​​The Joan Crawford Chronicle 

1961​​


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Early January: Joan travels to Buenos Aries, Argentina.

January 8: Joan and the twins unveil a plaque in honor of Alfred Steele at the Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

January 8 (#2): Joan appears as a mystery contestant on the television game show "What's My Line?". Following her reveal, Joan introduces her daughters Cathy and Cynthia to the show's panel.​​

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January 10: Joan and daughters Cathy and Cynthia attend the premiere of Shipstads and Johnson's "Ice Follies of 1961" at Madison Square Garden in New York.

January 12: Joan appears in "One Must Die", an episode of "Zane Grey Theater"​ on CBS.

January 12 (#2): Joan co-hosts a cocktail party with actress Helen Hayes at the Commodore Hotel in New York to benefit the New York Shakespeare Festival.

Early February: Screen Gems producer, William Doizer, approves a new half-hour series called “The Joan Crawford Show” by Screen Gems in which Joan will play an savvy attorney. The series has a projected premiere date for the fall of 1961.

February 4: An intermediate estate accounting discloses Alfred Steele's estate as "insolvent" even though he left a gross estate of $607,128.​​
     ​The intermediate accounting determined that the principal asset of Steele's estate was $383,000 held in escrow by Pepsi-Cola because of a stockholder's suit.
     ​In a September 22, 1955 agreement, Steele was granted stock options, which the stock holder's suit maintained should be declared null and void as a "gift" that wasted the company's assets.

     The major claims against Alfred Steele's estate are as follows:
  • $93,500 tax claim by the federal government.​
  • $21,000 tax claim by the state of New York.
  • $21,750 claim by Steele's ex-wife, Lillian Steele.
  • ​$16,150 by Steele's son, "Sunny". 
  • ​$97,534 claim by Joan for a loan she made to Steele prior to his death.

March: Joan, along with Barbara Stanwyck, are considered for the role of "Jo Courtney" in "Walk On The Wild Side".​​ Barbara Stanwyck is later cast in the role. 

April: Joan asks Billy Wilder to change the main character in his film "One, Two, Three" to a Pepsi salesman, rather than a Coke-Cola salesman.
     The last shot in the film is of James Cagney holding a Pepsi-Cola bottle, reportedly inspired by Joan's request.

Early- April: Joan attends a performance of "Advise And Consent" at the Cort theater in New York.​​

April 23: Joan serves as chairman for the second annual “Evening With Shakespeare” dinner and entertainment program at the Commodore Hotel in New York to benefit the New York “Shakespeare Festival”. The dinner is attended by over 600 guests. (Other dates offered for this event are May 7th or 8th, however, April 23 is the correct date)

April 29: Joan attends Variety Club’s “Tent's International” event at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida.
     ​Along with Joan, fellow actors Gloria de Haven and Danny Kaye attend the event.

May 3: Joan attends Pepsi-Cola's annual stockholder's meeting in Wilmington, Delaware. ​​Joan travels to the meeting via train along with Pepsi-Cola president, Herbert Barnet.

May 26: Joan leaves New York City to spend the weekend in the small village of Westhampton Beach.


May 30: The U.S. Tax Court denies Joan’s appeal that she suffered a $30,561 “loss” when she was unable to successfully sell a script she bought from Waner Bros in 1950.  (See the September 21, 1960 entry for the original court judgement)
     The court said in it’s ruling that Joan “did not suffer a deductible loss”. At the time of the appeal Joan still owned the Speers script “A Teacher’s Story” and “considers it good”.
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June: Hall Bartlett first contacts Joan regarding his script for "The Caretakers".​​

June: Joan attends a party at Earl Blackwell's apartment in honor of Noel Coward. Joan brings her personally-prepared meatloaf for the party's buffet. Other guests include; Eva Gabor, Mary Stevens, Linda Christian, Vala Byfield and Gloria Swanson.​​​

June 2: Joan travels to Europe to attend several Pepsi-Cola bottling plant dedications.​​

Early June: Joan attends the dedication ceremonies for Pepsi-Cola plants in Geneva and Lausanne, Switzerland.​​

Early ​June:
Joan spends a weekend in Paris, France.


Mid-June: Joan travels to Milan, Italy for a week’s stay to attend the dedication of a new Pepsi-Cola bottling plant.

June 16: Joan returns to New York from Europe.​​

July: Joan appears in the July edition of "Holiday" Magazine (Vol. 30 No. 1) wearing a green gown by designer Scaasi.
​The photo is from a photoshoot taken in Joan's "Fifth Avenue" apartment​ earlier in the year.


July: Upon Joan's insistence, filmmaker Robert Aldrich buys the book rights to "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?" for $17,500 with Joan
​and Bette Davis in mind for the leading roles.​​


Early July: Producer William Nichols signs Joan to narrate and host “The Ziegfeld Touch” on the “Dupont Show Of The Week”, scheduled to air on Sunday, November 26, however, the show airs on Sunday, October 28 1961.
     ​(The program is slated to be filmed in color, however, is ultimately filmed in black and white)

July 12: Joan returns from Pepsi business trips in Europe.

Mid July: Joan accepts an Invitation to be one of the Miss America Pageant judges in September.

September: Robert Aldrich sends Joan the first draft of "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?"​​

September 6 -8: Joan serves on the panel of judges for the 1962 Miss America Pageant at Convention Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

September 12: Joan hosts a special gala preview for artists Margaret and Walter Keane at 798 Madison Avenue. ​​
The collection is open to the public to view beginning September 13th.​


Mid-September: Joan attends a performance of the musical "Carnival"​​ at the Imperial Theater in New York.
     After the show, Joan telephones the show's star, Anna Maria Alberghetti​, to congratulate her on her performance.

September 17: Several English and French furniture pieces previously owned by Joan are auctioned at the Parke-Bernet Galleries in New York.

October: Joan and co-author Jane Kesner Ardmore complete the manuscript of "A Portrait of Joan".​​

October 2: It’s announced Joan is expected to sign-on for Robert Aldrich’s “What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?“.

October 9: Joan attend the annual meeting of the Pepsi-Cola board.

October 23: Joan appears on the television game show “I've Got A Secret”.​​

October 29: Joan appears on "The Ziegfeld Touch" in “Dupont’s Show Of The Week”.

Early November: Joan travels to Los Angeles.​​


Early November: Joan begins discussions with acting coach, Jack Manning, in regard to creating a chain of "Joan Crawford acting schools", with financing by entertainment-industrialist Ed Lowe.

November 15: Joan returns to New York from Los Angeles.


November 15 (#2): It’s reported that 20th Century Fox producer, Jerry Wald, originally envisioned a “mature actress” for the female lead of “Wild In The Country”, and approached Joan, among other actresses, to portray the character of "Irene Sperry" before Hope Lange was hired.
     (“Wild In The Country” was the first motion picture project of Joan’s daughter, Christina)

Late November: Joan hosts an opening for artist Margaret Keane in New York where Keane unveils her oil painting of Joan.  Joan commissioned Keane to do the portrait for $7,500.

November 30: Joan leaves on Pepsi-Cola business, traveling to Buenos Aries, then on to Lima, Peru and Bogota, Columbia.

December 22: Joan returns to New York from Pepsi-Cola trips throughout South America.​​

December 25: Joan spends Christmas with her daughters Cathy and Cindy in the West Hamptons.​​

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© All original Joan Crawford research and original text herein is property of Webmaster Bryan Johnson and is copyright protected by the United States Copyright Act of 1976. Copyright © Bryan Johnson

THE CONCLUDING CHAPTER OF CRAWFORD​​​​​