Judy Geeson in ‘Beserk!’ 1967

And then there is the relationship between Joan Crawford’s character and her defiant daughter Angela, played by Judy Geeson (born 1949). Crawford’s actual daughter Christina (born 1939) very much wanted the role. It would have been ideal for a novice actress, yet mommy prevented her from getting it. Why? In various interviews, Joan offered conflicting explanations, but taken together they form the true answer. Had she appeared side by side with her daughter, inevitably people would be compelled to draw comparisons, who was better, or prettier. Clearly the older established actress had the most to lose. And, privately, Joan remarked that Christine was “too old for the part.” That is, putting her on screen would show just how old Joan (born 1906) would have to be to be this girl’s mother. Raw nerves prevailed, and Joan Crawford performed alongside the unimpressive Miss Judy Geeson instead (and then made catty remarks about her behind her back). TCM.

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