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Child of a Living Legend
by James Bacon
originally appeared in the Chicago Tribune, September 23, 1962
, 23, was on sound stage 11 at MGM studios working in a "Dr. Kildare" television segment.
A veteran crewman approached her:
"Do you know that more than 30 years ago I watched another young lady become a star overnight on this very same sound stage?"
That long-ago Cinderella was , mother of Christina, and the picture was "Our Dancing Daughters."
"I looked up at the rafters," says Christina. "I was thrilled and then it dawned on me—this was my first trip to MGM — unless mother wheeled me here as a baby."
Christina is a hard-working actress who admits — like Gary Crosby— that it is very difficult at times to be the child — even adopted — of a living legend.
"I want to make it on my own. I have supported myself since I was 19. I seldom see my mother but that doesn't mean I don't love her or respect her. I do tremendously," says Christina.
There have been reports that Joan and the eldest of her four adopted children have been feuding for years.
Not so, says Christina.
"We have had crises as all daughters do with their mothers but mine have been complicated because I have decided to make it in my mother's own profession.
"For instance, when I was studying at Westport Country Playhouse, an item appeared in a New York gossip column that I was seen in a night club with some boy friend I had never heard of. I hadn't even heard of the club. And I don't know where the item came from.
"Mother was hurt that I didn't call her and that I was flitting around some night club when I should have been studying. I told her that I was in Connecticut all the time.
"Then there were other items, all of them just as mysteriously planted as the first. I couldn't explain them to mother."
Christina later found out press agents for restaurants planted phony items about her just to get their restaurant clients mentioned.
"Mother, of all people, should have understood this phase of the business.
"That's complicated our relationship but there is no feud. I have great love and admiration for my mother, both as a mother and as a great talent.
"I hope I can achieve even a fraction of what she has in this business."
[Thanks to Norman for this article.]
The Best of Everything