It's always a shock when fan-favorite actors are fired from daytime soap operas, especially when the reasons seem tenuous, at best. And while there have been plenty of outrageous motives behind some of your favorite actors losing their jobs, no firing (or rather, almost firing) was more shocking than that of As the World Turns dame Helen Wagner (ex-Nancy Hughes).
As Soap Central previously reported, the relationship between Wagner and ATWT's creator, Irna Phillips, was rather prickly, to put it mildly. And Wagner was thisclose to being let go just months after landing the role because Phillips did not favor the way the actress poured coffee (um, hello, 1950s!).
"I almost lost my job after six months. Irna did not think the actors existed out of their character. One day, she was on the set when Nancy was doing another coffee-pouring scene. Nancy did a lot of those. Anyway, Irna did not like the way I was pouring the coffee. She went to the producers. They asked her to give me a chance to learn how to pour the coffee the way Irna wanted it poured," Wagner recalled. "Honestly, I kept pouring the coffee the same way. Irna must have seen something different, so I kept the job. I learned a very important lesson from the incident. Irna was always watching everything."
Despite her so-called lousy coffee-pouring skills, Wagner went on to star on ATWT until her death in 2010. And even with a few breaks during that time, she managed to snag acknowledgement in the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest run in a single role on television -- an impressive 54 years!
To learn more interesting facts about Helen Wagner, check out this Soap Central interview with the actress, published just after her death.
What do you think about Wagner almost losing her role as Nancy due to her boss thinking she had not-so-stellar coffee-pouring skills? Have you or anyone you know been fired for a ridiculous reason? We want to hear from you -- and there are many ways you can share your thoughts.