Thanks to Mommie Dearest, a memoir by her eldest, adopted, daughter Christina, Joan Crawford fans may think they know all there is to know about her personal family life. But the Crawford family is a little bit more complicated than that. As depicted in FX's miniseries Feud: Bette and Joan, Crawford had three other adopted children. A son named Christopher, who, like his older sister, was estranged from his mother at the time of her death, and two twins, Cathy and Cindy. Crawford's children don't all agree with the legacy of Christina's tell-all book and because of that family feud, have stayed largely out of the spotlight. So where are Joan Crawford's twins now and what are they up to?
Both Cathy and Cindy denounced Mommie Dearest, along with the 1981 film of the same name starring Faye Dunaway and any allegations of abuse that Christina depicted in the memoir. Sadly, Cindy died in 2007 at the age of 60. Cathy, on the other hand, is still alive and spoke at length to Crawford biographer Charlotte Chandler for Not The Girl Next Door. Cathy claims that although she grew up in the same house with Christina, her older sister's book embarrassed her and her twin sister.
“It makes me very sad. Every time Mommie’s name is mentioned, that book is mentioned. I don’t want to give it any more publicity than it’s already had," Cathy told Chandler. "Even when people say or write good things about my mother, that book gets linked to her name. It’s so unfair."
Instead, Cathy has nothing but fond memories of her mother and says that, although they were disciplined and made to do chores at a young age — like washing dishes before they could reach the sink — it was always in the name of raising them to be responsible. Cathy stated:
Mommie was strict. She believed in discipline. I remember once doing something when I was little for which I had to stand in the corner. I don’t remember anymore what it was. I guess we all stood in the corner sometime in our lives. I remember another time, when I said I didn’t like my dinner and I didn’t want to eat it. I didn’t have to eat it, but I didn’t get something else. I had to go to bed without dinner. I don’t think it was such a terrible punishment.
She disagreed so much with Christina's account of things that she took her to court in 1998 for defamation. In Mommie Dearest, Christina maintains that Cindy and Cathy were not twins, but that Crawford adopted two girls who looked alike for "publicity" purposes. Cathy maintained that her eldest sibling made such claims for "crass commercial purposes." Cathy won the suit and received $5,000 in damages.
Cathy's current whereabouts are unknown, but she does have two children, named Carla and Casey, keeping with Crawford's tradition of giving her brood names that began with the same letter. Hopefully, they and their mother have found some peace with Joan Crawford's personal legacy.