Christina Crawford: Mommie Dearest Killed Her Last Husband

Categories: Joan Crawford

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I've written about how at an event years ago, Christina Crawford suggested that mommie dearest Joan Crawford killed her last hubby, Pepsi head Alfred Steele, but Christina didn't get to elaborate as to just what she meant by that.

When I cornered her after her talk to ask for some expansion on the horror she'd hinted at, Christina--signing books at the time--replied, "I'm doing this now."

Well, last night I saw her show Surviving Mommie Dearest, which includes a documentary with Christina telling stories about Mommie's manic manipulations and abuses, then coming out to field a few questions from the audience. And she elaborated.

And what she said effectively wiped away what all the apologists have conjectured for years--that mommie merely drove Steele to a heart attack by making him batty and anxious. Oh, no, kids. It's way worse than that.

In the doc, Tina describes how Steele was found dead at the bottom of the grand stairway in the house.

"I didn't believe it was an accident," she asserts, knowingly.

"I know what Mommie was capable of in a state of rage."

Eek. She was implying Joan was a real-life villainess fresh out of the type of film noir Joan often played the heroine of. Mommie did like to push, after all.

"There was no autopsy," added Christina, austerely. "He was cremated."

Holy shit.

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Joan and Alfred in happier times.

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34 comments
hendersonkelly28
hendersonkelly28

Do any of you have proof she was lying? Until you establish proof, maybe you should give her the benefit of the doubt.

vamars076
vamars076

Did Christina ever have a job? She's what, 74 now and STILL going on and on about her Mother. I guess she has (at least) 3 ex-husbands because they abused her too right? Ugh. People like Christina - who sure hung on to that last name, if i had an abusive parent I would be thrilled to get rid of it - do nothing but harm to children who are actually abused.

Joan was FAR from "talentless" or "ugly" as some clueless fool wrote below. She grew up poor & always worked.

I bet those if you here who would rather believe one book than do any actual research about Joan don't even know that Joan was freckle-faced, wrote letters to her fans, and was respected by petty much everyone in Hollywood (I could go on, but when you drink the kool-aid, it's pretty much too late.


Your loss. And wow, are you easy to lie to! 


saradawnc
saradawnc

If I had Christina's imagination, I bet my life would be more interesting. Alfred was Joan's love of her life (other than Gable)!! He was a better husband than the others and talked about him for the rest of her life. Christina just lives off making her mother look like a monster. She was jealous that she couldnt be her mother (as Myrna Loy has stated). We dont know what happened in that house and the fact that Tina released the book after her mother's death shows cowardice and I dont believe bias. Like Myrna Loy said: "what her daughter wrote was pure bunk. Even if it were true, if ever there was a girl who needed a good whack, it was spoiled, horrible Christina. Believe me, there were many times when I wanted to smack her myself."

gilda1946
gilda1946

Let's look at the facts, shall we?  Both Christina and Christopher claim abuse and their stories are backed up by multitudes of people.  Joan's friends were appalled at her treatment of her two oldest children.  Caesar Romero, Helen Hayes, James MacArthur, Cheryl Crane, Lana Turner all claim to have seen and known about the abuse that  Christina and Christopher suffered but as Lana Turner once commented "Hollywood closed ranks around their own."  

As for the two younger girls, parents frequently pick one or two to abuse and leave the other children alone for reasons known only to them.

Betty Furness once asked Joan about the harness on Christopher's bed and Joan said she tied him up because he kicked the covers off.  What kind of parenting does that sound like to you?

Bob Thomas in his biography of Joan said she was an abysmal mother and gives quote after quote of how she disciplined her children.   She didn't just spank her children which was common in the 40's -- she beat them.  She had drunken midnight raids that were terrifying.

People who love Joan Crawford the movie star seem to think that makes her a good mother.  Don't confuse the two.



mwhat
mwhat

Crawford.one of the most famous talentless stars ever. Ugly too.

jakevanek72
jakevanek72

Wow....if Christina was as vindictive and mean spirited growing up as she has in the 30 + years since Joan passed away, no wonder Joan beat the living hell out of her.  I would have done the same thing!


MatthewMc
MatthewMc

Seriously Michael? You believe this nonsense? This kind of barrel scraping is so beneath you (at least I thought so...). You don’t like Crawford? Fine – but use your brain. This woman has been beating Joan’s corpse for decades now, coming out of the woodwork whenever she needs more money. It’s not surprising she’d make such an awful accusation – she’s running out of inflammatory things to say. Now Crawford's a MURDERER - Riiight. Whatever happened to “there are three sides to every story – your side, my side and the truth?” I’ve dealt with familial abuse all my life and I’ve never come across a person with such raw hatred and anger so long after the fact. What has it been – 50 years? This is not the behavior of a victim or a survivor – this is the behavior of a ruthless, cynical opportunist who would do anything for a buck. I don’t doubt Joan was difficult, manipulative, an alcoholic, overly strict and even abusive at times – but no real abuse survivor would let such unbridled hate consume them let alone allow it to become their life’s work. There is more to the story here. Christina's jealousy, pettiness, greed, no doubt mental illness, pettiness, resentment, entitlement, ego - it's all there in her actions. It’s just so sad that one person’s story, and one person’s obvious hatred, can so completely ruin an artist’s legacy. Apologists – Ha! You are a Christina apologist. What’s worse than mindlessly perpetuating the lies of a bottom feeder?  You got what you wanted, Christina. You ruined your mother's legacy for generations of possible fans. Let it go! Let the poor woman rest in peace!

MatthewMc
MatthewMc

Seriously Michael? You believe this nonsense? This kind of barrel scraping is so beneath you (at least I thought so...). You don’t like Crawford? Fine – but use your brain. This woman has been beating Joan’s corpse for decades now, coming out of the woodwork whenever she needs more money. It’s not surprising she’d make such an awful accusation – she’s running out of inflammatory things to say. Now Crawford's a MURDERER - Riiight. Whatever happened to “there are three sides to every story – your side, my side and the truth?” I’ve dealt with familial abuse all my life and I’ve never come across a person with such raw hatred and anger so long after the fact. What has it been – 50 years? This is not the behavior of a victim or a survivor – this is the behavior of a ruthless, cynical opportunist who would do anything for a buck. I don’t doubt Joan was difficult, manipulative, an alcoholic, overly strict and even abusive at times – but no real abuse survivor would let such unbridled hate consume them let alone allow it to become their life’s work. There is more to the story here. Christina's jealousy, pettiness, greed, no doubt mental illness, pettiness, resentment, entitlement, ego - it's all there in her actions. It’s just so sad that one person’s story, and one person’s obvious hatred, can so completely ruin an artist’s legacy. Apologists – Ha! You are a Christina apologist. What’s worse than mindlessly perpetuating the lies of a bottom feeder?  You got what you wanted, Christina. You ruined your mother's legacy for generations of possible fans. Let it go! Let the poor woman rest in peace!

glennj
glennj

Christina is a very vindictive, hate filled human being. She is sick! Truly sick! It's quite easy to make a villain out of someone who is not around to defend themselves.

glennj
glennj

Christina is a very vindictive, hate filled human being. She is sick! Truly sick! It's quite easy to make a villain out of someone who is not around to defend themselves.

glennj
glennj

Christina is a very vindictive, hate filled human being. She is sick! Truly sick! It's quite easy to make a villain out of someone who is not around to defend themselves.

SouthernDave
SouthernDave

Mommie spiked Alfred's Pepsi with her own urine -- and then TOLD him what she'd done!

AAAAAK! Instant heart attack.

dannyboy143
dannyboy143

The only one kidding here is Christina. She was not there. Yet she says he died at the bottom of a staircase and her mother was somehow responsible for his death. She hints he was attacked or pushed, but how on earth would she know that? She just "feels" this fantasy is true?! Come on now.

And what would Crawford stand to gain by his death? He was in debt to Pepsi and needed to stay alive to work off that debt. This made-up and very vague story, which she has been peddling only recently, should not stand unchallenged.

tampontammy
tampontammy

Christy ought to be grateful she ever got that gig on Secret Storm cuz her mug is just not that hot.

MSpeer
MSpeer

it's not as easy for some of us to let go of the anger from stuff we experienced as kids. You can try your best to "forgive" and "let go" but it's still there, at least as far as I am concerned. 


How many memoirs, one-person shows, documentaries, etc. have there been by others who are trying to purge themselves. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. 


I have no issue with what Christina is doing and admire her. Parental abuse of their kids continues--hers at the hand of a famous person--and if there are those willing to listen to what she has to say (and I am sorry I missed her appearance--will look forward to the documentary) then more power to her. 

 Kudos Christina.



williamHK
williamHK

Christina sounds like a very angry, unfulfilled woman.

SavannahMontgomery
SavannahMontgomery

She really hangs on to that "Mommie" thing after all these years doesn't she?

vamars076
vamars076

@saradawnc Thank you for an intelligent & informed comment! I loved reading what Myrna Loy said about Joan, she was one of the first that I read when I went looking for real answers about Joan. I recommend her autobiography to anyone interested in her and that time in Hollywood, she was a neat lady too. Smart, funny, loyal.
I always think it's rotten when anyone writes a "biography" of someone who has passed away and can't defend themselves. It is cowardly, you're right.


I would like to know if CC ever worked a day or made a dime off anything other than inventing tales of abuse, perhaps I could muster up a modicum of .. nah, she's just horrible. Maybe one of her ex-husbands will write a book about her? :)

vamars076
vamars076

@gilda1946 Cheryl Crane?? Another Hollywood brat who couldn't tell up from down These are not people who worked with or socialized with Joan, so why say they agreed? Where are you even getting this "information"? All you have are some random names - one who either MURDERED her Mother's lover, or covered up the murder that her mother committed. Lana hated Joan because they both loved Clark Gable, so cross her off your list.


Don't tell people how to feel - especially those of us who have done extensive research. Christina and Christoper were pissed that they weren't left huge inheritances & that they had chores when the Hollywood kids they knew were all riding ponies in the back yard. Boo effing hoo.

saradawnc
saradawnc

She strapped Christopher in bed because she was a bad sleepwalker and almost fell down the stairs. And Cesare went against Christopher and Christina. Do more researchand look at what her real friends have to say. She wasnt even friends with Lana Turner..

NashvilleCath
NashvilleCath

@MatthewMc Could not agree more. Just re-watched her 1978 interview w/ Donahue, on YouTube. I suspect that had she been lavishly compensated in the will, we'd have heard quite a different tune. (Or no tune at all, save, "We're In The Money"!)  In the '78 show tape, it is clear that in the years of her mother's declining health, she was nowhere to be seen, conveniently mike-checking a messy divorce, scholastic ambitions, & low funds for ducking out of her mother's life, in her final years. Hearsay & innuendo have been her bread & butter, since the moment she learned that the inheritance she deemed herself due, was as absent as she'd been, in her last years as a daughter. She's raised victimhood to an art form, & in doing so, negated any legitimate good she could've done, as an advocate for confronting abusive/ dysfunctional relationships in life, & moving on, preferably while one's perp is still drawing breath. To unveil new allegations, decades later, is to read more lines from the same tired, less-than-credible script. Perhaps this is to distract us from her 3 failed marriages, dubious portrayal as an academic (her undergrad, alone, took 7 years, in a time when most took 4), abyssmal & lack-luster turn as an actress, tumbleweed work history, & incessant, pathological need to be defined by a long-ago past. To declare "Mommie" a murderer, at this late date, is so transparent, it makes a mockery of any initial credibility she might've had. What's next? Secret trysts w/ Hitler? Ritual Satanic abuse? Telling little Christina that she killed Santa Claus? Unbelievable. Seriously. She's now 2 years older than her mother was, at death. Guess whose legacy holds up best? Unless this is a late-in-life ploy to play a female Pinocchio, my money's on "Dearest".

d_alex_71
d_alex_71

@MatthewMc She Didn't Ruin It For Me,  Fact is, It's Just The Opposite!! I Am and Will Always Be A Joan Crawford Fan. It Was Because Of Mommie Dearest That I had Come To Know Who Joan Crawford Was! Just A Boy When The Movie Was Released, I still In Some Way Felt A certain Sadness For Ms. Crawford(JOAN). But I Loved Her Strength That She Seem To Have whether On Film Or In Real Life. She And Ms. Davis Were Two Of The Best IMO: And They Don't Make'em Like That Anymore!! So Aside from whats been said and or Written about her private side, Her Body Of Work Will Go Un-tarnished And As A true Fan That's What I Tend to focus On And Cherish!!!

luis.seventysix
luis.seventysix

Wow were you living in the house with Christina? How can you discredit everything and then say she isnt a "real abuse suvivor" WHo the fuck are you to say that?

Sadly yo dont know what went on in that house and neither do I but you sound just as bad as you are making Christina to sound. How does that make you at all better to put your judgements on others?

Maybe you aren't a real abuse survivor. Since you can set the benchmark on what levels of anger and rage and contempt someone has 50 years after the abuse. How would you feel to be adopted only to be paraded around as a trophy? But that is me projecting because I didnt live the life, as you didnt.

I have friends who have suffer "real abuse", sexual, physical and mental and they are doing fine now, but I have other friends who it still messes them up to the core. Yes one has handled it better for their personal being, but we all have our own path to follow.

How dare you say someone has mental illness because of the abuse they received? You need to think before you type, and think about what you are talking about and how it relates exactly to what you are saying. Because this response was no better than what you claim Christina to be doing.

(Oh wait i notice you are a man, typcial male repsonse)

trueblonde
trueblonde

@MatthewMc Really?  Are you an expert on the behavior of a victim/survivor?  FYI, most survivors of this kind of terror DON'T come out of the experience w/o some kind of neuroses or PTSD (think Vietnam, dude, or are you one of those who threw garbage on returning vets?).


That said, I DO find it suspicious that Xina keeps coming up with more embellishments; is it just a coincidence that it happens when she runs out of money?

btw, I would never refer to Joan Crawford as "the poor woman" - seriously? LOL!

susankbosworth
susankbosworth

@dannyboy143 According to the original book Christina said she was in London when he died and was sad she couldn't get back to the united States for his funeral.  She also changed her story a few years ago (again) that her mother disinherited her because she took her brother in when he was disowned by Joan. The woman is truly delusional.

MSpeer
MSpeer

@dannyboy143  You're kidding, right? I'll bet Joan vetted that article if she didn't write it herself!

trueblonde
trueblonde

@williamHK yeah... I'm pretty sure I'd be angry too.  It'd be pretty hard not to be.

vamars076
vamars076

@SavannahMontgomery I know, right? It is totally creepy! A sad, hateful, one-trick pony. One would think that now, in her 70's, she might have mellowed a bit I'm just glad I didn't put money on that! :)

mustano
mustano

Here Let me help you help you all out. .. I've lived very close to her for the whole time she lived in Idaho on Sanders road. ..I know her very well. And I can tell you this she is ruthless and meliputive and she will use people if they let her. No one up here likes her or respects her. She had done some horrible things to people up here. She now lives in Hayden Idaho... let me no if you'd like to hear more.

vamars076
vamars076

@luis.seventysix  

Seriously? You just told a person they're a "typical man"? And tossing out the f-bomb, that is so classy!  Oh good heavens, since when is Luis a female name? You are one of those people who loves to be a victim, wants everyone to be a victim. Christina has been proved over and over a fraud. Take your feelings and things you are projecting onto this story and do some fair research. You are not even talking about Joan and Christina, you're just verbally beating up Matthew!

Unless that's too much to ask. People love negativity. "If it bleeds, it leads!". What is more important, truth or a story that makes people feel like they are better than a woman who worked in Hollywood so long was loved by the CREW of just about every picture she made and knew everyone - her real story? Why is this OK with you sheeple?? Luis, I hope you get some help, you have a LOT of anger there - I pray you never treat people in your life the way you just shredded a complete stranger in the comment above yours. (Matthew)

saradawnc
saradawnc

A real abuse survivor would advocate for the cause. Not hang out with drag queens and give out decorated wire hangers at xmas parties

susankbosworth
susankbosworth

@luis.seventysix Back up there.  I"m a woman and am siding with the OP.  Christina Crawford has changed her story one too many times.  I agree that Crawford was a raging alcoholic and probably did smack her around.  However, from Christina's own tales of her youth and the fact that it was the 50's, that was what parents did then.  

I think that her mental illness now comes from being a failure in everything.  Mommie Dearest the book came out over 30  years ago - now her mother is a murderer?  And she's touring with a new show?  Time to get a real job Christina. At least Bette Davis' daughter moved on.

vamars076
vamars076

@mustano - Well, you will need to prove beyond any doubt that you actually know anything about - you're talking about Christina, right? Just as I hate the lies about Joan, I don't want lies about CC either. No offense intended, but truth is truth and while i find this woman loathsome, some truth about how Christina Crawford has spent her 74 years on the planet would be interesting.


(So, you have proof, show us please)

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