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caseylettersdecember2007

December 2007

Hello, Casey!

I just wanted to say that I absolutely love what you have done with this site, and answering the questions of Joan's still thriving fans!

As a child (I'm only 20...sad, I know...) I watched Mommie Dearest numerous times, and to be honest, until I came across your site, I thought it was 100% reality. I wasn't even aware that Joan had other children besides Christina and Christopher. After visiting your site, I have to question the movie and the book as well. If your grandmother was "sooo terrible" toward Christina and Christopher, why was she not the same toward Cathy and Cynthia? I don't buy it. Once an abuser, always an abuser.

I think that what Christina did is terrible. Joan adopted her and her brother and gave them both lives that were beyond anything they could have ever imagined, out of the kindness of her heart - and they repay her by being defiant and tearing down her image when she is gone, and not here to defend herself? Unbelievable.

I also noticed on the site that your family is in Allentown, PA! I'm just near there! I would love it if you could e-mail me, I'd like to give you my number - it would be AMAZING to be able to meet you and see actual Joan Crawford memorabilia! :) Congratulations on the success of your site, I see that there are A LOT of fans for your grandmother out there - they will keep her alive in their hearts and their faith - even Christina can't take that away! :)

Happy Holiday's!!

EmmJae Taylor
Lancaster, PA



December 2007

Dear EmmaJae,

Thanks for the great letter! Welcome to the world's greatest Joan Crawford website!

Many thanks for the nice comments on the site. I contribute a small portion of the content. Neil Maciejewski is the website's author and deserves 100% of the credit for creating this fantastic site. Neil has created a comprehensive and creative look at the life and career of my grandmother, Joan Crawford.

Now back to your letter . . .

You are one of the countless fans who found Joan through Mommie Dearest. I am thrilled that you have looked past my Aunt Christina's venomous book and campy film to find the real Joan Crawford. She was a woman of substance, dedicated to her family, friends and fans and above all a Hollywood legend.

I have been asked these questions about Christina many times. I concede obviously that I wasn't present during the time when Christina, Christopher and my mother and aunt lived with Joan. However, I can only go by the fond and loving memories of my mother and Aunt Cindy.

Mommie Dearest, due to the potential litigation of showing my mother or aunt in the film, only represents Christina's perspective. Mind you, by the time Mommie Dearest was released as a motion picture, my grandmother had been deceased for several years. My grandmother had no other family to defend her, save for my mother and Aunt Cindy.

As for geography, I am the last member of the family to live in southeast Pennsylvania. My mother recently retired to a nicer, warmer climate. I don't know how much longer I will last here either, as I can't stand the cold weather and snow!

Thanks for the wonderful letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

December 2007

DEAR CASSY,

I HAVE ONLY JUST BEGUN TO LOOK INTO THE LIFE OF JOAN CRAWFORD I RECENTLY WATCHED THE MOVIE MOMMIE DEAREST WITH MY OWN MOTHER HOW IS A JOAN CRAWFORD FAN. CAN YOU TELL ME WHY JOAN LEFT CHRISTINA AND CHRISTOPHER OUT OF THE WILL IN THE MOVIE? IT STATED FOR REASON THEY BOTH NO WHY CAN YOU TELL ME WHY?

THANKYOU FOR YOU RESPONCE
CHEERS

Ro McKellar
Australia



December 2007

Dear Ro,

Thanks for the letter and welcome!

First, I would strongly suggest that you look past Mommie Dearest and watch some REAL Joan Crawford films like Mildred Pierce, A Woman's Face and The Women. You will see an astonishingly beautiful and professional actress. Aside from her legendary Hollywood roles, she was a loving and caring mother and friend.

Second, given she was a very complex woman, I suggest you read and watch everything you can get your hands on. There are more than a few perspectives on Joan's life. Don't take my Aunt Christina at face value. Read some other biographies, Joan's own autobiographies and make up your own mind.

Thanks for letter and please write again! Happy Holidays!

Best,
Casey

December 2007


Hi Casey!

Well I don't really have a question.

I'm kind of stuck on one to ask but I just wanted to say that your grandmother was such a beautiful woman. No actress can compare to her. I've been watching your grandmother's films since I was a 5 and I'm 19 now and still watch them. The ones I love the most are Dancing Lady, No More Ladies, Mildred Pierce, A Woman's Face and Grand Hotel. She is like a hero to me and a lot of people don't understand why probably because of this Mommie Dearest idea but she will always be a hero to me no matter
what she did or didn't do.

I just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to listen to what I had to say I'm also really sorry to hear about your aunt Cindy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
Christina

Ontario, Canada



December 2007

Dear Christina,

Thanks for the fabulous letter! Happy Holidays!

Your favorite Joan films are some of my favorites too. I am so glad you look beyond the Mommie Dearest hype and see just how special she was as an actress and person. I am very proud to have you consider my grandmother as one of your heroes. It makes my day!

Thanks for the wonderful letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

December 2007

Hello Casey LaLonde,

I often wonder how your grandmother kept up with all of these writing letters to thousands of fans every day?

Jason

Washington, DC.



December 2007

Dear Jason,

Thanks for the delightful letter and Happy Holidays!

My grandmother worked tirelessly all day and into the night to correspond with her legion of fans. Also ever-present was her incredibly talented assistants, including her confidential secretary Betty Barker. Betty worked full-time for my grandmother from 1955 to Joan's death in 1977. Betty also worked part-time and on a volunteer "fan" basis for many years prior to 1955. I visit Betty when I can get to Los Angeles. She has crystal clear memories of working with Joan over the years and it is always a delight to ask questions about Hollywood's golden age.

Above all, I would suggest my grandmother was very well organized, efficient and dedicated to her family, friends and fans. Joan was famous for writing thank you notes to thank you notes. It was just her way of keeping in touch with everyone in the typewriter / pen and paper age. If she were a star today, I bet she would have a wonderful website with a full staff to correspond with her fans.

Thanks for the letter and Happy Holidays!

Best,
Casey

December 2007

What was Joan's cause of death?

Did Joan have any female lovers?

Charmica K. Edwards
Memphis, TN



December 2007

Dear Charmica,

Thanks for the letters and welcome!

Oh Memphis! One of my favorite cities! Jazz on Beale Street and delicious ribs at Corky's BBQ!

It is an interesting coincidence you are writing from Memphis, as I spent some time there in the early 1990's trying to find my mother and Aunt Cindy's birth family. We were successful soon after going to court to open their adoption records with the wonderful assistance from Denny Glad, who at the time was the president of Tennessee - The Right to Know, an adoption rights advocacy group. Denny was so much help finding a lawyer and pursuing the right information.

The courts finally order my mother's birth and adoption records opened and we later met the entire family. J.W. Jordan, their biological father, was a retiree living in Friendship, Tennessee. My mother and aunt were born in Dyersburg, a small city north of Memphis. I still remember the little shops and restaurants there and have great memories of meeting the family.

One of the funny things that happened when my mother and I were poking around Dyersburg was stopping to ask a local where the "hospital" was located. My mother and aunt were born in 1947 and they were born in the "old" hospital. I got a funny look from the gas station attendant when I asked where the hospital was located, as the "new" hospital was built many years later!

As for my grandmother's "official" cause of death, it is listed on her death certificate from the City of New York Medical Examiner's Office as "Cardiac Arrest." It is widely noted that my grandmother had cancer. It was even apparent to me as a young kid that she was wasting away from something. I believe she probably had a heart attack from her illness, not as a separate cause of death. I remember her being so thin and frail towards the end.

You may view a scanned image of her death certificate at my friend Scott Michael's website www.findadeath.com. I consider Scott's to be the best deceased celebrity site in existence. Please check it out!

As for your last question, information surfaced about two years ago when Marilyn Monroe's deceased psychiatrist's, Dr. Ralph Greenson, tape recorded sessions with Marilyn were released. In those tapes, Marilyn claimed she and my grandmother had a one-night stand. Marilyn apparently didn't enjoy the experience very much and told Joan so, causing my grandmother just a little heartburn.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

December 2007

Hi Casey,

Your grandmother was a very beautiful and envied star! But what I don't understand, is if all these years Christina has been trashing her mother why hasn't someone from the family counter sued yet? Whether or not the allegations be true or false, it clearly shows she was after the money.

Also has anyone ever tried to buy some of your grandmother's things from you?

Sonya
Georgia



December 2007

Dear Sonya,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the best Joan Crawford site on the Internet!

I too have been asking similar questions for much of my adult life. Why hasn't anyone from the family sued to stop Christina? Simply put, American law does not allow defamation / slander / libel suits filed on behalf of those deceased. Although Christina single handed ruined my grandmother's reputation for decades, there is or was no legal means to stop her.

By eliminating any reference to my mother, Aunt Cindy or even us grandchildren and focusing solely on Joan, Christina could have literally said anything (and she did) about her without any legal recourse by the family. As a comparison, libel / slander / defamation law is more broad in the United Kingdom. The UK allows suits filed by family members of those deceased. The UK laws make a for a more restricted biography selection, but more honorable nonetheless.

My mother did sue Christina back in 1998 for defamation. Christina once again claimed that my mother and Aunt Cindy were not in fact twins but complete unrelated. My mother and Aunt Cindy were proven to be blood-related fraternal twins back in the early 1990's through our efforts in the Tennessee courts to get their adoption records released. Christina and my mother settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

As for your last question, no one has offered to buy any of my grandmother's things from me. To be honest, I wouldn't even entertain an offer!

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

December 2007

Hello Casey,

I was very sorry to hear about the passing of your aunt. I was very excited to hear that there will be another DVD set and another book coming out in Feb. 2008 about your grandmother. Do you think that there could possibly be a third DVD set?(No doubt the second set will sell just as well as the first one!) And also do you know anything of the other two books that are supposed to be released later in 2008?

Your response will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you,

Linda
Georgia



December 2007

Dear Linda,

Thank you for the letter and welcome!

Thanks also for the condolences about Cindy.

2008 will be another exciting year for Joan fans as the second Warner Bros. DVD box set will be released, as well as Daisy Kenyon from Fox Studio. The Warners box set will include A Woman's Face, Flamingo Road, Sadie McKee, Strange Cargo and Torch Song. The box set is available beginning on February 12, 2008 and you can pre-order with your favorite online merchant.

My two film favorites from this box set are A Woman's Face and Flamingo Road. With so much fan interest in my grandmother's films, a third box set is a sure bet. The first box set sold very well, and the second set will no doubt be as popular. Given that only a fraction of my grandmother's films are currently available on DVD, there will be continued interest in future years for additional box sets.

The Daisy Kenyon DVD release is scheduled for March 11, 2008. I am proud to have been included in the DVD extras with an interview I did earlier this year in New York City. Hope you like it!

Several books are slated for release in 2008 also, including Charlotte Chandler's Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, a Personal Biography. Ms. Chandler has written other star biographies about Groucho Marx, Ingrid Bergman, director Billy Wilder and Bette Davis. The book is scheduled to be available on February 5, 2008. I haven't seen any press on the book as of today, but I am hoping for a genuine, positive look at Joan's life.

Thanks for the letter Linda and please write again!

Best,
Casey