Did old school actresses like Joan Crawford really have their molars removed? And if yes, why?

By Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities by reading the tabloids in the checkout aisle.
While it is no secret that stars did some serious dental work to maintain their famous smiles, I found some good background on this:
Joan Crawford, image from Pixabay
Joan Crawford’s Painful Legacy
Legendary Hollywood beauty Joan Crawford was plagued with dental problems. Undergoing a similar procedure as Dietrich and having teeth removed to accentuate her cheeks had left Crawford with ongoing problems. After the extraction, her front teeth were spaced out and filled with dentist’s cement before being filed down to be fitted with caps. This painful treatment left her uncomfortable and ultimately led to her gums becoming infected. Her whole mouth swelled up as a result of the infection and left her with a large upper lip which never returned to its normal size. She was pleased with this one side-effect and subsequently became known for her full and distinctive lips. Crawford enjoyed one of the longest and most successful careers Hollywood has ever seen but suffered with dental issues for the rest of her life. In her late 60s major dental surgery left her requiring round-the-clock medical care.[1][2] (Footnotes contain information on other actors too; I highlighted the quote as it directly answered the Joan Crawford part of the question).
The all-powerful studios of Hollywood were uncompromising in their quest for the perfect star. Many young actors and actresses were groomed, enhanced and tweaked beyond all recognition to ensure they fitted in with the studio executive’s idea of beauty. Some stars were expected to go further than others and Marlene Dietrich is believed to have had several molars removed to enhance her looks.[3]
As to why, that is very clear – the prettiest smiles can get the best roles and the biggest box office. Although one film stands out – Tom Hanks in “Cast Away”. (No spoiler, you should watch it as to why I included it).  
May your smile never give you the troubles these stars have had!
Thanks for reading my blog! Feel free to share!



(Honorable Mention) Mike Myers as Austin Powers wore a set of bad teeth, and John Turturro wore a set of terrible redneck teeth in “Oh Brother Where art Thou”.


Mike Myers as Austin Powers
John Turturro as “Pete” in  “Oh Brother Where art Thou”.
Thanks for reading my blog!  Feel free to like, upvote, and share.
Edited  and expanded from my answer in Quora.

What has Hollywood portrayed accurately?

By Alan Chenkin, Learned about celebrities reading magazines at the supermarket checkout
When Hollywood makes a documentary, it is usually portrayed “somewhat” accurately – but if it is a movie “based on real events”, liberties may be taken to make the film more marketable and appealing to the target audiences.
In addition, the actual historic locations may have been updated or changed, so that the producers have to come up with a facsimile or alternative site for shooting parts of the film.  If you watch Charleton Heston as Moses in “The Ten Commandments” movie, many liberties were taken in “re-creating” ancient Egypt for the movie.
From the Web:
Keep in mind this is just my opinion, many of the directors and writers don’t have direct experience with the subject, due to age, distance, or lack of available information – which forces them to take artistic liberties with a story.
For an example, “Saving Private Ryan” had a lot of consultants (many veterans) for the recreation of the wartime scenes; some veterans were moved to tears from the reality of the D-Day landing on Normandy beach.
The fighting scenes were so real, that (IMHO), they overshadowed the story.  Hanks and Spielberg also collaborated on the WWII Museum in New Orleans, which also has a “Hollywood” touch, but is true to its mission.  (I have visited the museum and can vouch for its realistic feel.  If you go, see the movie they show first).
At best, Hollywood can only recreate a series of events.  Even with historians and written records, the lack of actual first-hand accounts and items lost to time, or worn out, make it necessary for the production company to improvise.  If that fits with the story, and it feels “real”, we can usually forgive some artistic license.
Thanks for reading my Blog!  Feel free to like, upvote, share and repost!
Edited and expanded from my answer on Quora.


Last Word: