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caseylettersseptember2007

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September 2007

Hi Casey,

I'm absolutely delighted to have found this marvelous website with a direct connection to Joan's grandson. Thanks so much for taking the time to personally answers these questions from fans.

Do you know what happened to Joan's NYC apartment in the Imperial House after her death? Was it left to your mother & her sister?

Best regards,
Helen Walker
Exton, Pa.


September 2007

Dear Helen,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the website!

I am amazed at the responses we are getting at the website. I drive through Exton every day on my commute to work and lived there for three years!

It has been my pleasure to continue answering questions from fans around the world. My grandmother always believed in personally attending to her fans, so it is my honor to keep her tradition alive.

Joan's place at the Imperial House Apartments was liquidated along with the rest of her estate. My mother, per Joan's will, did receive most of her belongings, but an auction was held after her death. A super-majority of her estate was given to various charities listed in her last will and testament.

Her apartment was in a fabulous location in Manhattan and given current real estate prices, would be worth $1.5 to $2 million dollars. Real estate in Manhattan is incredibly expensive!

I don't know who the current owner is, but the apartment building is still a sought after and highly desirable location in New York City.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Casey,

After seeing the photos above it is very clear that your mother and Cindy are twins. This making Christina's claim that they are not completely out of line. This alone would make one wonder what else she was less then truthful about.

Still I admire the way you call her "Aunt Christina". It show that your parents taught you respect under bad circumstances. Thank you for sharing your life, your time, and your grandmother with us.

Irma Jean
BONNERS FERRY IDAHO



September 2007

Dear Irmajean,

Thanks for the letter and a welcome!

I spent some time in Montana after college and traveled through Idaho on several occasions. Idaho is one breathtaking state! My fondest memory was traveling overland (literally) through the mountains from Montana through the Lemhi pass near Salmon, Idaho. The scenery was incredible and I saw lots of wildlife, including a moose!

Back to your letter . . . My mother and Aunt Cindy found their birth family in 1991 after a lengthy court battle to open their adoption records. I remember traveling to Memphis, Tennessee and sitting in court while a family court judge ruled against my mother to get her birth records opened. The courts finally agreed to open the records and my mother, Aunt Cindy and I met the Tennessee side of our family soon after. Christina's claims that my mother and Aunt Cindy weren't twins was proved false.

My mother, Cathy, taught me to always be respectful of others and have proper manners. She learned those lessons from her mother, Joan Crawford.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Hello Casey,

I am a 37yo professional woman, and first heard of Joan Crawford as a very young girl through "Mommie Dearest". Although I don't believe a word of it, I do credit the film (and Faye Dunaway's haunting portrayal) to stir an interest in me in the incredibly multi-faceted performer, business woman, and person that was Joan Crawford. Although a wonderful actress, it was really more her business sense that attracted me. As a single, career oriented woman in a mans world, it was often her image that kept me afloat in the early days of my career.

I have all of the biographies mentioned in the previous letter, as well as some memorabilia collected over the years. I have even gotten my husband (whose movie tastes run mostly to James Bond and the Godfather) interested and he is always pleased when a JC movie arrives via Netflix. We watched "Possessed" last night and he loved it! I have probably seen all of her movies at least once, and several multiple times.

I was interested to know that you attended Penn State University. I grew up in State College! To think that JCs grandson was right under my nose! I also lived for many years in Wayne, PA I see you are now in the Philadelphia suburbs so perhaps our paths have crossed.

I dont have a question really, I just wanted you to know that there are still hard core fans of your grandmothers out here! I imagine she was an extraordinary woman to know.

Sincerely,

Emily
Harrisburg, PA





September 2007

Dear Emily,

Thanks for the great letter from a fellow Keystone State resident!

Your introduction to Joan Crawford is like many young fans, through the book and movie Mommie Dearest. No matter how hard Christina worked to destroy her mother's memory, the book and film have actually helped open up a new and younger audience to my grandmother's life and career. The film especially has kept Joan a part of pop culture for thirty years.

Joan's business acumen is another very interesting aspect to her life and career. She worked to be more than just another pretty actress who recited her lines. Her desire to learn all aspects of film production and her later work for PepsiCo in the 1950's and beyond made her a businesswoman to admire.

There's nothing wrong with a good James Bond film or watching The Godfather, Part II. However, watching a classic Joan Crawford film is always a great experience!

I very much enjoyed my college experience at Penn State. I started out in 1990 at the Allentown campus and then spent one semester at Kutztown University, then finished my last three semesters in State College. The greatest thing about Penn State is that I met my spouse there in 1992. We have been together ever since!

State College is a great university community and I try to go back occasionally. The Nittany Lions football games are incredible and the Penn State spirit is with me everywhere.

Wayne, PA is just a short drive from where we live.

Thanks for the great letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Dear Casey,

I am sitting here today just enjoying the fabulous 24 hour tribute to Joan Crawford on TCM.

It is so wonderful to learn the other side of the story from Christina's awful picture of your grandmother. I always lumped this book in with Gary Crosby's on Bing and B.D. Hyman's on her mother, Bette Davis: pure nonsense, sour grapes, and a chance to cash in on a parent's celebrity status!

Amazingly, I was adding sites on Joan to the IllumiRate directory and ran across this one. How cool!

Mainly, I thought I would let you know that my Aunt Gladys Sisk (nee Johns) who was born in 1902 in Ash Grove, Missouri, was at college with your grandmother way back when she was still Lucille Le Suere. ;-) I believe Joan waited tables in the dining hall to pay her way.

I remember my Aunt speaking of this when I was young and thought that might be something of interest to you so would pass it along in case you were unaware.

I have so enjoyed reading the many letter sent to you and your answers. Fascinating stuff! Keep up the wonderful work!

Best regards,

Barbara York
Buchanan, Virginia




September 2007

Dear Barbara,

Thanks for the fantastic letter! Welcome!

The "Summer Under the Stars" tribute to Joan on TCM in August was fabulous! They showed some films I haven't seen at all or in many years. I am glad you enjoyed the day. TCM is the ultimate source for classic films on television.

Thank you for the comments about Christina's book. It is a rather easy exercise to lump her book together with the Crosby and Davis books. It is always a shame when family members dish only the bad memories of their loved ones. Joan was an incredibly complex woman who deserved more than her daughter's nasty memories.

I would love to hear more about your memories of your Aunt Gladys. There is so little information about my grandmother's time at Stephens College. Most of Joan's memories were negative, so I am more than interested in hearing another side of life at the College.

Please send more memories!

It has been my pleasure to answer questions from Joan fans around the world. I have so enjoyed hearing from fans from all points of the globe.

Keep the letters coming!

Take care and thanks again for the fabulous letter!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Hi Casey,

What an honor to be able to ask you questions. Your Grandmother was so incredible. I did first hear of her via "Mommie Dearest" but I am only a couple years older than you. I have since been completely discusted with "The Movie." I can not beleive that her own children could do something like that.

My question is do you know why Christina did not include all of the childen in the book or movie?

A very greatful fan,

Doug Schofield
Franklin NH




September 2007

Dear Doug,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the website!

It has been my honor and privilege to continue my grandmother's wonderful practice of corresponding directly with her fans.

I share your feelings about "Mommie Dearest." I have no time for it and don't care for the "film."

Very simply put, if either my mother or Aunt Cindy were portrayed, especially in the movie, they would have sued Christina, Paramount Pictures and anyone else associated with the movie. My mother and Aunt Cindy didn't agree with anything shown in the movie, so to have either of them portrayed would have led to legal trouble. The movie's distribution could have been halted until the courts decided on legal issues alone. The courts could have gone so far as to order a re-editing of the movie to remove any and all references and depictions of my mother or aunt.

Paramount's lawyers were smart enough to ensure that no depictions like these were made.

Same goes for the book . . .

Very interesting, but clear cut legal issues in both cases.

Thanks for the very interesting questions.

Please write again!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Hi Casey,

I am a collector of costume jewelry and I've always been an admirer of the fabulous jewels your grandmother wore, most of which was rumored to be costume.

I have a few jewelry related questions:

Did your mom get any of the jewelry when your grandmother died?

Do you know anything about her relationship with Miriam Haskell?

In looking at publicity photos of your grandmother there is one necklace that appears over and over again. It looks like freshwater pearls. She wore it so often I wonder if it had some special meaning to her?

Thanks so much!

Kevin
New Jersey




September 2007

Dear Kevin,

Thanks for the very interesting and unique letter!

My grandmother was a keen collector of costume jewelry and had quite a nice collection. She also had her precious jewelry, but I really think she enjoyed collecting costume jewelry.

My mother received most or all of Joan's costume and real jewelry. I remember many times through my young life looking at the impressive collection of especially the costume jewelry. She had many rings, necklaces and other brooches that although were costume, were very exquisite and beautiful.

My grandmother was a big Miriam Haskell fan and purchased her exquisite costume jewelry from the 1930's to the 1960's. Haskell's jewelry commands high prices today, as the pieces are amazing and very collectible.

I too have seen several photos of my grandmother wearing freshwater pearls. I don't have any precise information about the sets I have seen her wearing, but they obviously meant something to her!

I would love to see some pieces from your collection, so feel free to forward some photos to the website.

Thanks for the fabulous questions and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Dear Casey,

I am a huge Joan Crawford fan, I am building a DVD library with hopefully as many movies of hers as I can get my hands on. My question is, when we buy these old movies will her family reap any benefits from the sales of these? I ask not to be nosy, but because I believe the family should get something, it is your grandmother...any would like to know, just hate for you all to be left out.

Thanks,
Tracia
Wichita, Kansas




September 2007

Hi Tracia,

Thanks for the very interesting letter.

I too have built my DVD library over the past several years. Warner Bros. released the first nice box set in 2005 and is rumored to be readying the second box set for later this year or early 2008. There are several other single DVD's available, such as "Dancing Lady" and "Trog."

As for royalties, it all goes back to my grandmother's last will and testament. As she famously disinherited children Christopher and Christina, she also gave a bulk of her cash estate to several charities. Those charities to this day receive all royalties from Joan's films to which she was eligible to receive such royalties. Films such as "The Story of Esther Costello" and "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" still produce royalties to this day, given the home video and DVD market and all of Joan's profits are forwarded to the various charities.

Nothing comes to the family, except what was distributed according to the will. No matter what happened, it was my grandmother's will (literally) that was the last word on royalties.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Casey,

I don't have a question, but I have to tell you how I have always loved Joan Crawford movies and I believe she is one of the greatest actors of all time. She made herself with help from no one only thru her great talent.

Her daughter Christina should be ashamed of herself. There are no actors like her now or ever. Bless you for telling us fans and the world this great loving stories. Please continue your loving work.

Letty Trevino
McAllen Texas




September 2007

Dear Letty,

I love letters like yours! Thank you and welcome!

We are of the same opinion that thinks Joan was one of the actresses of all time. I chuckle when I see today's actors and actresses performing. There are very few if any of today's stars that can match classic Hollywood actors, including Joan.

I am more than proud to continue my grandmother's world famous tradition of corresponding with her fans.

Thanks for the lovely letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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September 2007

Dear Casey,

I am a big fan of Joan Crawford and was wondering what was she like, as a grandmother, and what were your fondest memories of her?

I adored the way her beauty would brighten up the silver screen, she was always so fashionable, would it be possible to send me a picture autographed by her?

Thank you very much,

Sincerely,
Art J. Moreno (a faithful fan)
Bakersfield, California




September 2007

Dear Art,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the website!

Although I was young when she passed away, I remember her as a loving, caring grandmother. The words grandmother and Joan Crawford may not be the first that come to mind when thinking about the classic Hollywood actress, but that's who she was to me. My sister and I were treated like royalty when visiting her apartment in Manhattan.

Joan was one of the most fashionable of all classic screen actresses. She remade herself many times over the years to maintain her appeal to established fans and to attract new fans. Over a many decade career, her style was impeccable and ever-changing.

I have a few original signed photographs, but I do not want to part with them. May I suggest you peruse Ebay or collectible shows? There are many original signed photographs on the market currently.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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