Joan Crawford won an Oscar in 1945 for her portrayal of Mildred Pierce, a Glendale mother who survived the collapse of her comfortable middle class life in the Great Depression and achieved fame and success on her skills as a homemaker — specifically, her pie-baking genius.
It's a dark and melodramatic movie, now an HBO mini-series that started last Sunday.
But the real-life story of a Glendale mother who came to America with nothing but the clothes on her back and built a spectacularly successful business on her skills as a homemaker — specifically, her cake-baking genius — is anything but a tear-jerker.
It is an inspiring story that ought to be a movie. It can teach us all something about the simple virtues of humility, hard work, honesty, ethics and, most of all, the determination to overcome disadvantages and meet every challenge.