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Joan Crawford Introduces Her Daughter to Show Business

by Barbara L. Goldsmith

Originally appeared in Woman's Home Companion,
August 1956

Photos by Eve Arnold

One morning recently, 16-year-old Christina announced to her mother, Joan Crawford: "I want to be an actress." What young girl has not had such a dream? Few girls, however, have as a mother a dynamic woman who has created her own niche as an actress. Joan was movied by Tina's desire. To her it meant that Tina "heard the applause and saw the glamour of show business but had been untouched by the heartaches." Joan knew about the heartaches. So, on a recent trip to New York she used her prestige to open doors that would let Tina see for herself both the glamorous and arduous sides of show business.

One of the things Joan showed Tina is that wanting to be an actress is not enough. She must build on her talent with both rigorous work and courage. Because an actress is constantly in the public eye, she must always appear at her best. She must watch her figure as a business asset; she must cultivate her voice and speech; she must learn to move with grace. Joan says: "Tina will be able to study all the things I never had time for."

Tina spent a strenuous week in New York. Then she sat down to reconsider her dream. The pictures show what Tina did and saw and how she finally decided about her future.


A time comes to sit and wonder: Do you really want to act?
Tina decided: "I want to try to be an actress. I'll work hard."

To see more Eve Arnold photos from this session, visit the Images 1956 page.
To read an excerpt from Arnold's 1995 book "In Retrospect" re this photo session, click here.

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