Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Douglas Fairbanks / Lucille LeSueur Goes to Hollywood

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In order to understand Joan Crawford’s rise to fame, we have to talk about what Joan – born Lucille LeSueur, and called “Billie Cassin” for much of her childhood – was like before she got to Hollywood, and what Hollywood was like before she got there. To accomplish the latter, we’ll focus on Douglas Fairbanks: top action star of the silent era, the definition of Hollywood royalty, and the father of Crawford’s first husband.

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