Pamelyn Ferdin never forgot her first time crying on cue on The Andy Griffith Show
She was “the busiest child actress in Hollywood,” and she made “quite an impression” on Andy.
In the Sixties, Pamelyn Ferdin was an in-demand child star, paid $2,400 every time one of her more than 300 commercials aired.
Viewers watched her on hit shows like My Three Sons, The Monkees, Star Trek, and Gunsmoke, and she was a regular on The John Forsythe Show. She also joined the cast of short-lived series like Curiosity Shop and Blondie.
The first time she ever cried onscreen happened in the only episode of The Andy Griffith Show that she appeared in, "The Bazaar."
Years later, the child star posted on Facebook, recalling how she made "quite the impression" on Andy Griffith by shedding those tears.
While some child stars, like Ron Howard, were notable for studying how great films were made while growing up in Hollywood, for Ferdin, she was quite possibly one of the nerdiest child stars of her era.
While guest starring on hit shows like The Odd Couple, The Brady Bunch, and Lassie, through the Seventies, she also became known for voice acting as Lucy Van Pelt in Peanuts specials and Fern in Charlotte’s Web.
But behind the scenes of these shows, Ferdin was serious about her schooling, known to do homework between takes.
In interviews, the young actor became noted for speaking sternly about the need to separate the reality of her school work from the fiction of her acting.
Once when she was appearing on The Odd Couple, The Columbia Record reported that an actor jokingly asked if she was writing a script for the next episode on the desk she’d improvised backstage.
"Maybe someday, but not now," serious Pamelyn answered. "I have a composition to hand in to my teacher tomorrow."
In the Sixties, Pamelyn also enjoyed the distinction of being quite possibly the youngest actor wearing dentures onscreen.
In 1965, The News-Journal reported that Pamelyn had lost her two front teeth just after being cast in an episode of The John Forsythe Show.
To play the part, she had to wear an upper plate to cover up her missing teeth.
Throughout the Seventies, Ferdin continued acting, joining the cast of the short-lived series Space Academy and guest starring in TV shows.
But by the start of the Eighties, Ferdin took a break from acting, only returning to do voice work for a Warner Bros. animated series called Detention from 1999 to 2000.
Ferdin wrote about her acting career on her personal website, calling herself "the busiest child actress in Hollywood" for "the greater part of a decade."
To fans of Sixties and Seventies television, she was unmissable.
"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," Ferdin wrote.
She doesn’t explain why she stopped acting, but she does thank her fans for keeping the memory of her acting career alive:
"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."