You may not recognize her face, not at first. After all, actress Pamelyn Ferdin is a beautiful grown-up woman now. But if you look closely, you’ll see the sweet and often awkward little girl who starred on a slew of classic TV shows in the 1960s and ‘70s including “Star Trek,” “The Odd Couple,” “Family Affair,” “The Paul Lynde Show,” “CHIPs” and dozens more.
But the voice — the voice is unmistakable. Listen closely and you can hear Lucy from the original “Peanuts” cartoons. She was Fern in the original animated film classic “Charlotte’s Web.”
Since those childhood days, Miss Ferdin has become a passionate advocate for animal rights. She is so driven for the cause that she has been arrested while demonstrating outside the home of an employee of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services, serving 36 hours of a 90-day sentence.
At The Hollywood Show in Los Angeles, amid signing autographs, Miss Ferdin discussed the lasting appeal of “The Peants” and her passion to help those that have no voice to help themselves.
Question: Do you do a lot of these autograph shows where you get to meet the fans?
Answer: I haven’t done them in a while. I’m starting to do them again.
Q: What the reaction from the fans?
A: They are so excited. It just amazes me that these fans are so enamored of my career. It makes me feel wonderful. Some of them have come all the way from England.
Q: What is the strangest thing you have ever been asked to sign?
A: Oh my gosh! What’s the strangest thing? Probably … I have signed a lot of PEZ dispensers. I guess that’s not strange.
Q: How old were you when you did the voice of Lucy in “The Peanuts” cartoons?
A: I was around 10.
Q: You grew up in show business. Was it something you begged you parents to let you do?
A: No, not at all. My mom put me in the business. I had a very Hollywood mother. She put me in, and I just started getting role after role after role. I was probably one of the busiest child actors in, I think, the history of show business up to now.
Q: Do you feel like you missed out on childhood since you were busy working?
A: Oh yeah. I missed out on a lot because I was working constantly. My life was completely different from a normal child’s life. I got to do a lot of other things, but I missed out for sure.
Q: If there was one thing that you missed that you could go back and do, what would it be?
A: I really wanted to go to a regular school. I wanted to go to an all-girls junior high. I wasn’t able to do that because they were so strict and I was working so much.
And also I would have liked to go to a regular high school and experience what it was like to be a normal kid in high school — without always going in and then being taken out, going back and forth.
Q: When you look back on your career, what are some of your favorite moments?
A: Definitely being the voice of Lucy. “The Odd Couple” was wonderful. Fern in “Charlotte’s Web.” I loved doing voiceovers. I was Sally in “The Cat in the Hat.”
Q: You worked with so many legendary actors and actresses. Who were your favorites?
A: Tony Randall was a favorite of mine. Well, Bill Melendez, who was the director of “Peanuts,” was absolutely wonderful to work with.
“Lassie.” I loved “Lassie.” Lassie was a wonderful being to work with. All these memories.
William Shatner was kind.
Q: Did you try to continue acting once you became an adult?
A: No, because I basically wanted to be a normal person. That’s why I got out of the business and went to college. I became a nurse. I practiced nursing for several years. I got into animal rights.
I’m glad I worked as an actress when I did because it was the end of an era, the end of that big Hollywood era. It was great to be in Hollywood when it was more studio-oriented — the very end of that era when everybody knew everybody and they all went to the studio cafeteria. All the stars ate together. It was really a totally different business than it is now.
Q: I know you are a passionate animal activist. What are you working on these days?
A: Mainly I try to focus on educating the public. I promote veganism. I have been a vegan for about 20 years now. I also promote adopting and not buying your pets. And spay and neuter. It’s important that people realize the suffering that animals endure, whether in the meat industry, the fur industry or being killed in shelters because people don’t adopt them.
When people are made aware, they help.
Q:What did you think of the recent big scene reboot of “Peanuts”?
A: It was great. Anything “Peanuts” I love. I think the cartoons just capture one’s heart. The kid characters were so real, and each one of them had such a unique personality that I think kids and adults could identify with at least one of the characters. And they still can today.
For more check out PamelynFerdin.com.