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Joan Crawford Had Me Fired

Joan Crawford Had Me Fired
Anne Helm Interview

Anne Helm was originally hired to portray Joan's daughter Carol in the 1964 William Castle horror-schlock motion picture ‘Strait-Jacket.’ In this interview she details how, during rehearsals, Crawford had her fired after berating her repeatedly in front of the cast.

When the two actresses met at Crawford’s home before rehearsal began, the legendary star was scrubbing her bathroom floor. The got along great… at first. “I had, out of respect, called her Miss Crawford. I remember she put her arm around me and said, ‘Daahhling, call me Joan.’ I felt I had a very good friend.”

But when the cast assembled for the fist time and Anne Helm naturally called her Joan as requested, Crawford reprimanded her for that breach of protocol. “I, of course, called her Miss Crawford after that.”

Apparently, the real trouble started when Helm was caught drinking a Diet Coke. Crawford was a spokesperson for Pepsi so she had Cokes banned from the set and trucked in cases of Pepsi instead. From that point on, Crawford repeatedly harassed the younger actress.

Helm was replaced with Diane Baker shortly before filming got underway in July 1963. “I got a call, ‘We’re sending you the script but you have to say yes,’” Baker once told an interviewer. “It was like somebody wanted me there yesterday.” Her experience on ‘Straight Jacket’ was a pleasant one.


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Casey LaLonde: "Per your article on Anne Helm being fired by Joan Crawford, the end of the story may be true that Joan had Anne fired, but Diet Coke wasn't introduced until 1982.  Diet Coke wasn't around in 1963, when Strait-Jacket was filmed."

True - but that's the way she told she story.

Joan Crawford's Final Appearance


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