Among the things Ryan Murphy throws back the curtains on in his new FX period miniseries Feud: Bette and Joan are both of its subjects' struggle with parenting amidst their stardom, unchecked alcoholism, and other implied mental health struggles. Although Joan Crawford had no biological children of her own, and the state of California rejected her application to become an adoptive parent deeming her unfit, she did go on to adopt five children under less-than-legal circumstances. One of her most lasting legacies is her daughter Christina Crawford's memoir Mommie Dearest. But what is Christina Crawford doing now?
In addition to writing five books and becoming an advocate against child abuse, Christina also ran a bed and breakfast, started a publishing company, dabbled in politics, and founded a non-profit. Mommie Dearest was adapted into a film shortly after its publication, starring Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford, and it depicted Christina's allegations of her mother's severe child abuse against her and her four siblings. In it, she accuses her mother of adopting five children in the span of eight years only to gain attention from the press and drum up good publicity after her mid-life career slump.
However, Christina alleges, Crawford was in no way emotionally equipped to be a parent. In a 2015 interview, Christina guessed that in addition to being an alcoholic, Crawford was likely also a sociopath. You can check out the interview below:
After the film was made, her advocacy career really took off and she served as a member of the Los Angeles Inter-Agency Council on Abuse and Neglect Associates for seven years. She spent much of the 1980s recovering from a stroke, and then in the 1990s, she maintained a bed and breakfast in Idaho called Seven Springs for several years. It was during this time that she formed her own publishing platform to release a 20th anniversary edition of Mommie Dearest.
During the aughts, she published another book on feminist history while working at a casino, and then in 2009, at age 70, her brief career in politics began. She was appointed county commissioner for Benewah County, Idaho, although she lost her bid for election the next year. In 2011, she founded the Benewah Human Rights Coalition and served as its president. Her most recent project was a documentary about her relationship with her mother made in 2013 entitled Surviving Mommie Dearest. She continues to write and do advocacy work today, identifying her inspirations as "life" and "social justice."
It's unclear whether or not fans will catch a glimpse of her on Feud itself, but if the Crawford mother-daughter dynamic is explored, expect there to be some tension.