More Proof That Joan Crawford Was A Horrible Mother

Categories: Joan Crawford

Christina-and-Joan-Crawford.jpg

Just in case any more happened to be needed.

I recently discovered Helen Hayes's memoir, in which the grande dame talks about becoming an unlikely friend of Joan Crawford starting in the '30s, possibly because Helen didn't pose a threat to Joan's movie allure.

But years later, Helen got into trouble when she decided to make some nice gestures in honor of Joan's son Christopher's birthday.

She festooned her dressing room with balloons and a "Happy Birthday, Christopher" sign, throwing Joanie into a hemorrhoidal rage.

Writes Hayes, "She resented turning his birthday into a celebration."

Furthermore, whenever Helen had lunch with the Crawford clan, Helen noticed that if the kids dared to speak, Joan would angrily snap them into silence.

After that, they had to say, "Mommie dearest, may I speak?" and wait for the dragon lady's approval.

Worst of all, poor Christina was forced to stay at school all summer, when there was practically no one else there.

Joan's rationale for this abuse? This way, Christina would realize how she was much better off at home!

At one point, concerned onlooker Dinah Shore begged Helen to do something to stop the heinous treatment, but Helen knew that Joan would never change, and besides, the intervention might even fuel her into larger fits of rage against the kids.

Case closed.

Oh, I hope I was allowed to speak, reader dearest.


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106 comments
rohan12
rohan12

So if you don't see it that means a child has not been abused??Funny I have never seen a murder commited so that means it never happens??

DREA0223
DREA0223

I find it absolutely disturbing that some people commented here calling the victim names!

I've seen 3 different documentaries about Joan Crawford and for the most part she consistently is known for her alcoholism and both mental and physical abuse to the two older children. That woman had NO business adopting children.

Oh and just because Joan didn't abuse the younger kids really doesn't mean anything! There are other instances where a unbalanced abusive parent will favor one child and abuse another.

I'm not saying Christina turned out to be a great person. However, I also think, how ever could she with a mother like that.

If this happened today I believe Joan Crawford would have been completely ostracized from her peers and the kids would have been removed from the home. It was a different time, beating a child was called discipline.

I was most suprised that Joan Crawford acted like a nut job outside the home as well. Usually abusive people try to hide it. She spent a good portion of her life addicted to alcohol and it made her behave like a tyrant.

saradawnc
saradawnc

If Christina's own godmother Myrna Loy called Christina a "horrible girl" and "believe me, there were many times i wanted to smack her myself" then you know Christina mustve been a real bitch.

dcjrb
dcjrb

I think the whole Joan Crawford abuse thing has pretty much been debunked.  Her other children say it never happened.   The woman was like 5 feet two inches could she really have physically  terrorized her teenaged daughter as in that campy movie? Doubtful! Many others have come forward saying what a terrible child and scheming adult Christina was .. her own godmother Myrna Loy never spoke to her after the book.     

bbtxok
bbtxok

 I can tell you from experience even non-famous people can "act" and these abusive people are VERY GOOD at "acting" a certain way for different "audiences".   When they are around "some" people they show ONE side of themselves, around others, another.  They can FOOL LEGIONS of people.  They can be the sweetest people in one arena, and the devil in another.  I believe they learn to do this in their OWN childhood to deal with the abuse they suffered as a child.  Acting one way to "hide" the shame becomes second nature.  So when they become an adult and REPEAT the abuse they grew up on their own children, the skill at "acting" in different Company, is first rate.  The people that only see the "Good Side" of them will NEVER EVER be convinced their "friend" could EVER be the monster they actually are.  And one should NEVER forget (should never, but they always do) these cruelties are inflicted on a CHILD (HELLO) and what seems like a MINOR incident to the "supporters" and NON-Believers can have a CATASTROPHIC impact on the child.  People that have NOT grown up with this will NEVER understand.  People that HAVE can spot it a MILE OFF (that is IF they have any emotional integrity left intact themselves).  That is another part of the conundrum.  Some people, just do not have the "radar" to detect it and these are the people the dysfunctional devil will most often show their Good Side to because these people are the easiest to FOOL  It is 'automatic' with them.  These abusive people don't waste time TRYING to fool people they innately KNOW they cannot fool.  They put on their "act" for the ones they NEED to fool and the ones that are EASY to fool.  You have to live with it to know.

bbtxok
bbtxok

 I can tell you from experience even non-famous people can "act" and these abusive people are VERY GOOD at "acting" a certain way for different "audiences".   When they are around "some" people they show ONE side of themselves, around others, another.  They can FOOL LEGIONS of people.  They can be the sweetest people in one arena, and the devil in another.  I believe they learn to do this in their OWN childhood to deal with the abuse they suffered as a child.  Acting one way to "hide" the shame becomes second nature.  So when they become an adult and REPEAT the abuse they grew up on their own children, the skill at "acting" in different Company, is first rate.  The people that only see the "Good Side" of them will NEVER EVER be convinced their "friend" could EVER be the monster they actually are.  And one should NEVER forget (should never, but they always do) these cruelties are inflicted on a CHILD (HELLO) and what seems like a MINOR incident to the "supporters" and NON-Believers can have a CATASTROPHIC impact on the child.  People that have NOT grown up with this will NEVER understand.  People that HAVE can spot it a MILE OFF (that is IF they have any emotional integrity left intact themselves).  That is another part of the conundrum.  Some people, just do not have the "radar" to detect it and these are the people the dysfunctional devil will most often show their Good Side to because these people are the easiest to FOOL  It is 'automatic' with them.  These abusive people don't waste time TRYING to fool people they innately KNOW they cannot fool.  They put on their "act" for the ones they NEED to fool and the ones that are EASY to fool.  You have to live with it to know.

truth.speaker
truth.speaker

Christina was just jealous of her mom, because she wasn't half as successful or pretty as Joan was. And Joan was sweet and vulnerable, according to many of her acquaintances! And furthermore, it was very sweet of Joan to adopt children, and give them food and a house, rather then suffering at an orphanage. And Helen Hayes, and Bette Davis were just jealous of Joan (even though I have no clue why Bette was, she was amazing) and if something really was happening, someone would have reported it and the law would have took action, so its all lies people. Christina just wanted attention, and she got it,  in a sick, cheap, unforgiving, and cunning way.

paparachito
paparachito

Well... its not like Helen was that great neither. Why didnt she go and help those kids?. She could have done it, she could have gone and say to a specialist, or children care or whatever institute or fund or whatever part of the government to help those kids. But she didnt. She kept silent, just letting her "bestie" 'abuse' those kids.

I havent read anything abusive in your post. Snapping fingers so they would be silent?. My parents did the same, they used to hush me when sitting in the table and they wouldnt let me speak unless someone finished speaking and adults always had the priority for talking.

I dont deny probably Joan was unstable due to the alcohol, but I cant really believe Christina when after a long time she admited that the "hangers" story was made up. Now then how many made up things are?.

Also for being someone who cannot forgive her mother what she has done... she still carries her surname without any problem but doesnt want to carry her husband surname. Go figure!.

SMW
SMW

I was emotionally and psychologically abused by a mother much like Joan Crawford.

I guess I was fortunate that unlike Christina, my mother did not physically abuse me.  Through the therapy I've been in for the past few years, I've discovered that my mother suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD).

People with that disorder have no empathy and absolutely everything is about them.  Never about you.  You, as their victim, have no needs, no feelings, nothing.  You are nothing but an extension of them.

Joan Crawford is a classic narcissist.  Her abuse of Christina and Christopher is almost right out of an NPD's handbook.  I hope that Christina and Christopher (before his death) got some counseling to heal from the wounds inflicted on them.

I adore Joan Crawford as an actress.  She is one of my all-time favorites.  But I cannot forget that the greatest weapon an NPD has is their surface illusion that they are a good parent -- my mother's greatest illusion.

I'm still working through pain and regret, as well as through post-traumatic stress to find some peace.  I'm still looking for mine.  I hope that Christina Crawford has found hers.

Jhburch
Jhburch

All a bunch of bull. Helen Hayes is not a reliable source. Furthermore in those days children were taught to be more obedient and respectful and nit to speak out of turn in from of adults. If only parents would be more disciplined today about teaching their children manners and respect we might not have the problems with Kidd we do today. And Joan wanted her children to grow up and not be spoiled Hollywood brats. And no writer dearest, you may NOT speak unless you were alive and witnessed these events yourself!

Jhburch
Jhburch

I am responding to all of thr Bi-Polar comments. I am Bi-Polar and am on medication for 2yrs so fsr. Doing better. I remember a time in my 20's I was OBSESSED with cleaning and being perfect, I was moody etc. i am in my 40's now and on meds and am soo much better. Yes Crawford was probably Bi-Polar, but much was not known about that then. Doesnt make you a bad person, just make you better and easier for others to live with you if you are on meds!

Jhburch
Jhburch

No case is ever closed. We will never know the entire truth, we were not there. If these people despised Joan so, why be friends with her?? I wouldn't if I were offended by what they were doing to their children. Gimme a break!

jon b
jon b

Mr. Musto I wish you had to ask to speak or write ....I mean really using a rehashed memoir of a star much much dimmer than the other to produce a piece of journalistic trash is pathetic , about as pathetic as your writing career has been recently 

jon b
jon b

wait a second is helen hayes memoirs proof , real solid proof ? haha

Gregorama
Gregorama

In an oft-quoted interview in 1977, Helen Hayes said of her friend, "Joan Crawford tried to be all things to all people.  I just wish she hadn't tried to be a mother"....a statement that is hardly open to interpretation.

keith taylor
keith taylor

Mr Musto you're old enough by now to probably remember those days when children were meant to be seen not heard, is that really abuse ?Joan didn't want her children to be spoiled Hollywood brats after all she herself was a child slave laborer washing others clothes and living in squalor if I grew up as Joan did and achieved superstardom married into Hollywood royalty( Douglas Fairbanks jr.)  and then married the Chairman of Pepsi I would  want everything to be  perfect also .As for Helen Hayes  she looked like she could have been  Joans grandmother  not her contemporary,  strange  how Myrna Loy and Barbara Stanwyck two very beautiful and just as successful in film actresses defended Joan even after her death, Hayes was such  a homely plain jane , I wouldn't really use her memoirs as a reliable source to contribute to yet another Crawford bashing .... true journalsim at its finest !You forgot to mention the twins who gave their mother mutual and unconditional love , was that really too much for Crawford to ask for ? If Christina was abused and Id love to see the results of that lie detector test it was probably due to her being a defiant and disrespectful brat who was incapable of loving a woman who tried giving her an education and privileged life , oh and I love that you say abuse because she was made to stay at school during the summer when not many other students were around , wow if thats abuse round up %80 of parents today.Funny how you judge and view the child raising practices of 70 years ago with a modern and quite stuffy perspective , things were very different back then as Im sure you remember .Not much of an article but I did not expect such a biased piece with nothing but the words of Hayes of all people , try reading "Wisecracker" the story of William Haines " Hollywoods first openly gay actor, Joan saved him after an incident in Manhattan Beach with his husband of fifty years Jimmy and George Cukor , Joan opened up a whole new world to him interior design after he was let go from MGM , nothings ever written about how generous , loyal , loving, and kind Joan was , just negative things like her ambitious ways , God forbid a woman's rise to superstardom be fueled by a somewhat overly compulsive approach to ambition.Such a fair and balanced article ,  you should be proud , you really shed some light on a touchy subject !Happy holidays !

jscottolavino
jscottolavino

@saradawnc So your theory goes like this: "Because Christina was badly behaved she could never have been abused as a child."?  Or is it: "Because Christina was badly behaved she DESERVED to be abused as a child."  I'm having trouble parsing your meaning.  Please advise.

LAsux
LAsux

@dcjrb No it has not been debunked and if you knew anything about child abuse, you wiould know that just because the 'twins' were not abused does not negate Christina AND Christopher's experience.  And Vincent Sherman along with Helen Hayes WITNESSED Joan's tirades against the two eldest.  

itsmeheatherc23
itsmeheatherc23

@dcjrb Just Because she was 5'2 she couldn't physically terrorize her teenaged daughter. everyone knows Joan had a little problem with alcohol and when you have mental issues (Joan being abused as a child herself) and having an addiction. anything is possible.. I'm not saying that Joan did abuse her older kids and i'm not saying she didn't. also her other children could be in denial about everything and want their mothers legacy to be known that joan was an great actress and an amazing mother. Just because Christina exaggerated in her book, doesn't mean that any of the accusations she has said about her mother are true or not true. we will never know what really did happen because this all came out after Joan had passed away. just because Christina's godmother never spoke to her again after the book came out, doesn't mean that she might know deep in her heart that Christina is telling the truth.Others have come forward saying that Joan wasn't abusive to her older children but there is also people that have come forward saying that yes Joan was abusive to her children. Have you ever thought that Christina was a terrible child and a scheming adult because she was abused by her mother..? During this time period nobody ever gave a second thought to seeing a mother spank her child etc. some people might know what went on behind closed doors but Joan being as famous as she was they might not have wanted to say anything. 

saradawnc
saradawnc

If Christina was really a victim of abuse, she would be advocating for it instead of hanging out with drag queens and handing out decorated wire hangers at Christmas parties (which she denies being beaten with btw).

poohbear
poohbear

@bbtxok I watched the movie many years ago and couldn't believe how much the "no wire hangers" (and the rose-hacking scene) brought back memories of my own childhood. My own "mommie dearest" was a pillar of the community, went to church all the time, fooled EVERYONE except the poor unfortunates who had to live with her. I ran into an old childhood friend who said she thought our family was like the Brady Bunch. They are that good. I am not a mental health professional, but I suspect such "mothers" suffer from narcissism...it's all about them, and everyone around is there for the sole purpose of meeting THEIR needs, and heaven help the child who doesn't know her rightful place as a loyal subject. My "mother" has done nothing but wreak havoc, tried to break up her children's marriages, refused to be a grandmother to children whose mom she doesn't happen to like (what better way to hurt someone, than to pretend her children don't exist), bad-mouthed and slandered people she's supposed to love and support, you name it. But from her side of the story, she's a wonderful person with a pack of ungrateful rotten kids...I've even been told she has letters she's written to all of us to be delivered after she dies, so she can get in the last word. She doesn't see what she's done as abuse, because such people have no empathy for anyone else's feelings but their own. Sorry to JC fans if I have no sympathy toward a person that even remotely reminds me of what I grew up with...bbtxok, you are spot on.

LAsux
LAsux

@truth.speaker BWAH!  Joan = 'sweet & vulnerable'????  And those kids were NOT legally adopted, they were BOUGHT.  And child abuse like many other topics in those days were not discussed, let alone 'reported'.  Helen Hayes, the First Lady of the american theatre and 10 x oscar nominated, Bette = jealous of Joan, LMAO! 

bbtxok
bbtxok

I don't believe it.  BBTXOK

amy_l_sturgeon2003
amy_l_sturgeon2003

I'm coming into this very late in the game I know, but I stumbled upon this discussion after doing a little digging on famous mothers that are strongly suspected to have had narcisssistic personality disorder. Joan had all the hallmarks of a classic textbook narcissist. It lends itself very well to show business. The other thing that influences the treatment of children by narcissitic parents is their temperament. I have listened to Christina speak & she sounds like a woman of intelligence, as Joan was too (although not a highly educated one). The more a child questions, strikes out in an effort to have their own idenity, their own style of beauty, personal relationships & opinions (including ones on the way they are being treated) the more a narcissistic parent feels the need to keep them in line. I read somewhere that her biological father was an engineer & her mother was a student. They obviously had some grey matter to pass on between them. The younger children who claim not to have had the same treatment might've had more complient/docile personalities that were not a threat to the narcissitic mother. Also the family dynamics created by narcissisitc parents often involve 'scapegoats' & 'golden children'. The golden children are often involved with blaming the scapegoat & are given the message that its A OK to basically pick on & mentally/physically torture them as the parent(s) are doing too. These people sometimes never gain perspective on what has happenened or how they have been used in the whole scheme of things. They have managed to win love from the parent via compliance, as has his/her co-dependent partner.

I don't doubt Christina's experience for a second. I plan to read her book. Just because a parent provides for a child's material needs does not mean they are equipped to provide for their emotional needs. Narcissistic parents exist in all walks of life.

pinesp
pinesp

@SMW I empathise with you...my mother was bipolar with Borderline Personality Disorder and was physically abusive...in fact my mother behaved exactly the same way  - except she wasn't an alcoholic.  Like you said, Joan (and my mother) had no empathy and absolutely everything is about them.  Never about you.  You, as their victim, have no needs, no feelings, nothing.  You are nothing but an extension of them.  Could not have put it any better!

And just because people say they never saw the abuse, does not mean that Christina is lying.  Child abuse happens behind closed doors, away from prying eyes.  Children do not lie about this kind of pain.  People who  have  not experienced this kind of abuse have no idea idea the type of psychological impact is has on children.  

Anyone who thinks this is a lie and thinks others cannot side with Christina Crawford is a hypocrite, including @Jhburch.  Were you there to confirm or dispute these events?  Probably not.......so @Jhburch dearest, you may NOT speak unless you were alive and witnessed these events yourself!

adrenaline_livewire
adrenaline_livewire

@Jhburch @Jhburch Like you? Huh? Like when you were there and witnessed the events (or lack there of)?

Readers: Of course u may speak.

Writer: Of course you may speak.

You dayum sure dont need my permission or approval but Jhburch over here is delusional and a hypocrite thinking he or she is bossing over like that and also thinks his or her own words excludes him or her. Lets face it, Jhburch WAS NOT there either yet thinks people MAY NOT speak unless they were there....this does not extend to him (or her)though!

CLASSIC NARCISSISM!

Jon b
Jon b

Seems most people have some psych issue these days  and meds are over prescribed but you're doing the right thing and by being so honest you'll inspire those around you and other readers of this comment to have an open dialogue ,its nothing to be ashamed of.yes its too bad Joan and everyone else in that era chain smoked cigarettes drank excessively and all but that was their medication caffeine alcohol  and cigarettes and plenty of them , I too have OCD bipolar take lamictal it works. Well too bad stars of that era were hesitant to get help , but it'd definitely did not look so well to make those problems public , such a bad stigma attached to mental disorders back then . I often think of Marilyn Monroe's public breakdowns , what a mess that created for her and what a shame it all was .Judy Garland also became dependent on speed and downers because LB Mayer thought she was gaining a lil too much weight so @ the cafeteria for the kids on the lot they hardly let her eat and instead pumped her full of ups and downs .Much respect to you Jhburch for being so honest and when you have a "disorder " of your own its much easier to look at others with more sympathy and knowledge on what they may have been going through not feel superior to them but gain a little insight into how peoples behavior like Crawford probably wasn't always perfect but very human  she had a thing for being nervous especially at premiers of her filmsI recently got "grand hotel " from Netflix and one of the extras had the LA premier of the film in 1932 , she arrived with Douglas Fairbanks jr. and when Conrad Nagel asked if she wanted to say a few words after she signed in to the grand hotel guest book she said she was much to nervous , imagine that Joan Crawford nervous in public ? I cannot believe Musto's infatuation with bashing Joan especially providing so called  "proof" from  nothing other than here say from Helen Hayes of all people about how much abuse happened . I think if anyone threw another parents kid an unexpected b day bash they'd be considered weird and nutty today I dont think it really counted as abuse towards christopher that his mother was pissed most parents today would be outraged if they weren't told of a party for their own kids. Its one thing to throw a kid a surprise celebration its quite another not to let the parent in on the surprise element .As for Joan hushing the kids  at  dinner , children were meant to be seen not heard back then im only 38 and when i was growing up we had huge family gatherings for holidays at my grandmothers house in suburban Long Island with all the older wiser generation ,they didn't want us exposed to adult talk , dirty jokes ,  playing cards,  smoking drinking etc.... not such a travesty as some who take themselves too seriously have mentioned on this thread , christina was a snake for not releasing the book before joan died unlike bette davis she was unable to go on a tour to tell her side of  the story and from what I've heard joan found out christina was publishing a nasty distorted book and thats why joan toom her out of the will. Funny that I've been a loyal fan for 30 years  of my life always learning more and reading watching etc everything Crawford, everyone else seems to just draw their opinion on joan from the one source,  an  over the top ridiculous and campy caricature  faye Dunaway created .That film has deep flaws in narrative filmmaking as roger Ebert pointed out ,a  deeply flawed film which left out major things like joan was married when she got christina , to Philip terry from 39 -43 and she wasn't  dating greg bautzer (that part was in the late 40's) also there never was a real life Carol Anne etc and all .I wouldn't call it proof the altered reality christina lives in (in THE WILL: FAMILY SECRETS REVEALED , Christina actually stuck to and believed her own wacko story that Joan changed her will and took the two older kids out of the will in 1956 when Christina bailed out the always rebellious loser of a son Christopher when in fact Casey LaLonde , Joans grandson from Catherine explained the truth with facts Catherine was given all Joans property and materials even the will he had "PROOF"  that Joan changed the will in 76 or 77 right before she died indicating that she was probably tipped off by someone in the publishing world,  after all Joan had many friends and was part of all these industries from their early incarnations dating back to 1925 )Sighting  the ramblings of an old jealous maid like helen hayes as  further "proof" of "abuse" by  mr musto's only shows how desperate he is  for attention of his own since the village voice as ashton kutcher pointed out in a much publicized dispute w musto  is made up of sex slaves disguising as escorts and massage experts , nearly half the paper are call girls russian brides asian whores in/ out by the hr overworked and underpaid trafficked sex slaves from Russia asia etc,talk about child abuse and abuse towards women who have been forced into and probably tricked into this country with promises of a better life and a rosie existence in the USA .... ugh i cant stand hypocrites who think they're holier than thou preach anti child abuse and then work for a declining dinosaur of a once all knowing dominant and "alternative"  publication like the voice that has fallen on such hard times due to the ever evolving and rapidly growing young new media outlets etc and all that it has to sell all its advertisement space to organized porn human trafficking slave labor and forced prostitution , dreary and pathetic I hope the Voice goes bye bye and under ASAP ciao for now and like Musto's last words ill just say " oh I hope I was allowed to speak reader dearest " , he shouldn't be with "proof" like his he should show some dignity and stop pretending to be a fair  and unbiased thorough journalist and all 

Almay
Almay

You are even more idiotic than you seem if you think two-time Oscar winner and great lady of the stage Helen Hayes is forgotten or somehow unimportant. Your defenses of a child beater are horrific and very sad.

jon b
jon b

when a statement is hardly  open to interpretation then I suppose we are living in North Korea or some other fascist state , I mean really Gregorama a statement by Hayes is like the word of GOD?  and  is the Constitution hardly open to interpretation ?  Its bad enough Michael Musto used this woman who is long forgotten to write an article and use words like torture abuse etc but to be condescending to his readers by saying in the last line "oh I hope I was allowed to speak reader dearest", seems like  a nice slap in the face to anyone who even cares about his writings anymore.As for you where did you get that "oft-quoted interview" from ? Seems veteran writers for the Voice or any random can use oft quoted articles and turn them into journalistic pieces of art nowadays ..... just saying .I think Musto should stop writing if his reliable sources are rehashed dead celebrities memoirs of other dead celebrities and their actions, Ive recently read a bizarre account by Esther Williams that while Joan Crawford was back at MGM  making the film "Torch Song " Williams very late into the night heard Joan crying and yelling "where are you all , why dont you come see me anymore , where are you my fans" .... I hardly think Joan even if she were drunk would be walking around the Metro lot begging for an audience at night , Joan was a bit more professional and private than that , that would have been pathetic but what should I call Williams a liar , probably not maybe she had dementia when she said it , but I wouldn't use an account such as that to write a blah blog on, hey to each their own.

guest
guest

 Lana Turner said it was true and she was beautiful.

Christina Lepone
Christina Lepone

Keith, I wanted to thank you for so fervently and thoroughly defending Joan's legacy. People refuse to give her an ounce of credit when, after all she gave the industry and her fans, she deserves heaps. For decades her image has gone largely undefended, shredded mercilessly in a sea of greedy piranhas. Dull and forgettable themselves, these parasites can only hope that by chomping away at Joan they'll ingest even a shred of her luster. They'll scoff at that, but come on, which stars who began in silent pictures are we STILL WRITING GOSSIP PIECES ABOUT? The answer is Joan Crawford and Joan Crawford. Only magnetism like hers can attract publicity for nearly a century. You can detect the outright prejudice against her when you see no mention of what a philanthropist she was. Christina even tried to discredit Joan's WWII charity work (having troops over for lunch; volunteering at the Hollywood Canteen), slandering it as "for publicity" and because she was "out of work." This alone tells the story of Christina's skewed, jealousy-drenched perspective and, in addition to her cocky arrogant demeanor, erases her credibility completely. She basically claims Joan helped the war effort not because she was giving and generous, but because she was jobless and bored. Well you see, after Carole Lombard died in a plane crash on a trip collecting war bonds, Joan took over her role in 'They All Kissed the Bride' and donated her ENTIRE SALARY to the Red Cross in honor of Lombard ($5,000,000 when you adjust for inflation). Anyone making the charge that such a massive donation is "just for publicity" is obviously fueled by pure bitterness, resentment and determination to discredit her. And is probably living a quiet, meaningless life somewhere in Idaho - much like Christina Crawford, who by the way is so disgusted and destroyed by her mother that she chose to continue whoring, I mean carrying, her last name to this day. Hmm, from all the money she made destroying Joan, wonder how much Christina, charity expert extraordinaire, donated to anything. Ironically though, I do think Christina's hateful publication actually served to expose Joan to a whole new generation of fans who wouldn't have known of her otherwise. Mommie Dearest sparked a curiosity about her that led people to discover the luminous actress and person she really was. The contrast between the film portrayal and the real Joan makes her even more intriguing. Thanks Tina! ;) Oh and Helen Hayes was absolutely right about Joan's distaste for birthday parties. She threw birthday CARNIVALS. You can find home videos of those on YouTube. Keith, I tried searching for you on Facebook but there's too many Keith Taylors. I reckon I'd enjoy having a like-minded person like you around.

Christina Lepone
Christina Lepone

Keith, I wanted to thank you for so fervently and thoroughly defending Joan's legacy. People refuse to give her an ounce of credit when, after all she gave the industry and her fans, she deserves heaps. For decades her image has gone largely undefended, shredded mercilessly in a sea of greedy piranhas. Dull and forgettable themselves, these parasites can only hope that by chomping away at Joan they'll ingest even a shred of her luster. They'll scoff at that, but come on, which stars who began in silent pictures are we STILL WRITING GOSSIP PIECES ABOUT? The answer is Joan Crawford and Joan Crawford. Only magnetism like hers can attract publicity for nearly a century. You can detect the outright prejudice against her when you see no mention of what a philanthropist she was. Christina even tried to discredit Joan's WWII charity work (having troops over for lunch; volunteering at the Hollywood Canteen), slandering it as "for publicity" and because she was "out of work." This alone tells the story of Christina's skewed, jealousy-drenched perspective and, in addition to her cocky arrogant demeanor, erases her credibility completely. She basically claims Joan helped the war effort not because she was giving and generous, but because she was jobless and bored. Well you see, after Carole Lombard died in a plane crash on a trip collecting war bonds, Joan took over her role in 'They All Kissed the Bride' and donated her ENTIRE SALARY to the Red Cross in honor of Lombard ($5,000,000 when you adjust for inflation). Anyone making the charge that such a massive donation is "just for publicity" is obviously fueled by pure bitterness, resentment and determination to discredit her. And is probably living a quiet, meaningless life somewhere in Idaho - much like Christina Crawford, who by the way is so disgusted and destroyed by her mother that she chose to continue whoring, I mean carrying, her last name to this day. Hmm, from all the money she made destroying Joan, wonder how much Christina, charity expert extraordinaire, donated to anything. Ironically though, I do think Christina's hateful publication actually served to expose Joan to a whole new generation of fans who wouldn't have known of her otherwise. Mommie Dearest sparked a curiosity about her that led people to discover the luminous actress and person she really was. The contrast between the film portrayal and the real Joan makes her even more intriguing. Thanks Tina! ;) Oh and Helen Hayes was absolutely right about Joan's distaste for birthday parties. She threw birthday CARNIVALS. See video: http://youtu.be/EshOoiAgmq8Keith, I tried searching for you on Facebook but there's too many Keith Taylors. I reckon I'd enjoy having a like-minded person like you around.

Christina Lepone
Christina Lepone

Keith, I wanted to thank you for so fervently and thoroughly defending Joan's legacy. People refuse to give her an ounce of credit when, after all she gave the industry and her fans, she deserves heaps. For decades her image has gone largely undefended, shredded mercilessly in a sea of greedy piranhas. Dull and forgettable themselves, these parasites can only hope that by chomping away at Joan they'll ingest even a shred of her luster. They'll scoff at that, but come on, which stars who began in silent pictures are we STILL WRITING GOSSIP PIECES ABOUT? The answer is Joan Crawford and Joan Crawford. Only magnetism like hers can attract publicity for nearly a century.

You can detect the outright prejudice against her when you see no mention of what a philanthropist she was. Christina even tried to discredit Joan's WWII charity work (having troops over for lunch; volunteering at the Hollywood Canteen), slandering it as "for publicity" and because she was "out of work." This alone tells the story of Christina's skewed, jealousy-drenched perspective and, in addition to her cocky arrogant demeanor, erases her credibility completely. She basically claims Joan helped the war effort not because she was giving and generous, but because she was jobless and bored.

Well you see, after Carole Lombard died in a plane crash on a trip collecting war bonds, Joan took over her role in 'They All Kissed the Bride' and donated her ENTIRE SALARY to the Red Cross in honor of Lombard ($5,000,000 when you adjust for inflation). Anyone making the charge that such a massive donation is "just for publicity" is obviously fueled by pure bitterness, resentment and determination to discredit her. And is probably living a quiet, meaningless life somewhere in Idaho - much like Christina Crawford, who by the way is so disgusted and destroyed by her mother that she chose to continue whoring, I mean carrying, her last name to this day. Hmm, from all the money she made destroying Joan, wonder how much Christina, charity expert extraordinaire, donated to the military.

Ironically though, I do think Christina's hateful publication actually served to expose Joan to a whole new generation of fans who wouldn't have known of her otherwise. Mommie Dearest sparked a curiosity about her that led people to discover the luminous actress and person she really was. The contrast between the film portrayal and the real Joan makes her even more intriguing. Thanks Tina! ;)

Oh and Helen Hayes was absolutely right about Joan's distaste for birthday parties. She threw birthday CARNIVALS. See video: http://youtu.be/EshOoiAgmq8

Keith, I tried searching for you on Facebook but there's too many Keith Taylors. I reckon I'd enjoy having a like-minded person like you around.

Ibis
Ibis

I was raised back then and no one beat me, derided me, got mad if I was celebrated. Quite the opposite. Joan's parenting was atrocious no matter what era it was in. And yes, we know that Joan was kind to William Haines. She had a good streak. Does that mean she didn't torture her own children? No!!!

saradawnc
saradawnc

@jscottolavino I was using Myrna Loy's words and what she ment was that Joan NEVER hit her children, but she could understand if Joan wanted to sometimes because Christina was so bad as a child that Myrna even wanted to give her a slap. It's like saying that Christina acted like "Veda" in "Mildred Pierce."

itsmeheatherc23
itsmeheatherc23

@saradawnc Look up Christina's wikipedia it say's she served 7 years as a member of the Los Angeles' Inter-Agency Council on Abuse and Neglect Associates.

exiene1
exiene1

@saradawnc How the HELL does hanging with Drag Queens prove a person was not abused. Please have a good answer with back-up replies as you do sound judgemental on many lifestyles that are not your own

watcherinthewoods
watcherinthewoods

@Jon b How the HELL does that "grandson" know what went on in that house in the 1940s?? Do I know what when on in my grandparent's house in Brooklyn, in 1947, no, just the vague stories I have been told. I couldn't defend them, any better than this Casey person.

jon b
jon b

to each their own Almay to each their own , nice way to debate by calling people names and having absolutely no facts in which to base your quote of "child beater" on , horrific and sad ?? Helen Hayes was no saint either .... Tallulah Bankhead was a great beauty and great lady of the stage also who loved Crawford and defended her  , Hayes just fit better on the stage because she could play boring old ugly uninteresting hags well . Who evens remembers Hayes , very few people even in theater and they're certainly not writing articles about her just using her lame memoirs to attack a woman who died before she could defend herself. By the way Hayes did a total about face , she actually defended Joan but was upset that Crawford didn't reciprocate her adoration of hayes , as for putting on a huge celebration for someone else's child I think you'd be a bit upset also , no one plans a party with big balloons and decorates their dressing room for a child , its rude and odd not to include the parent in the planning or even knowledge of an event , surprise ! Yeah intended for Christopher not his mother Joan , anyone living today would be quite thrown off if someone randomly threw a child a party or celebration but neglected to let the parent in on the surprise wouldn't they?? No guess you and mr Musto categorize that as abuse ... wow! Theres nothing in this article that oozes any real abuse ,  asking for permission to speak at an adult celebrity restaurant like "21" , outrageous !!!, if only kids were put in there place sometimes today (not harshly but it seemed to work for my parents and grandparents generations just fine , just look at what they achieved and look how things are today kids cant read violence and youth hate crimes suicides are at their peak , kids run amuck doing whatever they want whenever they want thats done us well as a nation and society right?? oh and to be left at school for the summer , such a shame , cry me a river, most wealthy parents dont even raise or see their children they send them to boarding schools for eighteen years and "home" is a foreign word to these future elitists , this article and Hayes observations are a joke, if Crawford lashed out and started screaming like a maniac in public , then yes abuse , if she was such a monster and kept the children at school all summer you should be cheering because that would've limited the "supposed" but never factually supported  lies and distortions about Crawford's abuse  and neglect. I can see Bette Davis being out of control everywhere but Joan had a horrible childhood and was essentially a child slave laborer do you really think she adopted four children to put them through what she went through, doubt it the two older twins gave their mother love and return they received nothing but love unconditionally , Joan was also rumored to hate being known as a grandmother yet as far as I've heard from both Catherines kids they loved their grandmother Joan and even though she had OCD she always let them slip and slide and make a mess of her NYC apt so get over it ! Youtube the twins read up on some real facts and open your damned mind, was Crawford a perfect mother , probably not but let me tell you something both my parents parents had 5-7 brothers and sisters living in squalor in two bedroom apts in the bronx and brooklyn there parents my great grandparents kicked their asses if they got out of line they were taught respect (yes maybe the rough way) but out of those humble beginnings my grandparents great aunt uncle etc and so on became highly successful wealthy happy individuals, life was rougher back then for everyone but at least you didn't have to fear being berated on a train or robbed by some 13 yr old punk who never had anyone stand up to them so while im not abdicating "abuse" sometimes i see that some discipline would go a long way in fixing a huge problem our society has , lack of respect tolerance values , we want the world and we want it now! This wasn't true just a few generations ago.... think about it. yes im an idiot and a horrific and sad person thats why my kids can speak Mandarin Russian Spanish play the piano achieved such high SAT scores they both got into UC berkeley and Columbia they say please and thank you to everyone and are always greeted with respect and admiration, they've seen  the world but have never asked or expected handouts , yes im a horrible parent and sad person , lets see what your kids are like??? Parentings tough and not for all but WE all try our best ! Have a great new year

keith taylor
keith taylor

Christina I couldn't agree with you more and you seem to know your facts , I think "they all kissed the bride " was one of Joans finest pieces and her only comedy , though Clark Gable and Joan had been involved for years Carole loved Joan knowing full well of their affair...Joan wasn't out of work or needing publicity all that much in 1939 yes there was the forgettable "Ice Follies (Fiasco) but Joan also conquered over reigning queen of MGM Norma Shearer and had a grand old time with Rosalind Russell while filming "The Women ", and films that followed like "Strange Cargo" , "A Woman's Face" "When ladies meet " all were  great films . Crawford knew her time at Metro was nearing an end due to the British Invasion of Greer Garson and the new and up and coming fresh faces of Ava Gardner , Lana Turner etc....in that rotten film Mayer calls her to her office and mentions the box office poison piece well that was written in Variety in 1938 five years later in 1943  I dont think Joan would be dwelling on it besides she was in good company with Kate Hepburn , Mae West, and many other top notch stars making the poison list it was simply that Joan and her audience were sick of the rags to riches formulated factory films pieced together by the wizkid Irving Thalberg , when he passed in 1937 Norma lost her throne and her and Garbo might have gone gracefully but Joan im sure knew Jack Warner wanted to dethrone and eventually get rid of Bette Davis and what more fun and easy way to do that than to bring Crawford over once her contract was up in 1943.I love the part in "Hollywood Canteen " w Joan dancing with the GI - "say you look like Joan Crawford" . "thats what my husband says "....up until 1956 Joan was still making one to two pictures a year,  some of my favorites from the 50's "Johnny Guitar" "Sudden Fear", "The damned dont cry" , Im not thrilled with "torch song" or "queen bee" and "harriet craig" films I think Christina and her altered mental state mistook for reality, she capitalized on Crawford's bitchy roles of the 50's.I have seen the home movies Crawford's grandson Casey has aired to the public Crawford and Christina looked happy and yes that carnival was amazing , im sure the PR dept at MGM did have those put on for publicity but Crawford under contract to mGM certainly didn't make those decisions the studio did she would have to learn how to be her own publicity machine later on once the studio system crumbled and stars became much more independent ,all things aside Im sure Joan was no saint but she couldn't have been an absolute monster terrorizing everyone around her and still be so revered for her innovations to this day.I also agree that Christinas memoir is that of a sociopath who never achieved any success of her own its a bitter read you can feel the resentment, thank God Casey is trying to undo the damage to her image and you're right MD did bring her into view of younger generations I myself saw MD when I was 5-6 and immediately set out to discover all things Crawford I couldn't believe that Faye knowingly willingly made that crap especially after "network" , "chinatown" etc but then again there was that horrid film in 78 "the eyes  of veronica....?? i cant even remember the title, dunaways clownish mad hatter impersonation of the real woman was choppy at best etc....anyway I use my mothers name on FB leave an email if you want and Ill send you the link to my page .Thanks also to you to knowing your facts and being a fan of a great woman tarnished by losers.

jon b
jon b

Ibis no one in their right mind would say that a parent getting angered by someone else throwing a child a party is not a bit off but look around,  plenty of parents today would be very annoyed if another person planned or had a celebration but  didn't include that child's parents either in the planning of or just the knowledge that there was going to be a celebration at all. I've seen it everywhere from "modern family" to real housewives and all over and its happened to me and to many others i know. Everyone of course  would also say that the practice of kids should be seen not heard is also outdated but your reaction is extreme to say the least I mean torture , atrocious parenting , how do you know ? Just from this article in which Michael Musto miraculously uncovered Helen Hayes's memoir and used it to actually attempt to  portray a fair and unbiased piece of journalism ? please.....its garbage, also Ibis your parents "back then" wouldn't of been a little upset if someone else threw you a big birthday party yet neglected to inform your family about it, well I guess it'd be a surprise then for everyone , oh boy .

keith taylor
keith taylor

But how do you know she "tortured" these children ? Besides I was only making the argument that in those days children were to be seen not heard I too was raised like that , adults didn't want children chiming in or hearing adult talk , dirty jokes, and gossip . Do you think Crawford wanted to go out to lunch or dinner and have her kids yapping about their 12 yr old views or subjected to gossip and grown up Hollywood talk , no and I think thats just fine. I have two kids and unlike everyone else they aren't given brand new Iphones and whatever they want when they want it - its extremely rough raising children and everyone makes mistakes , my children  EARN what they get they help me with day to day chores raking leaves and doing laundry my wife died two years ago and now they dont have the luxury to just sit around and make messes all day and not do certain things on their own...like my grandmother used to say everyone wants everything NOW fast no one sacrifices anymore .When she grew up with six brothers and sisters in a two bedroom apt in the Bronx they all went out to work at really young ages and after the War they all moved to he suburbs and achieved the American dream , funny how this generation is complaining about the loss of attaining the dream, its simply because they want it and they want it now , instant gratification without putting in the hard work all day everyday my grandparents did.Like Ive said its pretty hard to believe Christina because she is such a wacko and loves any attention she can get from exploiting her mother , I find it very interesting that the twins have never capitalized on their mothers good name even though they could have gone along with Christinas warped sense of reality and come away with much more than the $72,000 they each inherited , christina was an ungrateful woman vindictive and jealous and all the twins could have made millions too blasting Joan as a mother but they didn't because they were treated well , why? because they probably gave their mother the love and caring she deserved ....well im glad you were blessed as a child ibis not everyone is....Christina was just another brat not interested in how much Joan sacrificed for her how hard she had to work how she had to deal w aging back then and all , want to see child abuse look around it happens everywhere even in public now no one cares they just let it hang out does anyone care does anyone say anything usually not...I still feel it was extremely suspicious that unlike B.D.hyman Christina chose not to release her book til after Joans death and theres plenty of proof Joan was most likely warned by someone in the publishing industry that Christina was coming out with her book but unlike Davis she didn't and couldn't go on a book tour and be seen as she was a recluse and fighting cancer I think Joan side of the story would've been a way different portrait than that of those two ungrateful unsuccessful brats who blamed a famous woman for their own life failures , its always good to have someone to blame right?

saradawnc
saradawnc

@exiene1 Katharine Hepburn said: "I do not buy all that about Joan Crawford. Those kids were spoiled." So your statement is incorrect.

exiene1
exiene1

@saradawnc Nasty, no. Deeply condescending in tone and telling of your history and backround, Yes. If one thinks calling someone 'ignorant' is not insulting, I'm glad to be part of a different generation. Ms Crawford most likely mentally and physically abused he first 2 kids in conjuntion with how parents were allowed to discipline their kids and then take that 1-2 steps too far. Yet, by Christina's own admission in her book, she was a brat that knew how to push. For every Myrna Loy to defend, there was a Katherine Hepburn among others to say different. We will not know who was the worst in this . But mothers do tend to form the relationship with their behavior and both do need to be studied. Much like the woman commenting in this section.

saradawnc
saradawnc

No, you did not, but neither did I. I haven't considered anything you just said because it's how I use to think about the subject. But now, after reading different sources, my mind has been open to new conclusions and opinions which is what I have expressed in our conversation. I do not wish to discuss this anymore because I have said all that I needed to say. To each their own.

jscottolavino
jscottolavino

@saradawnc Has anything I said been nasty? Did I call you names or TYPE SENTENCES ON END IN ALL CAPS? You think you have an "open mind"? What, if anything, have I said at all that you have truly considered? What have you said that is educational? Remove our names and ask a stranger which of us is here to educate. And is it that you don't want to discuss anymore, or wish to have the last word? Very well then, have it.

saradawnc
saradawnc

@jscottolavino Ummm Joan isn't my hero LOL I just have great respect for every star of the golden age (Joan is actually my least fave) and take the time to read about them before forming an opinion. I think some people can be very ignorant towards most of them. I don't like hearsay and don't think it's right to base your opinions on something using something that has basically been debunked over the years. Even Christina said she exaggerated and also took A LOT of bad content out of the newest re-release of her novel. it makes no sense why people even talk about this subject to this day. If Christina's intent was to destroy her mother's legacy, then she has failed. Joan is still celebrated today, she still is getting new fans every day, he films are still on television (TCM named her star of the month for January 2014). I don't see how Christina being cut out of the will was much of a shock seeing as she hardly talked to her mother through the 1960s and not at all in the 1970s, so the "reaching an understanding" thing is basically lack of research on your part. They couldn't work anything out if they weren't talking. Joan even said this about there "feud": "Mother and daughter feuds make for reams in print; they also make for reams of inaccuracies: the greatest inaccuracy is the feud itself. It takes two to feud and I'm not one of them. I only wish the best for Tina." So that even shows that Tina wasn't talking to her mother. The only children Joan gave money to was Cathy and Cindy because they actually had a good relationship with their mom. Obviously her kids would get publicity because their mother was famous...people don't have kids because of publicity just because theyre famous themselves. If youre a child of a famous person you're going to be in the media. So Angelina and Brad adopted just for publicity? Not because they want to love and be loved? Joan had 7 miscarriages years before and was devastated because she wanted children so bad. She loved them. She spent a lot of time with her little niece Joan.  A lot of people lose touch with there parents..I lost touch with my father, other celebs like Veronica Lake, Barbara Stanwyck, etc lost touch with their kids but it doesn't mean they were abusing them. I really don't want to discuss this anymore...getting through to ignorant people is impossible. I guess my generation is just more opened minded and here to educate.

jscottolavino
jscottolavino

@saradawnc You are just lashing out because someone trashed your hero, as are people who say that the only reason for the book is being cut out of Joan's will. Christina doesn't entirely deny it, but it's less about revenge and more about striking back. Pearl Jam calls it, "Unleashing a lion." You see Christina had thought that through much talk, she had reached an understanding with her mother. Regardless, when someone who abused you as a child passes away you can't help but breathe a sigh of relief. In a very real sense, they can't hurt you anymore. But Christina wasn't expecting to get gut-punched at the reading of the will. It was obvious from her mother's words that nothing had been worked out at all. It's not about the money. Trust me, you don't WANT the freaking money from them. It was the principle of the thing. So Christina struck back by taking away the thing Joan Crawford treasured most: her legacy. Because it certainly wasn't Christina or any of the other adopted kids. Only there for appearances and publicity--something to be prodded and tortured at will when you're having a bad day, or you just want to feel superior. Well, I think Joan Crawford was LUCKY she was dead when this book came out. She got off easy.

saradawnc
saradawnc

I was just tell you what people in Joan & Christina's life experienced. Myrna Loy, a fine actress and know for her honesty in hollywood, was just being frank about her feelings about the subject. She had the right to defend her best friend since Tina was too cowardly to allow her mother to speak. Well, after suffering a stroke and having her husband divorce her, i wouldnt want to have children either.

jscottolavino
jscottolavino

@saradawnc @jscottolavino I wouldn't be too quick to play devil's advocate in this matter. An abusive, loveless childhood bears strikingly distinct and unimpeachable scars. Too many get caught up in this tale as the first Hollywood "tell-all" and forget it sparked one of the first widespread discussions of child abuse. For that alone, Mommie Dearest belongs in a pantheon with other great humanitarian works. As for its authenticity, I need no further proof than Christina's unwillingness to have children of her own--brought on by a paralyzing fear of passing abuses to another generation.  There are other signs, too numerous to get into here. Without judgment or chastisement I say to you, "You are pointing your finger at a victim." As is her own godmother... which should also tell you something.

Christina Lepone
Christina Lepone

Thanks for your kind sentiments. I feel the same way about "They All Kissed the Bride." I just watched it last night and it always leaves me craving for more Joan in that type of role. I'll never understand why her natural flair for comedy went unrecognized. It made me sad watching her on "What's My Line?" when they asked if she starred in comedies. She said yes and the host corrected it to a no!

 I'm not sure how to send you an e-mail but you can click my name next to my picture to get to my FB.

LAsux
LAsux

@saradawnc Since Myrna Loy was not a minore purchased child living under Joan's roof, she can defend Joan all she wants but she cannot realistically dispute Christina's experiences.  For every celebrity who defended Joan on this issue, there are just as many who witnessesd it.

saradawnc
saradawnc

@LAsux @saradawnc There are more who defended Joan than those who didn't. Most who "witnessed it" actually didn't see anything at all, but had their words twisted over time. For example, June Allyson only heard Joan yell at her children, she never saw any physical abuse which most people like to claim she did. She's also the one who recommend Joan strap Christopher in bed for his sleepwalking. So if you think the one's who defended Joan aren't relevant than the one's who claim to witness abuse aren't relevant either.

saradawnc
saradawnc

@LAsux @saradawnc the ones who apparently witnessed it, however, have been misquoted. For example, June Allyson has been quoted as saying she only heard Joan yelling at her kids, but some people always make it out to seems she say physical abuse. Allyson was also the one who recommended Joan use a harness on Christopher to tie him in bed for his sleepwalking. Therefore, in my opinion, the ones who "witnessed it" are the one you shouldn't trust. Mostly because it's all people that had it out for Joan.

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