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Legendary Joan Crawford

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January 2007

Dear Casey,

I'm interested to know what, if anything, your mother and two aunts think of your candid and very refreshing forum here. Sadly, I think many people took "Mommie Dearest" as absolute truth and regardless of anything that has come to light since it was published, your grandmother's reputation is forever altered.

Has Christina ever wavered from her version of this story and did Christopher cash in also? I can't remember where I read it or which actress said it, but found it hilarious to learn that Christina was a brat.

Best Regards,

Greg Feil
Alameda, Ca




January 2007

Dear Greg,

Thanks for the letter and welcome!

My mother Cathy and Aunt Cindy have responded to my Aunt Christina's allegations, most recently with Cindy appearing on Turner Classic Movie's documentary "Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Star" in 2002. I believe the last time my mother Cathy responded in the media was back in 1981 in People Magazine and on the ABC morning show Good Morning America. Think of this website as a logical extension of my grandmother's defense.

As there was no counter-offensive to match Christina's Mommie Dearest juggernaut, most casual observers greeted her book and the later movie as the truth. Given my grandmother died well prior to publication of the book and production of the film, she was not able to defend herself from the allegations. Again, given the impact of the book and film, it would have taken a full-time public relations offensive to counteract the damage done by Christina. Nothing like that was attempted by my side of the family. That is my mission today.

Christina has never wavered from her positions regarding my grandmother, nor will she. According to an article in the October 19, 1981 issue of People Magazine, Christopher is quoted as saying that he received $10,000 to give up the rights to the book and movie. Joan's will was probated and Christina and Christopher both received $27,500.

Classic Hollywood actress Myrna Loy has had some interesting things to say about Christina in the past. I suggest you check her impressions of Christina.

Thanks for the great letter and please write again.


Best,
Casey

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January 2007

Hi Casey,

I love Joan and she is part of my life as like Marlene Dietrich is. I just to want to know, in her end was Joan happy I mean was she tranquil and living well? I hope so.

Thank you so much.

Emerson
Curitiba - Brasil




January 2007

Dear Emerson,

Thanks for the very interesting question! Welcome to the website.

I am continually amazed by the worldwide reach of this website. I believe this is at least the second letter from South America!

Thank you for your warm thoughts about my grandmother. She was living a comfortable but quiet and secluded life in New York City at the time of her death. Joan had been ill with cancer for a time and that lead to her death, either directly or from a heart attack, as described on her death certificate. I remember her being thin but still full of energy. I can't believe this May 10th, it will be thirty years since she passed away.

Even at the end of her life, she was still corresponding with fans and friends. This is a testament to the love and devotion she showed to fans and friends alike. It is my deepest pleasure to continue her tradition.

Thanks for the wonderful letter and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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January 2007

Casey,

My friend Warren with whom I work at a hospital and I share a mutual admiration and fanatical desire to know everything about your grandmother and constantly talk about her, her movies, etc and have for years. I know it would be one of the most exciting things to happen to him if you could write him a short e mail. We constantly test each other about every nuance known to society about your grandmother and have for years. Could you please just write him a short e mail? When I told him I had written in a question several months ago and you answered, he was in shock...it would be his birthday present if you could do this~! His name is Warren.

Thanks so so much!

Janet Maday
Virginia



January 2007

Dear Warren & Janet,

Thank you very much for the letter and welcome back to the website. It has been my great pleasure to correspond with my grandmother fans for the past months. Fans like you and Warren are one of the reasons my grandmother's career flourished and she continues to be popular to this day. The incredible love and devotion shown by her fans is remarkable and makes me proud to be her grandson.

Warren, I would love to hear from you. Please drop me a line at this website and ask any questions you like. Fans have asked many interesting questions and I am hungry for more!

Thanks again for the wonderful comments. Please write again soon.

Best,
Casey

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January 2007

Hi Casey,

Like many other people I was very glad to come across this website! For most of my life I have been obsessed with your grandmother, Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, and Carol Burnette. Thank God for Turner Classic Movies!! We wouldn't be able to watch all those great movies your grandmother made if it wasn't for TCM. I knew there were twin girls in the family, I don't remember how I knew that, but often wondered why we heard so little about them. I was thrilled to find your site and also like many others wonder when a book from your mom and aunt will come about.

I am 48 years "young" and plan my first trip to L.A. in June. I plan on driving by Joan's house just to take a look. I realize it doesn't look like it used to but I don't care, I've waited all my life to do it, I'm so excited! I only wish I would of written her personally before she died. I appreciate and thank you for keeping her legacy going. She was a fascinating and beautiful person. She would be so proud of you I'm sure.

Leslie Wolf
Latrobe, Pennsylvania




January 2007

Dear Leslie,

Thank you for the marvelous letter and welcome to the website.

I too am very glad you came across this wonderful website. Neil Maciejewski does a tremendous job and I am extremely happy to be working with him.

Turner Classic Movies is the premiere classic Hollywood network. TCM shows beloved mainstream classics, silents and my current favorite, TCM Underground, that screens interesting cult classics. The TCM programmers are never afraid to screen a hidden gem or lost film because there is always a huge receptive audience.

My mother and Aunt Cindy, Joan's twins, are private people and other than very sporadic interviews they try to keep out of the spotlight. Cindy was interviewed for a 1996 A & E Channel Biography and the 2002 TCM documentary on my grandmother. My mother appeared on Good Morning America in 1981 and appeared in the October 19, 1981 issue of People magazine.

My grandmother's house in Brentwood is just a memory. The house has a completely new facade, landscaping and the old white bricks are now gone. Please do a drive by though. The neighborhood is lovely.

Enjoy your visit to Los Angeles. Surprising to most people, my first trip to the city was in 2004. I have been back many times in the past several years and can't get enough of the city or people. Hollywood has been transformed from its seedy past of the 1970's and 80's to a prime tourist location once again due to the incredible redevelopment of such attractions as the Hollywood & Highland complex, the Kodak Theater (home of the Oscars) and my personal favorite, The Hollywood Museum at the Max Factor Building on Highland Avenue just south of Hollywood Boulevard.

Thanks for the letter and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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January 2007

Greetings Casey,

I'm sure you're discontented with the questions regarding the movie Mommie Dearest, but I have a burning question to ask. Yes, I'm one of the "young fans" that has been introduced to Joan by the movie "Mommie Dearest." So, as you may suspect, my question is related to the movie. Why was Christina and Chris disinherited? I can't comprehend why a mother would want to wound her children in such a way? From what I understand, the twin children did receive an inheritance; therefore, they may feel obligated to protect Joan Crawford's image. It seems favoritism played a part in Ms. Joan Crawford's judgement and it seems she lacked uncondional love for her two older children. The act of disinherting the two eldest children seems vindictive and unkind.

Ms. Joan Crawford's talents and career achievements will never be diminished because of her personal life decisions. I certainly hope no one takes any offense -I beleive it's beneficial for you to view all perspectives without condemnation.

I look forward to your response.

Thank you,

Yasmin
New York




January 2007

Dear Yasmin,

Thanks for the questions!

Like you, many younger Joan Crawford fans were introduced to her life and career through the Mommie Dearest film. The film has become one of the campiest cult films of all-time and exposed a wide audience to my grandmother. One unintended consequence of the book and film is that my grandmother's life has remained a popular topic of conversation among Joan fans and general film fans alike.

As for why Christina and Christopher were disinherited, I believe it was as simple as Joan found out Christina was writing a tell-all book about their relationship, soon to become the infamous Mommie Dearest. I can imagine Joan felt betrayed and disinheriting Christina and Christopher was her response. Celebrities are people too, so Joan's action to disinherit Christina and Christopher was the only avenue she found appropriate. It may be cliche', but put yourself in Joan's shoes and imagine how you would react if you found out your children were writing a tell-all book about your life together. Not very pleasant and I can't imagine my grandmother's response to the betrayal.

As for my mother and Aunt Cindy feeling obligated to protect their mother's reputation because they received an inheritance, I disagree. They loved their mother and obviously had a different, better relationship with Joan than did Christina and Christopher. I believe Joan had unconditional love for all her children, however she was betrayed near the end of her life and responded in kind.

I have never shied away from questions concerning Christina and Christopher's relationship with Joan. There are no details or perspectives about my grandmother's life that should be ignored or white washed, but she was not vindictive or unkind to her oldest children. She was only responding to the situation at hand.

Thanks for the questions and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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January 2007

Casey,

I am a big fan of your grandmothers. I have a very hard time believing that Joan Crawford died on a mattress without a headboard in a room with a small tv and one lamp as it is shown in the movie, "Mommie Dearest." Was that inaccurate like the rest of the movie? I do watch the movie but only for the glamour of Joan, I do not belive all the negative elements.

I am so glad that you have the respect to stand up for her sonce she cannot. I love your memories of her. Thank you for that.

Mark Miko
Pittsburgh PA




January 2007

Hi Mark,

Welcome to the website and thanks for the questions.

The March 1976 issue of Architectural Digest shows my grandmother's redone apartment # 22-H at Imperial House on 150 East 69th Street in Manhattan. This is the apartment I remember from my childhood. As most Joan fans know, she did not like clutter and the apartment was furnished and decorated in such a manner.

Interior designer Carleton Varney used most of Joan's existing furniture, designed by her lifelong friend Billy Haines, to create a bright color palette with Asian influence. The fabrics and furniture colors were bright yellows, greens and white and were incorporated into the overall apartment's design scheme. The furniture was sleek and very modern. Not necessarily my taste, but the height of mid-1970's design.

Christina over simplified my grandmother's furniture choices. Joan's bed did not have a headboard, but that was the design. Very simple, yet elegant. Please do check out the Architectural Digest issue. It provides wonderful insight into my grandmother's interior design and furniture choices towards the end of her life.

Thanks for the questions and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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