Audrey Hepburn and William Holden photographed at the location of Paris when it Sizzles by Bob Willoughby in 1962
Audrey Hepburn eating breakfast, photographed by Mark Shaw in 1953
Norma Shearer in Lady of the Night, 1925
Publicity shots for Rain, 1932
Since I keep getting the same question all over again I will clear things up. Sorry if this is quite long but I feel it needs to be said. I really can’t stand any of the “Joan Crawford was evil” comments anymore, or I will not answer a Mommie Dearest related question ever again.
I’ll get right to the point now, I’m not saying Joan Crawford was a good mom, I’m the first in line to acknowledge she wasn’t an exceptional parent, she was often neglectful towards her children, self centered and verbally abusive. Joan came from a broken home, she never felt the unconditional love parents often give their children, she came from a loveless and abandoned household, she in that way expected her children will fulfill unconditional love towards her, but she was a vein person who romanticize the idea of having a child, she never had any biological children but adopted 5. She was very close to her little niece while she was growing up in the 30s until they moved away and lost contact.
Stating some facts.
Was Joan Crawford an Alcoholic?
Yes she had a drinking problem.
Did Joan Crawford beat her daughter Christina with a wire hanger while screaming “No Wire Hangers EVER”.
This never happened. Christina Crawford openly admitted the wire hanger incident NEVER HAPPENED, she was never beaten with a wire hanger. Joan liked having an organized clean home but she never beat her child with a wire hanger.
Was Joan Crawford an strict parent.
Yes she was she believed discipline was the way, she had an uptight mentality and she wanted her children to be grateful for everything she gave them. She didn’t want her children growing up extremely spoilt.
Did she make her children do the housework?
She had chores for her children, dishes, making beds, cleaning, homework, etc.
Did she ever hit her children
To clear this up, yes she might have slapped them a couple times, slapping your children was a common way of discipline around that time, I’m pretty sure if you ask your grandparents they will tell you they feared their own parents. it was common to slap your kids when they misbehaved and it was common discipline used by parents.
First of all Joan adopted Christina when she was one year old, she was the daughter of a teenager who had a fling with a marine. Since she was Joan’s first child Joan tried to give everything a child at that age would want, growing up Tina (her nickname) was very demanding and bratty child, she always wanted more. Several people have claimed they witnessed Christina fly off handle, have fits when she couldn’t get her own way, she rebelled against Joan several times. Tina was sent to boarding school because it was a common practice among movie starts (and honesty my own grandmother went to Mary Mount HS and it was a LOVELY place Judy Lewis went there is not like a big deal) Christina attended Chadwick School a beautiful boarding school (basically a country club in Palos Verdes California) Liza Minnelli went there and IT’S BASICALLY A COUNTRY CLUB. In my personal opinion I think boarding school is an easy option to neglect your child but some movie stars had very demanding careers and they wanted to provide their children a good education at the same time. Christina studied acting in Carnegie Mellon School of Drama and she also went to UCLA (Joan paid for all this education). Joan fully supported Christina’s lifestyle in new york city, she paid for her education, and she sponsored her acting career. Christina’s career NEVER took off as she wanted most people say that she at the stage production of barefoot in the park she was extremely demanding and her diva-like behavior and conflicts with producers made her leave the production after like two shows. In 1968 Tina got a job in a soap opera (a really shitty one if you ask me lmfao) called The Secret Storm, where she had an accident and had to be hospitalized meanwhile Joan took in the role as her stand in and they were delighted to have a movie star in their show. Christina went back to work but was later let go by the show (honestly who even lasts in a soap opera have you guys watched general hospital, one live to live and peyton place? or even go watch soap dish it’s a fun movie). The role Christina played in this soap opera was a supporting and Joan only appeared on 3 episodes, Christina blamed Joan for being let go of the show. Ironically after that they used to hang out together in events and stuff and had been seen laughing and being warm to each other.
Why did Joan cut Christina and Christopher off her will?
Ok so Joan said the following. I quote “It is my intention to make no provision herein for my son Christopher or my daughter Christina for reasons which are well known to them.”. I guess it was a private matter she was never close to Christina they were distant, also Joan didn’t leave any money to her niece (whom she was close with in her childhood).
Why did Christina write Mommie Dearest
I believe she wanted to retaliate towards her mother, she was extremely bitter when she realized she was left with no inheritance. (imo she had a broke jobless ass no talent and she wanted easy cash so why not trash your mother who paid for your everything) Christina’s husband David Kroontz helped her developed the movie Mommie Dearest, after the book. But he later in 1982 he said he questioned Christina’s claims of Joan’s abuse and how she exaggerated most of it and he couldn’t live with someone like that, so he divorced her.
I want to point out Christina has always been desperate to say in the spotlight she even accused Joan of killing her fourth husband a few years ago in the Larry King show.
To sum this up, Christopher was a difficult child especially during teenage years he stole a car, he spent a lot of money, he had terrible grades, he was wild and entitled, he left home when he was 18. Joan could never control his behavior. He got a waitress pregnant and worked as a lifeguard. He rebelled against Joan, the last time she saw him was when she visited him and she question the credibility of his current spouse. He received money from Christina for the Mommie Dearest book.
Cathy and Cynthia Crawford (the twins)
Cathy and Cynthia were twins Joan adopted them in TN. They had a normal upbringing they were always with Joan, they had top notch education. One of them married while in college, one lived with Joan until college. They received Joan’s inheritance. Cynthia died in 2006. But Cathy lives, she owns all of Joan’s estate including her oscar. She gave an interview to Vanity Fair in like 09/08 the hollywood issue where she openly talks about Christina’s vicious lies. Her children and Cathy herself are proud of Joan and speak fondly of her.
People who knew Joan who denied Christina’s claims
- Myrna Loy, I’m gonna tell you one thing if there’s someone with the cleanest moral integrity, decency, and kind heart that was Myrna Loy she was the most exceptional woman in classic hollywood. And she was COMPLETELY SHOCKED by Tina’s claims. She knew Joan SINCE 1925 UNTIL SHE DIED. she knew pre-fame Joan (that’s the closest you can get to the truth). She doesn’t romanticize Joan either she admitted Joan was an alcoholic and an ambitious woman and she had a temper.
- Doulgas Fairbanks Jr
- Barbara Stanwyck
- Ann Blyth (I actually feel Ann is extremely sincere because she talks about Joan so openly and how she was only 16 but Joan was helpful and kind to her)
- Bob Hope.
- A lot of people like June Allyson, Eve Arden, Helen Hayes and Betty Hutton claim some stories are true but exaggerated from the truth. Betty Hutton said Joan had a volatile temper and her children often faced challenges.
- Did Joan suffer from Bipolar disorder
- Eve Arden claims Joan was a very good person a kind one in many ways but had a drinking problem and a temper, sadly at the time bipolar wasn’t even considered. I do believe Joan may have had a bipolar disorder or at least borderline.
Was Joan Crawford a good parent?
Was Joan Crawford a verbally abusive parent?
When it came to discipline, and volatile temper yes.
Did Joan Crawford ever slap her children?
Yes, and it was a common practice back then.
Did Joan Crawford ever beat her children the way is described in the book/film Mommie Dearest?
I hope I cleared this up, I really can’t take anymore questions about this. Joan Crawford was a great person in many ways, an extremely talented actress, she was vulnerable in many ways and she had a kind heart. She had a drinking problem and a bad temper, she was never a good parent and she herself had a dreadful childhood but I will not demonize her entire character based on fake claims made by a bitter gold digging person. Also the movie is total crack is completely hilarious and I love Faye Dunaway (even tho she hates it) So feel free to watch the movie and have a LAUGH because it’s absolutely ridiculous. Christina Crawford may come as genuine and nice in her book but that’s mostly because SHE HAD A GHOST WRITER, duh.
Audrey Hepburn in Taormina, Italy, in 1962
this icon makes me feel badass
Audrey Hepburn shops in Rome with Mr. Famous, November 1961. Photos taken by Marcello Geppetti.
Meryl Streep at The French Lieutenantt’s Woman Screening in 1981.