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Home | Films | Cast-aphrocies | Biography | Photos | Ask Casey | Crawford's Children | Crawford's Men | Radio Days | Television | Joan's Homes | Letters | Facts & Myths | Press/Media Contact

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October 2006

Casey,

Since the recent death of your Uncle Christopher Crawford, I began to wonder about his family. Do you have any
communication with any of his children? I heard his son, Brad has been asking questions about Joan and I wonder if you and he ever plan to unite in any way to restore her image. Have you met Brad or any of Chris's other kids?

Danny Fortune
San Francisco




November 9, 2006

Hi Danny,

Thanks for the questions and I appreciate your patience.

I truly regret the disintegration of the family that occurred following the death of my grandmother. Much of this had to do with my Aunt Christina's publication of Mommie Dearest. After the book's publication, my mother Cathy not communicate anymore with Christopher or Christina. My grandmother's death devastated my mother and the book did not help matters. The book drove a spike directly into the heart of the family and we have not recovered to this day. I am hoping that my recent contact with Christopher's daughter Janit, from his first family will begin to change the circumstances. The grandchildren had nothing to do with Mommie Dearest or any of the troubles following our grandmother's death. Maybe we can begin to rebuild the family in the near future.

Thanks for the questions and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Casey,

I do not have a question. Just that I loved your grandma, she was one of the hardest working wonderful actresses in the world. I enjoy her early films the most. Glad you set up this site.

Di
Michigan




November 8, 2006

Hello Di,

Welcome and thanks for the sweet comments.

All Joan Crawford fans have their favorite segments of her career. I just plain love them all! Her early films are especially fun.

I give all credit for this website to its founder and architect Neil Maciejewski. It has been my pleasure to contribute a tiny portion of the overall website content. Neil does a wonderful job, keeps the site fresh and exciting and is always making improvements. Stay tuned!

Thanks for the comments Di and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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Casey,

I am so grateful to you, you wonderful wonderful person! Writing you is as close to Joan as we can get! Thank you so much.

Your grandmother was such a fascinating woman. Her image in "Grand Hotel" is incredible. To me she steals the show; even from Greta. Please tell us everything about her. I hope your mother will add to your site as well.

Warmest regards,

Russell C
Burbank, CA




November 8, 2006

Hi Russell!

Thanks for the warm and kind words. Connecting with my grandmother's fans helps me further understand and appreciate her work and life.

I too love her iconic image in Grand Hotel. She literally steals the show from Garbo and is more than a match for Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore. My only regret is that she did not have a single scene with Garbo. That would have been fascinating to watch!

Thanks again for the lovely comments and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

When I was younger, I couldn't understand the fuss about Joan, but now that I'm older I'm begining to see the errer of my ways. I would specially like to see "Johnny Guitar" and "Autumn Leaves," because I thought looked very attractive in her middle yrs.

My question is related to that. Was Joan in the 50s and 60s as beautiful in reality as I thought she was in photographs and on the screen.

Stuart Thomson
Dundee, Scotland




November 8, 2006

Dear Stuart,

Thanks for the questions and observations. I am continually amazed by my grandmother's worldwide fan base. Welcome!

I wholeheartedly agree with your opinion about my grandmother's looks in the 1950's and 1960's. Although she was a beautiful young woman and actress, she had a definite something that she really grew into in her later years. There was no mistaking Joan Crawford in the 50's or 60's. She had a look of her own and used it flawlessly.

Thanks and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Hi Casey,

I am acutally on the phone right now with my friend back in LA. We can't figure out for the life of us the names of the girls who portrayed Bette Davis and your grandmother, Joan Crawford in the film "Whatever Happend To Baby Jane." I would love to hear from you. Whose son are you Casey? Cynthia, Cathy, Christina or Christopher? I just had to ask....Look forward to hearing from you. Isn't the dvd boxed set incredible!

Sincerely,

Denny McLain
Orlando, FL




November 8, 2006

Hi Denny,

I love Baby Jane! Young Baby Jane is played by Julie Allred and Young Blanche is played by Gina Gillespie. Gina Gillespie did lots of television in the 1950's and 60's, and now is an attorney, according to IMDB. Also according to IMDB, Julie Allred's only Hollywood credit is Baby Jane.

I'm glad you enjoyed the film. Baby Jane is one of my favorites!

As for lineage, I am the son of Cathy Crawford LaLonde.

The Warner Bros. DVD box set is fantastic! I had some information that a Volume 2 box set was on the way for 2007. I was planning to contact Warner Bros. home video to verify. If they give me some details, I will pass the information along.

Thanks for the questions and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Greetings Casey,

I'm so honored to be in contact with Joan Crawford's grandson! Thank you for giving her devoted fans (and I'm certainly one of them )this wonderful family connection. My question is this:

It has been reported that Joan's cause of death was pancreatic cancer and that she refused to seek medical attention due to her Christian Scientist beliefs. Are any of these statements true ?

Best regards,

Rita Johnson
California





November 8, 2006

Hello Rita,

Thanks for the questions.

It is my pleasure to be contact with my grandmother's fans! Thank you for being such a devoted fan.

Joan officially died of a heart attack, although she was very ill with pancreatic cancer also. I could imagine the cancer making her very weak and possibly bringing on a heart attack. In the year or so leading up to her death, I remember her as being in good spirits but looking rather frail. If we accept she was born in 1906, she was only 71 in 1977. By today's standards, that is too young to die.

Joan's Christian Scientist beliefs did preclude her from seeking medical attention. However, pancreatic cancer is fatal in most cases. I believe she may have sought a medical opinion and realized it was just too late. Surgery, chemotherapy or radiation therapy were not options, I believe, my grandmother was willing to endure to give her another year of life.

She raised four children and had a legendary Hollywood career. I think she made peace with herself and made preparations for her ultimate starring role.

Thanks for the question and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Hello Casey,

Joan has always been one of my all time favorite actresses from the minute I saw her magnificent face in "GRAND HOTEL". It riveled Garbo's!... and I've been hooked ever since. Although Joan's persona has mostly been known for being a dedicated & hard working professional, what's not generally known is that she also possessed a wonderful sense of humor.

I remember reading that Carol Burnett actually received a phone call from Joan after she saw her hilarious spoof of "MILDRED PIERCE" called "MILDRED FIERCE". Do you personally have any recollections of her lighter side ?

Gail Meredith
Somerville, N.J.





November 8, 2006

Hi Gail!

I couldn't agree more that Joan had a lighter side. Partially due to Mommie Dearest and her Hollywood reputation as a driven and ambitious star, Joan's more friendly and sense of humor is usually ignored to focus on the more sensational aspects of her life. Although I was a child when she passed away, Joan was always in good spirits and in a great mood when we came to visit.

Carol Burnett's incredibly entertaining spoof "Mildred Fierce" is classic. That my grandmother found it hilarious and contacted Ms. Burnett directly is a testament to her sense of humor.

Thanks for the question Gail and please write again.

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Dear Casey,

How's it going? I wrote you a few month's ago asking about a Joan Fan Expo.Since then,I have looked into the idea as far as my city goes,and it is easier than you might think.Let me know what you think,or like to know,if you like.

Thank's Again,

David Green
San Diego,Ca




November 8, 2006

Hi David,

I would love to hear your ideas on a Joan Crawford expo. An expo would be a great draw for fans. Please write again with your ideas and let's get this project started!

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Hi Casey,

I've been an ardent admirer of your Grandmother's work for over 40 years and would like to know if the Post Office has plans to honor her long & illustrious career with a stamp in the near future?

Lori Martin
Southern Cal.




October 2006

Hi Lori!

Thanks for the question. There has been a recent groundswell to have my grandmother honored with a U.S. postage stamp. Through the efforts of my friend and author Michelle Vogel, Neil Maciejewski, author of this wonderful website and the legions of Joan fans across the country, we are attempting to get her on a stamp soon.

If I could have your assistance in a letter writing campaign, please write to:

Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
c/o Stamp Development, U.S. Postal Service
475 L'Enfant Plaza, SW
Room 4474E, Washington, D.C.
20260-2437

Thanks for getting involved! Please write again.

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Hi Casey,

I wanted to tell you that I love your website. I have been a fan of your Grandmother for a long time (since I was a kid) in the 70's. I sent Michelle Vogel 10 or so letters I have collected written by your Grandmother, and have collected quite a few since then. I didn't know I could contact you. I was going to send word through Michelle because I had wanted to tell your family something that was important to me. I wanted your family to know that Christina's book had absolutely no effect whatsoever on my opinion and great devotion I have for Joan Crawford. It has always bothered me to think your family was affected badly from all that. I just hope your family knows that sensible people know the difference. Your Grandmother is one of a kind and will always be the most famous movie stars in history. That will NEVER change.

I do have a few questions that I never have been able to find answers to in all the books I've read and researched. If its ok, I'll send to you. My biggest regret is that I never wrote your Grandmother. I was only about 10 when she passed away, but would have loved to have done that.Sorry for my wordiness, but I do love to write letters, just like your Grandmother.

Thanks you for this great website, and you can be assured I will spend quite a bit of time going over it.

Thanks again,

Stephen Bledsoe
Columbia, SC





October 2006

Hello Stephen!

Thanks for the incredible outpouring of support and fond memories.

It is true that Christina's book did incredible damage to my family. However, her book has never changed my family's love and respect for Joan Crawford as an actress, businesswoman, mother or grandmother. Christina has her memories, and we have ours.

Please send along any questions through this website. I would love to have the opportunity to answer additional questions.

Thanks again for the lovely comments. Please do write again!

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Dear Casey,

I have a great respect for the work of your grandmother. I read that she had a difficult childhood. It must be tough for a child to go through what I read she went through. It is remarkable of Joan to be self educated, as she shares in her autobiography and the interview on the latest edition of JANE. What is your dearest memory of her? A special moment spent together or just a fun episode of your life with her?

Thank you for answering to all my questions.

Best wishes,

Simone
England




October 2006

Hello Simone!

Thanks for the warm thoughts and questions. I am continually amazed by my grandmother's wonderful fans across the globe!

Like many of her generation, work came first, school second. Joan's trials and tribulations growing up made her the ambitious and successful woman she became. She overcame a rough childhood and learned nothing was free and that hard work was the path to achievement.

My fondest memories are not unlike those of millions of other grandchildren. When I was a child, it was normal for Joan to prepare lunch for me when my family visited her in New York City. As an adult, I look back with such amazement that Hollywood legend Joan Crawford would care to make lunch for a five year old child. But that is how I remember her, as a loving grandmother always looking to take care of me.

Your questions bring back such wonderful memories for me. Thank You!

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Casey,

Did your grandmother have the opportunity to travel to the UK during her working career?

Lisa Crane
England




October 2006

Hi Lisa!

Thanks for the question and greetings from the States. Joan did travel and work in the UK during her career. The Story of Esther Costello was shot in the UK in 1956. Joan considered this one of her last top notch films and probably should have been nominated for an Academy Award. Heather Sears, who portrayed Esther Costello, won the 1958 Best British Actress BAFTA. The film was also nominated for a Best British Screenplay BAFTA.

While in the UK filming Esther Costello, Joan had the remarkable experience of being introduced to Queen Elizabeth II in the fall of 1956.

On a side note, my wife and I just returned from a week long visit to London. We had a wonderful time.

Thanks for your question. Please write again!

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

Hi, Casey!

Thanks SO much for hosting this q & a column. Like so many other gay men, my partner and I find your grandmother intriguing, inspiring, and absolutely fascinating. For the life of me, I don't know exactly why, but we just can NOT get enough of Joan. Oh, I wish some other contemporary actress had just one ounce of her charisma, power, and presence. Sandra Bullock? Charlize Theron? Katie Holmes? Please!

Sorry, I digress. After gobbling up every book I could, from people who really knew your grandmother, I still have so many questions. I won't bore you with all of them but, mainly, is your mom possibly planning on writing a book? I would be so interested in seeing things from her perspective. I really feel that she would have so many stories to share that would fill in the gaps and give a more complete picture of the woman that is "Joan Crawford". We just finished "A Portrait of Joan". In it, Joan shared so many wonderful stories about the twins - like the one about Cathy holding her breath when she was little until she passed out. Then Joan would swat her bottom and shout "breathe, breathe!" and she would. Oh my Gosh! I WAS THE SAME WAY when I was a little boy. I could hold my breath and pass out by sheer will if things didn't go my way. Does Cathy remember being that way? There are just so many incredible stories I know your mom could share that so many of us would treasure.

Marvin Duren
San Francisco, CA




October 2006

Dear Marvin,

Thank you for the wonderful letter. Although I am just a little biased, I agree that today's Hollywood actresses do not come close to the screen presence of my grandmother or any of her contemporaries from the golden age of Hollywood. Modern day examples of Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Greta Garbo or Norma Shearer just do not exist.

I am so pleased you and your partner have come to know Joan through her many films and books written by and about her. As you suggested, one more book needs to be written, by and about my mother Cathy's life with Joan. This book would certainly open up new avenues of discussion and shed additional light on Joan's life with her adopted children. It would provide a counterpoint to Christina's claims, and it would be presented as a loving tribute to Joan Crawford.

Now I just need to convince my mother do so!

Thanks for the great question and observations. Please write again.

Best,
Casey

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October 2006

I bought the "Mommie Dearest, Hollywood Royalty edition" of the film, "Mommie Dearest". In the section where John Waters narrates, he states that during the filming of "Trog", that Joan Crawford had to change in a car and did not even have a dressing room. Is this true???

Thank you for your time.

Frank
New Jersey




October 2006

Hi Frank,

Thanks for the great Trog question. Your information about Joan using a car as a dressing room is correct. Some amazing things happen on a low budget film set, including improvising a car for a dressing room. Joan was rumored to also use her own clothes for wardrobe, except for the lab coat.

Thanks for the question and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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