What happens to all the trivial, third-hand, dull information that professional biographers leave out of celebrity life-stories? Well, some of it turns up in tepid little books like this one--which pieces together ""published material of Joan Crawford's pre-Hollywood years"" and interviews with her hometown's ""old-timers"" and ""descandants who have kept their 'Joan Crawford stories' alive as part of family histories."" Unsurprisingly, then, the result is a thin assemblage of hearsay and gossip about ""a Cinderella who found desperate ways to make do without a fairy godmother. . ."" Back in pre-1920 Oklahoma and Missouri she was Lucille ""Billie"" Cassin--with a sometimes-cruel mother and a beloved stepfather who wandered away. Little Billie went looking for ""Daddy Cassin."" She felt like an outcast at school. She hurt her foot. She flirted with boys, tried college for a while, crashed society dances, and--the only vaguely ""shocking"" item here--did a nude dance for a vending-machine film when desperate for cash to finance her attempts to make it big in Chicago or N.Y. ""'She was just a little girl dancing,' a neighbor remembered."" ""Like the heroine of The Red Shoes, Billie--driven as always by that haunting fear of the future--had to dance till she died."" Zzzzzz. . . .