In her famous memoir Mommie Dearest, she details her alleged abuse at the hands of her adoptive mother, screen actress Joan Crawford. Mommie Dearest, published in 1978, inspired the popular 1981 film of the same title.
After training at both New York's Neighborhood Playhouse and Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama, she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and went on to act in Off-Broadway and regional theatre productions of In Color on Sundays and Dark of the Moon.
She appeared in several films and television series of the 1960s and '70s, including Force of Impulse (1961) and Marcus Welby, M.D. (1971).
The biological daughter of unwed teenage parents, she was one of several children adopted by Joan Crawford, and she grew up with younger siblings named Christopher, Cynthia, and Cathy. Following brief marriages to Harvey Medlinsky and David Koontz, Christina Crawford married her third husband, Michael Brazzel.