It’s no exaggeration to say that if you watched television at all in the 1960s or 1970s you must have seen me. Maybe you didn’t know my name, but you knew my face, and if you couldn’t place the face, you surely knew my voice.
For the greater part of a decade I was the busiest child actress in Hollywood. There were times when I was the busiest actor of any age. I performed in more than 200 television episodes, over 40 feature films and made-for-TV movies, and more than 300 television commercials, nearly all of them before I was out of my teens.
I began acting professionally at the age of three, made my first movie at four, and became a regular on my first television series at six. At the age of nine I won an award for Best Juvenile Actress in a Motion Picture, and at 12 was nominated for a Grammy Award. I performed with some of the legends of show business, including Jack Benny, Walter Brennan, John Cassavetes, Bing Crosby, Clint Eastwood, Sally Field, Gene Kelly, Elsa Lanchester, Shirley MacLaine, Dean Martin, Ray Milland, Maureen O’Sullivan, Geraldine Page, Vincent Price, Tony Randall, Cliff Robertson, and Jonathan Winters. In movie musicals I introduced songs Burt Bacharach and Hal David, Sammy Cahn and Burton Lane, Rod McKuen, and Richard and Robert Sherman. I danced with Buddy Ebsen, Jerry Lewis, and Debbie Reynolds. I was fortunate to work in one capacity or another with entertainment icons Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Charles M. Schulz, Chuck Jones, Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera, and Dr. Seuss. I romped in a musical montage with the Monkees and took to the hills and woodlands in search of adventure with the world’s most famous four-legged TV star, Lassie!
If you had a favorite TV show growing up, there’s a pretty good chance I appeared on it. I had guest roles on Star Trek, The Brady Bunch, Gunsmoke, Family Affair, and The Flying Nun, and that list barely scratches the surface. I was a regular cast member in several series, including The John Forsythe Show, The Paul Lynde Show, Curiosity Shop, and Space Academy.
Maybe you saw me at the movies in The Reluctant Astronaut, The Beguiled, or The Mephisto Waltz, or singing and dancing in Disney’s The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band.
It warms my heart that so many people remember me fondly as Edna Unger from television’s The Odd Couple, as Fern from the movie Charlotte’s Web, as Sally from The Cat in the Hat, or as the signature voice of the crabby but much-loved Lucy Van Pelt from Peanuts TV specials and the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown.
Please look around my website. There’s a shop if you’d like to purchase a personally inscribed and autographed photograph, a list of my TV shows and movies, a gallery of photos from some of them, and, of special importance to me, a collection of essays I’ve written to educate others about rescuing and protecting animals.
Be sure to visit me on Facebook, too!
As Lucy Van Pelt might say,
“Good grief, thanks for stopping by!”