THE CONCLUDING CHAPTER OF CRAWFORD

The Joan Crawford Chronicle
1963

January: Joan's Fifth Avenue apartment is repaired due water damage sustained during a severe winter storm which damaged the roof of the apartment building. In the process of cleaning the apartment following the repair, Joan hires Charles Grant as a part-time houseman. Mr. Grant would continue working for Joan until December 1973.


January 15: Following a preview screening of "The Caretakers," Joan sends the following letter to Hall Bartlett berating him for cutting some of her scenes
from the film: "There is no rhyme nor reason for my performance in "The Caretakers", since you have eliminated my scenes with McBain, and all cuts and looks that I played subtly to indicate my attraction for Stack. Cutting the scene where McBain accuses me of being in love with Stack was drastic beyond belief; and my one big scene of trying to sell Herbert Marshall on my old-fashioned ideas was the crux of my performance. Anyone could have played my part as it stands now. I'm heartsick beyond belief."


January 18: Joan attends a Democratic fund-raising show in Washington, D.C.


January 21: Joan travels to Jamaica for a short vacation and a Pepsi-Cola business trip. She returns to New York City on February 10th.


Late January: Joan cancels her upcoming appearance on "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson." The show was scheduled to be filmed on February 18th.


February: Joan negotiates with filmmaker Victor Stoloff in regard to starring in his independent film, "The Movie Fan."


February 10: Joan returns home to New York City from a vacation in Jamaica.


February 11: Joan travels to Washington, D.C. on a Pepsi-Cola business trip and to attend Variety Club's "Heart of Gold" luncheon.


February 12: Joan attends the Variety Club's “Heart of Gold” luncheon in honor of Washington, D.C. columnist Drew Pearson. The luncheon is held at the Statler-Hilton hotel in Washington, D.C. Following the luncheon, Joan returns to New York City.

February 18: Joan is scheduled to appear on the NBC television show "The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson" on this date, however, she canceled her appearance in late January. Someone with the television show made a mistake in properly relaying the cancellation and therefore the show didn't learn about the cancellation until it was noticed that Joan had not arrived at the studio for the taping. Joan had planned to appear on the show to receive an award and discuss the "C.A.R.E." charity organization.


February 23: Joan is presented with the "Pally Award" by Pepsi-Cola at the company's 14th annual Pepsi-Cola banquet, held at the Americana Hotel in New York City.


February 24: Joan attends the 1963 Palm Beach Heart Ball, which is held in the Celebrity Room of the Royal Poinciana Plaza in Palm Beach, Florida.


Late February: Joan is honored at a Lambs Club dinner in New York City.


March: Joan is rumored to be romantically linked with New York Governor, Nelson Rockefeller, to the extent that she and Rockefeller plan to marry. Joan and Rockefeller's representatives deny the rumor. Joan states "How can you be engaged to a man who has never asked you for a date?"


March 7: Joan appears on the television talk show "The Merv Griffin Show."


March 22: Joan is presented with an award by the Philadelphia Club of Advertising Women for her "perseverance and courage" in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.


March 28: It's announced Joan will star in the film "Sex And Miss McAdoo."


April: Joan and producer Tom McDermott begin presenting the new television series "Royal Bay" (later re-titled "Della") to television production companies. Joan is also a producer on the project.


April 1: Joan travels to Tulsa, Oklahoma to attend the dedication ceremony of a new Pepsi-Cola bottling plant. While visiting Tulsa, Joan stays at the Mayo Hotel.


April 2: Joan attends the dedication ceremony of a new Pepsi-Cola bottling plant in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

April 4: Joan travels from Tulsa, Oklahoma to Los Angeles, California.


April 6: Joan attends the Lambs Club Gambol honoring actor John Wayne. The event is held at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. (Note: Joan was most likely in Los Angeles on this date, so her reported appearance at the event is uncertain.)


April 8: Joan attends the 35th annual Academy Awards ceremony at the Santa Monica Civil Auditorium in Santa Monica, California. During the ceremony, Joan presents David Lean with the "Best Director" award for "Lawrence of Arabia" and accepts the "Best Actress" award on behalf of Anne Bancroft for "The Miracle Worker."


April 10: Pepsi-Cola’s annual statement is released, and lists Joan as receiving a $38,600 annually salary for public relations, sales promotion and as a director. In addition, Joan also receives Alfred Steele’s company pension.


April 13: Along with co-stars Robert Stack and Janis Paige, Joan hosts a special screening of "The Caretakers" at the Lytton Center in Hollywood, California.


April 14: Joan travels with her secretary, Betty Barker, from Los Angeles to San Francisco, California. While in San Francisco, Joan stays at the Fairmont Hotel.


April 16: Joan travels with her secretary, Betty Baker, from San Francisco, California to Honolulu, Hawaii to host the Pepsi-Cola sponsored Kaiser Cookout competition. While in Hawaii, Joan stays at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.


April 24: Joan travels from Honolulu, Hawaii to San Diego, California. While in San Diego, Joan stays at the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island.


April 26: Joan is awarded the first annual award of merit by the National Association of Architectural Metal Manufacturers for her outstanding contributions to the Motion Picture Industry. The award is presented at a convention at the Hotel Del Coronado on Coronado Island, California.


April 26 (#2): Joan travels from San Diego to Los Angeles, California.


April 27: Joan travels home from Los Angeles, California to Manhattan, New York.


May 1: Joan attends the annual Pepsi-Cola shareholder's meeting in Wilmington, Delaware.


May 3 (#1): Joan visits the White House in Washington, D.C. and meets with President John F. Kennedy on behalf of the "Stars For Mental Health" organization. Joan is the chairwoman of the organization.


May 3 (#2): Joan's brother, Hal LeSueur, dies at age 59 of a ruptured appendix in Los Angeles, California. Joan does not attend her brother's funeral, however, she pays to have Hal buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California.


May 7: Joan presents Anne Bancroft with the Academy Award for "Best Actress" while Bancroft is on stage at the Martin Beck theater in New York. Joan had accepted the award on behalf of Bancroft at the Academy Awards ceremony on April 8th.


May 21: Joan stays at the Baker Hotel in Dallas, Texas while in Dallas on a Pepsi-Cola business trip.


May 22: Joan attends a special screening of "The Caretakers" held for senators and their staffs in the New Senate Office building in Washington, D.C.
The screening is followed by a reception in honor of the film's cast and crew, including; Joan, Robert Stack, the film's writer Henry P. Greenburg and producer/director Hal Bartlett.


May 27: Joan appears on the television game show "I've Got A Secret."


Late May: Joan signs her contract to star in the film "Strait-Jacket" after actress Joan Blondell has to leave the project due to a severe injury.


Late May: Joan has dinner at Le Chateau Richelie in New York City.


June 10 (#1): Joan and producer Tom McDermott unsuccessfully offer the television series "Royal Bay" (a.k.a. "Della") to several network executives. The series is shortly thereafter accepted in July by Four Star Productions, with a fall 1963 filming schedule.


June 10 (#2): Joan enrolls her twin daughters, Cathy and Cindy, in summer camp and pays the $1,591.50 tuition fee.


June 13: Joan attends the premiere of Federico Fellini's film "8 1/2."


June 19 (#1): Joan publishes a newspaper announcement in honor of her young "Strait-Jacket" co-star Vickie Cos. It reads: "My dear Vickie, I want to congratulate you on your absolutely fabulous performance on the "Dr. Kildare" show on May 30th. You have a lovely talent and will go far."


June 19 (#2): Joan attends the 46th annual Lions Club Convention in Miami Beach, Florida. During her stay in Miami Beach, Joan chips a tooth and has it repaired by Dr. Donald Michnoff. While in Miami Beach, Joan is visited by her adopted son, Christopher. Christopher is living in Miami, and supposedly visits Joan at her hotel suite at the Fontainebleau to introduce Joan his daughter, and to ask for money. Joan declines to give him money and Christopher leaves. This is claimed to be the last time Joan and Christopher see each other.


June 20: Joan is honored with an award for her contributions to the Lion's Club and "C.A.R.E." during the Lion's Club convention in Miami Beach, Florida.


Late June: Joan travels to Berlin, Germany to attend the International Film Festival.


June 28: Joan attends a reception in her honor in Frankfort, Germany. The reception is given by the U.S. American Trade Center's Consul, E.F. Becker, director of the trade organization.

June 30: Joan attends the 13th annual International Film Festival in Berlin, Germany.


Early July: Joan travels to New York City from Europe, where she stays for two days, before traveling to Los Angeles, California to begin filming preparations on "Strait-Jacket."


July: Joan's television series "Royal Bay" is accepted as a production project by Four Star Productions, and slated to begin filming in the fall of 1963.

July: Joan appears on NBC Radio’s Monitor 63’s “Ring Around The World" segment.


July 10: Joan receives the "City of Hope" award for her contributions to the City of Hope Hospital. The award is given to Joan at the "Night of The Stars" dinner at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California.


July 11: Joan attends wardrobe fittings and tests for the film "Strait-Jacket."


Mid-July: Joan begins rehearsals for the film "Strait-Jacket." Following rehearsals between Joan and her co-star Anne Helm, Joan requests that Heim be replaced. Producer and director William Castle agrees, and fires Helm from the production. Helm was originally to have played the role of Joan's daughter, "Carol Harbin." Click here to be directed to an interview with Helm describing her experiences on "Strait-Jacket."


July 22: Filming begins on "Strait-Jacket."

July 23: Actress Diane Baker is hired to replace Anne Helm in the role of "Carol Harbin" in "Strait- Jacket."


August 5-9: Joan and the cast and crew of "Strait-Jacket" do location filming in Riverside, California.


August 14: Joan hosts a party in honor of her co-star Vicki Cos on the set of "Strait-Jacket" at Columbia Studios.


Mid-August: Joan signs her contract to guest star on the television show "Route 66," episode "Same Picture, Different Frame."


August 19: William Castle reports that Joan will receive 20% of the film profits made from "Strait-Jacket."


August 20: Joan is presented with an honorary Black Belt by the National Judo Association. The honor is in recognition of the skills she acquired in the oriental art of self-defense for her scenes in the film “The Caretakers.”


August 21 (#1): Joan reports to Columbia Studios at 8:30 am to record a series of trailers and promos for "Strait-Jacket." These recordings include the short promotional film "How To Plan A Movie Murder," which Joan films with William Castle and writer Robert Bloch. Following the recordings, Joan and William Castle host a wrap party for "Strait-Jacket." On this day, Joan also records the following promos; A promotional advertisement for the "C.A.R.E." charity organization, and a 2-minute promo sponsored by Pepsi-Cola for the 1964 Miss America Beauty Pageant.


August 21 (#2): The film "The Caretakers" is released nationally in America.


August 24: Joan travels from Los Angeles, California to New York City.


August 28: Joan's third grandchild, Bonnie, is born. Bonnie is the daughter of Joan's son, Christopher, and his first wife, Nancy.


August 29: Joan attends the dedication ceremony of a new Pepsi-Cola bottling plant in Windsor, Connecticut. Joan is accompanied to the ceremony by Connecticut Governor John N. Dempsey.


September 2: Joan travels to Monmouth, Maine to begin filming the "Route 66" episode "Same Picture, Different Frame."


September 6: Pepsi-Cola's board of directors elect Donald Kendall as the company's president. With Kendall's appointment to president, the current company president, Herbert L. Barnet, is elected the company's chairman of the board.


September 7: Joan and Mary Ann Mobley (Miss America 1959), appear in commercials for Pepsi-Cola during the televised 1964 Miss America Pageant on CBS. Pepsi-Cola is a sponsor of the pageant.


September 9: Joan briefly stops filming during her "Route 66" episode to meet with 13-year old polio-patient, Dennis Walker.


September 15: Joan returns to New York City after filming her scene for the television show "Route 66."


September 21: Joan appears in "Business Week" magazine, in an article entitled "The Other Life of Joan Crawford."


October: It's announced that Joan is scheduled to be a guest star on an upcoming episode of "The Perry Como Show."


October 4: Joan appears on the CBS television show "Route 66," playing "Stephanie White" in the episode "Same Picture, Different Frame."


October 11: Joan begins filming the television pilot "Royal Bay" (Later re-titled "Della"). Joan films her first scene for the production at an office building located at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Oakhurst Drive in Beverly Hills, California.


October 14-23: Joan works on filming "Royal Bay" at the Four Star Production Studio in Studio City, California.


October 21: Joan reports that the television pilot "Royal Bay" may be sold as a feature film rather than a series. However, producer Tom McDermott says "It's just a possibility."


October 24: Joan travels from Los Angeles, California to New Orleans, Louisiana to attend the dedication ceremony of a new Pepsi-Cola bottling plant.


October 25: Joan hosts a press conference and attends the dedication ceremony of a Pepsi-Cola bottling plant in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the dedication ceremony, Joan wears a two-piece dress of sheer gray wool and silver fox fur hat.


October 26: Joan returns to Los Angeles, California to complete her work on "Royal Bay," following her business trip New Orleans, Louisiana.


October 28: Joan completes her work on "Royal Bay." The production completes filming on October 30th.


October 29: Joan travels from Los Angeles, California to Manhattan, New York.


October 30: Joan attends the final day of the joint annual conventions of the "National Association of Concessionaires" and "The Theater Owners of America."
Pepsi-Cola provides refreshments for both conventions, which are held at New York City's Americana Hotel. Pepsi-Cola also provides conventioneers the ability to Donna Axum (Miss America 1964). Following the convention, Joan hosts a cocktail party and dinner for the conventioneers. Joan greets each guest at the entrance into the cocktail party, along with the party's co-hosts; Pepsi-Cola executives Herbert L. Barnet and Charles N. Baker, and Theater Sales manager Ed Finneran.


October 31: Joan travels from New York City to Chicago, Illinois to host the "Stars For Mental Health" ball on November 1st.

November: Joan is a leading contender among producers for the role of "Polly Adler" in the film version of Alder's book "A House Is Not A Home."


November 1: Joan hosts the "Stars For Mental Health Ball" in Chicago, Illinois. Among the guests are; Carolyn Jones, Alice Fay, Alfred Lunt, Lynn Fontanne, Marty Allen, and Steve Rossi.


November 3 (#1): Joan returns to New York City from Chicago, Illinois.


November 3 (#2): It's reported that Robert Aldrich is discussing the lead role with Joan in the film "What Ever Happened To Cousin Charlotte?". Aldrich describes the film as "a murder-comedy set in the twenties."


November 19: It's reported Joan and Bette Davis are in negotiations to re-team for the film "What Ever Happened To Cousin Charlotte?"


November 20: Joan arrives in Dallas, Texas in preparation for an American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages convention, which is to be held at the Baker Hotel on November 22nd.

November 21: Joan, accompanied by Richard Nixon, are the guests of honor at a cocktail party in the Terrace Room of the Baker Hotel in Dallas, Texas. At the party, Joan wears a white matte crepe cocktail dress with a white sable boa with matching sable hat.


November 22: Joan attends the American Bottlers of Carbonated Beverages convention, which is held at the Baker Hotel in Dallas, Texas, and is attended by over 500 franchised bottlers. Accompanying Joan at the convention are; Richard Nixon, Pepsi-Cola vice-president Mitchell Cox and Donna Axum (Miss America 1964). However, by the time John F. Kennedy was assassinated, Richard Nixon had departed Dallas.

In the afternoon of November 22, Joan and the conventioneers pause to watch the Kennedy motorcade pass by the Baker Hotel. Afterward, Joan leaves the convention to go to her suite, and in her suite when she first learns the news of the shooting of President John F. Kennedy. Upon hearing the news of the shooting of President Kennedy, Joan sends a message to Mitchell Cox asking him to call her. At the time, Cox was speaking downstairs at the convention and ignores the request. Joan then sends Cox a note reading "My first impression is that it was the crudest, dumbest of joke I ever heard."


December 3: William Castle reports that he wants Joan for his next film, titled "The Dream Killer" (later re-titled "The Night Walker").


December 4: Joan attends a USO banquet at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. General Douglas MacArthur is honored at the banquet with USO's gold medal award.


December 13: Joan hosts a party (on Friday the 13th) at Voisin in New York City for "Strait-Jacket."


December 19: Joan signs her contract to portray the character of "Miriam Deering" in the film "What Ever Happened To Cousin Charlotte?" (later re-titled "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte"). Joan is the first member of the cast to officially sign to the production.


December 23 - 27: Joan spends the holidays in Jamaica.