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Ask Casey June 2008

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June 2008

Hi Casey,

What ever happened to her Charleston trophies? I once saw a photo of them and heard that she sold them. If so, who has them now?

Michele Uryniak
Whitesboro, NY



Dear Michelle,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the best Joan Crawford website!

Your letter intrigues me, because I have no recollection of ever seeing any dance competition trophies. All Joan fans know she was a fabulous dancer and she won many competitions, being awarded many trophies or other awards. I have found reference to her dancing competitions at The Cocoanut Grove at The Ambassador Hotel, at which she won one hundred dance contests and trophies.

To quote Betty Barker, Joan's longtime personal/confidential secretary, "Joan was not sentimental." I would suggest that Joan, as she was noted to do on occasion, would purge her household of older belongings. Whether she threw out the trophies or gave them away, we will never know. However, I have never seen one of her trophies for sale.

A recent article in The Mercury News highlights some of her collectibles for sale:

http://www.mercurynews.com/steveyvaska/ci_8660101

Thanks for the letter on an interesting piece of potentially lost Joan Crawford memorabilia and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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June 2008

Dear Casey,

As we are approaching the anniversary of Joan Crawfords death, it always makes me sad that such an incredible, vibrant woman was taken from us too soon. People always say they remember the moment Elvis or John Lennon died, I remember the moment I heard on the radio that Joan Crawford had left us; I was twelve years old and doing some holiday work for my father.

When I look at pictures of her I am reminded that she was such an important part of cinema history, there is so much that wouldn't be if it wasn't for her. I also think how lucky she was to have seen the things that she must have seen and met the people she must have met. We were even luckier though, to be able to watch your grandmothers legacy for forever more.

The only films I have managed to see on the big screen are "Mildred Pierce" and "Baby Jane," everything else I have seen is on DVD and VHS, when watching her on a TV screen you can see what a wonderful and clever actress she was, on the big screen she really punches it home. I wish we had more cinemas here in England like you do in America that would show these older films.

Actors such as Joan Crawford, Mae West, Dietrich, Jean Harlow..I could go on; modern cinema was built on and by these people and unfortunately today they are not given the recognition they deserve.

I wasnt going to mention that book but I thought I would add that although I'm sure it did some damage to Joan Crawford's reputation when it was first published, I think anyone that has got even half a clue realizes that it is the imagination of someone (I could say a failed actress) that sounds very bitter and jealous with very little of it actually touching on fact. It's a great cash cow for the author and that is that, so no-one is ever going to get her to say anything other than what she has written.

You are doing such a good job Casey; this is such a unique thing, to be able to speak to Joan Crawford's grandson is really incredible, please please keep up the great work.

David Moreton
Brighton, England.



June 2008

Dear David,

Thanks for the letter and welcome!

I echo your comments. My grandmother died too young. 69, 70, 71 - whatever her "real" age is way too young to pass away. I would have given just about anything to have more time with her. I couldn't imagine being old enough to understand her impact in Hollywood and having real and probing questions to ask her. What was it like to work with legendary actors such as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, Robert Montgomery or the Barrymores? What happened on the set of The Women? What was Clark Gable like off screen?

So many questions! We only have the various biographies and autobiographies to draw material from these days, especially as old Hollywood fades away. I was very pleased to read Charlotte Chandler's new book, because it provided some new material.

The US does have a nice collection of venues that showcase classic Hollywood films. The Castro in San Francisco is one that comes to mind immediately.

May 10th is a day I use to reflect on my grandmother's legacy, both in Hollywood and for her family.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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June 2008

Hello Casey,

Joan has been my favorite "Golden Age" actress for over fifty years. No one else looked like her, moved like her, wore clothes like her, or acted like her. She was a genuine original.

In my extensive research on her life, I read that she once had a serious problem with alcohol, but with the help of her strong belief in Christian Science was able to overcome it. Do you know if there's any truth in this ?

Best Regards,

Gloria Harkinson
Malverne, Pa.



June 2008

Dear Gloria,

Thank you for the letter and welcome!

I couldn't agree with you more! Joan was a true original. With the extraordinary costume designs by Adrian, makeup by Max Factor, and film direction by Michael Curtiz and George Cukor, Joan established herself as one of the most iconic actresses in Hollywood history.

My grandmother did have her issues with alcohol. Later in her life, her adherence to Christian Science did have some positive effects. As with many who rely on alcohol as a crutch, I would suggest she was most likely trying to fill a void in her life, especially after the death of her last husband, Al Steele. I believe she finally realized that alcohol was doing more damage to her life and finally gave it up. It may have been her devotion to Christian Science or some other self revelatory experience.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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June 2008

Hello Casey,

Just wanted to let you know that I think it is great that you're trying to keep up your Grandmother's tradition on by trying to keep up with her fans. I recently acquired a signed note from your Grandmother that was on her signature blue letterhead written to a person named Brad in Las Vegas. He says that his family and your grandmother's family knew each other. I have always been interested in knowing what has happen to her family and I am grateful to find this website.

After reading, the latest book titled, "Not the girl next door" I have a whole new respect for your grandmother. It has made me see her in a different light. Have you gotten a chance to read it?

I have always been a fan and have recently started to rewatch her movies. My favorite is "Mildred Pierce." I know that her Oscar was sold at auction. Do you have any idea where it is?

I am always interested to learn new information about Ms. Crawford. Thank you so much for trying to keep her memory alive.

Sincerely,

HRLopez
San Antonio, TX



June 2008

Dear HR,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the website!

That famous blue stationery! My grandmother's longtime tradition of corresponding with her fans has presented a unique opportunity for Joan fans to acquire one or more pieces of Joan memorabilia. The large quantity of correspondence allows fans to collect her autograph, letters and signed photographs at sometimes little cost.

I would like to know more about Brad and his family's relationship with Joan. I am always interested in hearing more personal stories!

I have read Charlotte Chandler's Not the Girl Next Door. I found it to be a loving tribute to Joan's life and career. I met Ms. Chandler back in February and found her extremely interested in protecting and rehabilitating my grandmother's reputation. Glad you enjoyed the book!

"Mildred Pierce" is, of course, one of my favorites also! Joan did surely deserve to win the Oscar for her portrayal of Mildred Pierce.

The Oscar was auctioned many years ago, and I have been quietly searching for it ever since. I haven't found a lead since the auction . . .

Thanks for the letter and please write again!

Best,
Casey

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June 2008

Casey,

I was a child growing up in the hills of California. I saw your grandmother on TV, one late Saturday night I wrote here incare of the station, I also sent her my address. This was the year 1973 that year was rough one, filled with abuse and loneliness, your grandmother wrote me and sent a photo. She told me to live and know that someone cared and had heard my cries of loneliness. I wanted to say thanks to her now, I know it's late and she is gone but her movies and life touched many lives and even reached to the hills of a California home to a lonely boy. Thank you for repairing her name.

God keep you and yours safe.

Martin Haugland
Evansville, Indiana


June 2008

Dear Martin,

Thank you for the letter and welcome!

Thank you for the wonderful memories! So many fans have written stating that they reached out to my grandmother through correspondence and she responded with some kinds words and always an autographed photo. I am glad she responded in such a way to you to provide comfort in your time of abuse and loneliness.

One of my grandmother's hallmarks was keeping in touch with her fans. Her fan dedication is world renowned and something sorely lacking in today's Hollywood.

Thank you again for the warm, touching letter.

Please write again!

Best,
Casey

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