Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Barbara Payton | WBEZ
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Six Degrees of Joan Crawford: Clark Gable, Franchot Tone and Barbara Payton

By the mid-1930s, Joan Crawford was very, very famous, and negotiating both an affair with Clark Gable (her most frequent co-star and the only male star of her stature), and a new marriage to Franchot Tone, who, like Joan’s first husband, was an actor who was not quite on her level of stardom. Crawford’s marriage to Tone would span the back half of the decade, as Crawford’s stardom peaked, and then began its first decline. Today we’ll talk about that, and then we’ll tell a story about what happened to Franchot Tone after Joan Crawford - particularly, the strange love triangle he entered into in the 1950s, with the gorgeous but self-destructive starlet Barbara Payton at its center.

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