Many of the events and period details seen in Feud were re-created with an impressive degree of faithfulness to their real life counterparts—for example, check out this side-by-side comparison showing Feud’s version of Bette Davis’s appearance on the Andy Williams Show versus the actual one. Some elements, however, required a bit of creative license. Such was the case with Joan Crawford’s mansion.
By the time Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? began production, Crawford no longer had an LA home, having been a full-time resident of New York for several years. So, for exterior shots of her home, the show used this Paul Williams-designed mansion in Holmby Hills, while the ultra-glamorous Hollywood Regency-style interiors that legendary decorator Billy Haines had designed for Joan’s former Brentwood home were reproduced on a studio set with the help of vintage magazine features and archival photos.
Becker also cites Sunnylands, the Rancho Mirage retreat of philanthropists Walter and Leonore Annenberg, as a major influence on the production’s design. Now open to the public, the estate was designed in the mid-60s by A. Quincy Jones, with interiors by Haines and Ted Graber. “Midway through pre-production, I went on a tour, and it was really inspirational,” recalls Becker. “I wanted to take pictures of so many things—the furniture, the paint colors, the list of phone numbers on the bedside table—but you’re not allowed to take photos, and they’re super strict about it.”