neglect she and her adopted brother Christopher experienced. I would suggest you read the book – it's a very sad and very powerful examination of image, stardom, obsessive-compulsive behaviour, mental illness, alcoholism and hateful child abuse...and perhaps most poignantly, a child's yearning search for love. That Christina herself emerged from all this as a relatively sane and articulate woman is a testament to her, and to all survivors of domestic abuse. Joan may have been a decades-long movie star but in many ways she was a very sick woman – and if ya ask me (which ya didn't) that Oscar she won for her ridiculous all-sacrificing selfless "Mildred Pierce" role (surely the most egregiously, hilariously permissive and lovingly maternal role of all time) should really have gone to Ingrid Bergman for "The Bells Of St. Mary's" instead.

      September 27, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • ChristopherM

      Christina was an ungrateful spoiled child who got what was coming to her. She got to live in the most beautiful house in Brentwood with a movie star. Get over it.

      September 27, 2012 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • fgh369

      ChristoperM

      So, basically, what you are saying is that its okay to abuse and mistreat children as long as you also spoil them and let them live in a big, fancy house?

      September 29, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Chicago7

      It's curious that accusations of abuse didn't surface until Christina discovered she'd been left out of the will.

      September 29, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • jay

      Believe she started writing it before her adopted mother died. Wasx said to be a reason Ms. Crawford left her nothing in her will.

      September 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hook Fan

      Queen – the reason the daughter wrote the book is because she thought she & her mother had buried the hatchet, but after Joan died and the will was read, the daughter and the son were both written out of the will with the words "For reasons that are well known to themselves". The daughter thought Joan had to have the last word – well she decided she was going to have the last word, and she wrote the book.

      September 30, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Chum

    I loved Mommy Dearest, it's my favorite comedy of all time! No more wire hangers!

    September 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • timinfla

      islaaaam is a cancetr, it is a religion of violence and hate.

      September 27, 2012 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
  9. Will

    I read a while back that Joan Crawford was a great movie star and an OK actress. Bette Davis was the reverse. That being said, I actually do like some of Joan's films and Mildred Pierce was a good movie.

    September 26, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. SConrad

    Wonder how much the Wire Hanger fetched?

    September 26, 2012 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Sue

    We'll never see Kate Winslet's Oscar up for sale. Years ago the Academy took steps to stop the practice by making the winner's sign an agreement that it can only be sold back to the Academy. Crawford's Oscar pre-dates the agreement. I can't believe the writer didn't do any research on the subject.

    September 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  12. the brothersss

    Crawford received the sixth annual "Pally Award", which was in the shape of a bronze Pepsi bottle. It was awarded to the employee making the most significant contribution to company sales. In 1973, Crawford was forcibly retired from the company at the behest of company executive Don Kendall, whom Crawford had referred to for years as "Fang

    September 26, 2012 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  13. early life

    Crawford was born Lucille Fay LeSueur in San Antonio, the third child of Tennessee-born Thomas E. LeSueur (1868–1938), a laundry laborer of English, French Huguenot and Jersey ancestry,[3] and Anna Bell Johnson (1884–1958), who was of Swedish and Irish descent. Her older siblings were Daisy LeSueur, who died very young, and Hal LeSueur. Thomas LeSueur abandoned the family a few months before Crawford's birth. He reappeared in Abilene, Texas in 1930 as a 62-year-old construction laborer on the George R. Davis House, built in Prairie School architecture.[4]

    September 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  14. wonderful actress

    If history repeats itself, we might see Kate Winslet's Golden Globe and Emmy awards up for grabs at an auction one day.

    The actress won plenty of accolades for her portrayal of Mildred Pierce in the HBO miniseries that aired in 2011, but she was following in the footsteps of Oscar winner Joan Crawford, who also stunned as Mildred Pierce in the 1945 adaptation.

    Crawford's performance earned her the best actress Oscar in the spring of '46, beating out Ingrid Bergman in "The Bells of St. Mary's" (as well as Greer Garson in "The Valley of Decision"; Jennifer Jones in "Love Letters"; and Gene Tierney in "Leave Her to Heaven"). Crawford's award has since been auctioned off, selling for $426,732 on Tuesday.

    That price earned the Oscar's new owner a piece of cinema history in more ways than one. While "Mildred Pierce" is one of Crawford's must-see performances.

    On the night of the ceremony in March 1946, Crawford stayed home in bed, too "ill" to attend. (After she won, press captured the actress receiving the award in her bed, as seen in the image above.)

    As Nate Sanders, the owner of Nate D. Sanders Auctions, put it in a statement, "This Oscar carries with it a fascinating story ... and represents Joan Crawford's gutsy comeback in the industry that labeled her 'box office poison' several years earlier. It's really one of the most spectacular Oscars in existence."

    Crawford is said to have commented of the win, "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."

    September 26, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
  15. harmon brothersss

    That some good money. Think of all the ribs and malt liquor they can get. It be awhile block pawtey.

    September 26, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |

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