Christina Crawford, the daughter of one of the greatest Hollywood female film and television actresses of the 20th century, Joan Crawford, is known for her work on the memoir she wrote in 1978 (a year after Joan Crawford’s death) in which she detailed what it was like growing up with the famous actress, who by Christina’s account, was not half as great a parent as she was on screen. In the memoir she titled Mommie Dearest, Christina talked about different reasons why her star actress mother was unfit to raise children.
Christina revealed in-depth truths about how Joan supposedly brought different men and women home with whom she was having an affair and she (Christina) had to call them “Daddy” or “Uncle”, she also stated that Joan was an alcoholic and an abusive mother who would beat her on several occasions for reasons like not eating rare meat or hanging her clothes on the wrong hangers. Also as a form of punishment, her mother allegedly sent her to strict boarding schools with special instructions not to allow her any form of communication with the outside world, among several other allegations.
Although Mommie Dearest became popular and is probably what anyone who knows Christina would think of when her name pops up, there is more to the woman and this article brings some facts about her.
5 Things You Didn’t Know About Christina Crawford (Joan Crawford’s Daughter)
1. She Was Adopted By Crawford Along With Four Other Children
Christina was adopted in Nevada in 1944 from a baby broker five years after she was born to teenage parents who were not ready for the responsibilities of raising a kid. Crawford did not adopt her in a legal way because she had been forbidden by social services to do so in California in 1940. Before her, the popular actress had adopted two children, Christopher, adopted in 1942 and another Christopher (born 1942, adopted 1943). But the birth mother of the former later reclaimed her son. In 1947, two baby girls were added to the Crawford family, twins Cynthia and Catherine. The twins were adopted in the same year they were born.
2. Christina Was An Actress Herself
Before the release of her first book in 1978, Christina Crawford was a professional actress who started appearing on stage plays in 1958. Some of her acting credits include In Color on Sundays (1958), Wild in the Country – starring Elvis Presley (1960), Barefoot in the Park (1965), and Faces (1968).
She appeared as Joan Borman Kane in the soap opera television series, The Secret Storm in 1968, and she mentioned in her memoir that her mother, then over 60 years old, took over her role of a 24-year-old lady without letting her know while she (Christina) was recovering from an emergency surgery she had. She eventually lost her place in the series and blamed her mother for it. She also appeared as a guest on some TV programs including Marcus Welby, M.D., and Ironside.
3. She Almost Died In 1981
Christina had a stroke that almost took her life when she was 42 years old in 1981, the same year she released her second book Black Widow: A Novel. It took five years of rehabilitation before she was able to get back on her feet again and subsequently released another book, Survivor in 1988.
4. Christina Crawford Has Been Married Multiple Times
The author has been married three times, first to Broadway Director Harvey Medlinsky from 1966 to 1968. She remarried to commercial producer David Koontz in 1976 and they were together until their divorce in 1986. In 1991, she married a man named Michael Brazzel but their marriage only lasted four years before they parted ways in 1995. She does not have any children and the octogenarian seems to have given up on marriage.
5. Life After Mommie Dearest
After she recovered fully from her stroke, Christina Crawford moved from Los Angeles to Tensed, Idaho where she opened Seven Springs Farms bed and breakfast in 1994 and published No Safe Place: The Legacy of Family Violence. In 1998, she founded Seven Springs Press and published another edition of Mommie Dearest, which included details that were omitted in the first book.
Between 2000 and 2013, she wrote a TV series, became Benewah County commissioner, founded a non-profit human rights organization and made the Surviving Mommie Dearest documentary. In 2017, she published eBook editions of her books and she is currently writing the third book that would make her memoir a trilogy.