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Casey Lalonde Letters July07



July 2007

Hello Casey.

I have long been a fan of Joan Crawford. In have several autographed items, and a book from her estate as well as a bookplate. I have 5 copies of "Mildred Pierce," my favorite film and I never get tired of it. Someone told me that a colorized version of the film was available. Do you know anything about it?

Thanks so much.

Kent Layton
Chicago, IL

July 2007

Dear Kent,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the website!

I always love to hear stories about Joan fans and their memorabilia collections. It appears you have some interesting items including one of my grandmother's famous autographed items.

Mildred Pierce is also one of my favorites. Aside from being the film in which Joan won her only Academy Award, it is an incredible film noir with an outstanding supporting cast including Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Jack Carson, Bruce Bennett and the lovely Ann Blyth.

As for a colorized version of Mildred Pierce, Ted Turner tinkered with colorizing many films in his MGM and Warner Bros. catalog in the mid 1980's to much protest by Hollywood directors and other industry insiders. They considered colorizing to damage the film's integrity as a work of art. Since then, not much colorizing has been done, but some still proceeds.

According to my research, Mildred Pierce was colorized. However, I could not find any copies for sale at the usual Internet outlets. Copies may be purchased through private sales however, so keep looking!

Thanks for the letter and please write again!



July 2007

Dear Casey,

I'm feeling really honored about answering my question.I think your grandmother still got fans all over the world and she will them have always because of her great Work she did on her movies. She left something behind that never will be forgotten. She was just great and I admire her and sometimes I wish I would had met her in person and had a talk to her for a while.

I really would like to know what was the true eye color of Joan, on black and white movies you can't see it and on the color Movies looks it so many times diffrent.

Well Casey I wanna thank you again for this great work you are doing for Joan and she really would be proud of you. Please go on this way because here on the outside are so many Joan fans who would like to know all about her.

Best Wishes,


July 2007

Dear Ursula,

Thanks for the letter and welcome!

Another great letter from Germany. I am still amazed by my grandmother's worldwide fan base!

Joan had big blue eyes. Although not readily seen in most of her films, due to them being shot in black and white, her eyes were probably her most expressive feature. Those fans who have only seen her black and white films, Joan had red hair, those big blue eyes and lots and lots of cute freckles.

She had such flawless skin that makeup artists from the silent film era through her years at MGM and Warner Bros. had the ability to manipulate her skin tone with ease.

Thank you for the kind letter. I indeed plan to continue to share my perspectives on my grandmother's life and career through this website and other ventures.

Thanks again and please write again!



July 2007


I cannot really think of a question but just wanted to sincerely thank you, Mr. Lalonde...I was feeling down thinking of my Mum's passing...even though it's been almost three years, it's something you just do not get over. Then I found your wonderful website. I have been a dedicated fan of your grandmother for many years now. And to see you carrying on her name has given me such a thrill!

It's such an important task - Joan Crawford's beauty, dedication and persona must never be allowed to be forgotten...My heart-felt thanks to you...

Christopher Parker
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

July 2007

Dear Christopher,

Thank you for the heart-felt letter!

My condolences on the passing of your mum. The passing of a parent is always a difficult time. I am glad this website has provided some enjoyment for you.

It has become my mission to keep the family connected to my grandmother's legacy as a classic Hollywood star, mother and dedicated friend. So many other Hollywood icons have become marginalized or forgotten in this age of Lindsey Lohan and Paris Hilton. Today's so-called stars have nothing on the legendary careers of Bette Davis, Norma Shearer, Ida Lupino and Joan Crawford.

With support of fans like you, I will continue to my celebration of my grandmother's life, career and accomplishments.

Thanks for the wonderful letter and please write again!



July 2007


What an honor to write to Joan Crawford's grandson.

My question is if you would want to meet your Aunt Christina. Are you trying to contact her?

Also, did Joan ever have contact with Christopher's kids? What relationship did Ms. Crawford have with her son?


Cleveland, Ohio

July 2007

Dear Layne,

Thanks for the letter and welcome to the website.

It is my honor to communicate with my grandmother's fans!

As for meeting my Aunt Christina, I go back and forth on this issue. I am just not sure how I would handle myself. Mind you, I would not get overtly hostile if I met her, but I would have to ask her pointed questions about Mommie Dearest. I suspect she would be hesitant to even meet me, as she would not want to be asked questions that challenge her assertions about life with Joan Crawford.

To my knowledge, Joan never spent any significant time with Christopher after he left home. As we all know, Joan's relationship, especially with Christopher, was not smooth. I have had some contact with Christopher's daughter Janit so I will inquire if she spent any time with Joan.

Thanks for the questions and please write again!



July 2007


Why did Christina allow such a horrible nasty movie about her mother? Was it predicated on the fact that neither her or Christopher did not receive a cent from Ms. Crawford's will?

I can't even imagine a child doing this to a parent. How sad that is.

Best regards,

John Bier
Fresno, CA

July 2007

Dear John,

Thanks for the letter and welcome!

Christina's demons are all her own. To most people, the publication and later campy film version of Mommie Dearest provided years of stand up comedy and pop culture references. To some, the book and film pushed child abuse from out of the shadows.

Your statement that Mommie Dearest was written because Christina and Christopher were written out of my grandmother's will. To my knowledge, Christina as never fully answered that question. She hangs her hat on assertions of child abuse and no one presses her on the issue.

Although my mother and Christina were several years apart in age, my mother always spoke lovingly of Joan and discounted Christina's account of life in the Joan Crawford household.

Thanks for the letter and please write again!



July 2007

Hi Casey!

Your grandmother sounds like an remarkable woman as an actress. She loved what she has done. I wish I could of met her in person years ago, but I was only 6 years old when she died. I have watched many of her movies.

PS. I think your site on your grandmother is amazing! It's great for thenext generation of her family to still continue her memory. I remember when I first seen "MOMMIE DEAREST", I cried. I just didn't care for that movie. I liked your grandmother with Clark Gable though.

I wish I could of met her.

Thanks for letting me comment about your great grandmother as an actress!

Have a nice Day!


July 2007

Dear Aimee,

Thank you for the sweet letter!

In my biased opinion, my grandmother was a remarkable woman, mother and actress. You and I are just about the same age and would give anything to have had a few more years with Joan. As a film and Hollywood fanatic, just to hear the stories of classic Hollywood and her experiences with Clark Gable, Norma Shearer and the many stars of MGM.

With the advent of DVD technology, more and more classic Hollywood films are being released. Look for a second Joan Crawford box set later this year!

RE: PS. As I wrote before, please ask as many questions and send as many letters as you want!

Neil Maciejewski does an outstanding job with this website. I wouldn't be answering fan letters without him!

I love your gut reaction to Mommie Dearest. The film made you cry - the film makes me cringe! I am thankful fans like you see past the Mommie Dearest propaganda.

My grandmother's films costarring Clark Gable are some of my favorites too. I love Dancing Lady (1933) and the 1931 version of Possessed. Crawford and Gable are one of the greatest pairings in film history, not to mention their lifelong love affair!

Thanks for the letter and please write again!



July 2007,


My grandmother was a LaLonde, daughter of George LaLonde, and sister of Royal, Jerome's father. Jerome lived next door to my grandparents. I am the same age as Carl (Tickey), Jerome's brother. I can remember Royal Jr., Billy, Merle (Lawrence), Carl (Tickey),Diane, and Jerome.

Andy Longton
Tucson, AZ

July 2007

Dear Andy,

It is a pleasure to hear from a member of the LaLonde family! I have many questions.

What was it like living in Clayton? Are you still in contact with any of the family? When did you leave Clayton?

My wife and I just visited Clayton, Cape Vincent and Alexandria Bay this past May. My parents, sister and I spent many summers in the Thousand Islands in the late 1970's and early 1980's. This was my first visit in over ten years. The last time I was in the area was for my Uncle Royal's funeral, then the funeral for my grandmother Mary LaLonde.

Thanks again for writing!

I would love to hear some stories about life in the Thousand Islands, so please contact me!



July 2007

Hi Casey,

Thanks so much for caring so much about your grandmothers rich legacy.

My question is...last week-end my mother and I watched your grandmother in the film "Rain". My mom is not very inclined to give complements about just anything,so I was very proud to hear her exclaim "WHAT AN ACTRESS!"at least 3 times.

Personally, it is one of my favorite Joan performances.

My question is: Why do you think she detested this great film so much? Was it because it failed at the BO?

Thanks for reading this, and once again thank you so much. Your Grandmother was a beautiful Lady and we love her.


David Green(and his mom,Mary)
National City,California

July 2007

Dear David,

Thank you for the wonderful letter!

I also like my grandmother's performance in "Rain." This is one of her films that is shown frequently on television due to its public domain status. This is one of the few big classic Hollywood films currently in public domain status. Turner Classic Movies recently premiered the film, so it will be on television even more frequently.

My grandmother famously disliked her turn in "Rain." The following quote is from Roy Newquist's Conversations with Joan Crawford. "Rain - well, if there is that retrospective I hope they burn every print of this turkey that's in existence. It was simply awful. I don't understand how a writer like Maxwell Anderson could have turned out such a ghastly script and how Lewis Milestone could have directed it so badly. I don't understand, to this day, how I could have given such an unpardonably bad performance. All my fault, too - Milestone's direction was so feeble I took the bull by the horns and did my own Sadie Thompson. I was wrong every scene of the way."

There you have it, Joan hated the film for all kinds of reasons, from the director to the script.

Thanks for the great question and please write again!

Give my best to your mom!



July 2007


Do you know if in any of your grandmother's movies, she wore a red dress, a black dress with beige polka dots, or a red dress with white polka dots? Please email me as soon as possible, because I need this for a project. I am a huge fan of your grandmother,and I am working on a classic actresses report where she is one of 10, 2 to be more descriptive.

Thank you so much for taking your time to help me.


San Diego

July 2007

Dear Allison,

Welcome and thanks for the letter!

The red dress portion of your question is easy. The rest, not so much . . .

My grandmother wore a stunning red sequined dress designed by Adrian for the 1937 film The Bride Wore Red. I had a wonderful opportunity to view the dress in 2005 as part of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) museum show "Glamour: Fashion to Die For." Attached is a photo of the actual dress. Stunning indeed!

This was my first visit to FIT and an interesting fact is that my mother Cathy attended the school back in the 1960's as a fashion student.

The dress is amazing and according to IMDB.com, the dress was used twice more, in the 1941 film The Big Store. More interestingly, the dress was shown in color in the 1943 film Du Barry Was a Lady. The only single drawback to viewing The Bride Wore Red is that the film was shot in black and white.

Thanks for the questions and please write again! Good luck with the project.



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