The Truth Behind "Mommie Dearest "
Bonus section: The LaLonde Exposé - Exposing Casey LaLonde
Gloria Monty - Director/Producer "The Secret Storm" Television Show
“I can tell you that Joan Crawford was wonderful in a crisis when her daughter took suddenly seriously ill.
Joan called me to go to Christina’s apartment. She called the doctor to go there, and from her own bedside, because she was ill with the flu, called the ambulance to take Christina to the hospital. She also sent her secretary, Betty Barker, to see that everything went smoothly for Christina.
As soon as Joan was declared un-contagious, she planted herself in her daughter’s hospital room and saw to it that Christina was well cared for. She also spoke with all of us on the show about keeping Christina’s job open. Joan was afraid her daughter would lose her running part by being absent. She kept asking us, “Can I do anything to help her keep it? What can I do?” It was difficult for me to make Joan understand this was not like the studio days when, if you were ill, the production had to shut down. She didn’t understand that we could write out Christina’s character for a while, although the story, at the moment, was at a peak.
One time when Joan asked, “What can I do?” I said, “Play the part for us.”
She said, “OK, I’ll do Christina’s part until she comes back.” And that’s how she came to do the role on “The Secret Storm.”
I’ll tell you that I saw Joan Crawford do everything she knew how to do to save a girl’s life and job. Christina tells none of that in “Mommie Dearest.” I think by omission she did her mother a disservice.
All I can say is that I saw a concerned mother when her daughter was unhappy in her marriage to Harvey Medlinsky and wanted a divorce. I know Joan helped her through that morally and financially.”
Detroit Free Press (December 13th, 1979)
Joan Crawford With Gloria Monty on the set of "The Secret Storm" (October 1968)