By Peter Deuel
Teen Life, May 1966

I met SALLY FIELD for the first time when producer BOB CLAVER called me in for an interview to match up members of the Gidget family. Looking over both Sally and me, he commented "You two look more like brother and sister than in-laws."

I don't know whether this inspired the feeling, but I've felt like a big brother to Sally since the show started. In fact, off-stage we act like brother and sister--except that we haven't had a battle--yet.

What also helps our relationship is the way I feel about Sally's folks. Her step-father is JOCK MAHONEY. He was one of my boyhood heroes. I followed him in The Range Rider and as Tarzan. My Dad also admired him. And Sally's mother is not only a wonderful person, but the fine actress, MAGGIE FIELD. Sally has a sister actually named Princess--and she's as lovely as a real one is supposed to be.

As for Gidget herself? Well, let me tell you about her.

To begin with, she's a nut! She's the first 19-year-old I've ever met who acts her age, which makes her irresistibly charming. Most 19-year-olds I've met try to act like 35, with the results they are dismal flops in practically all departments.

Gidget is honest. How's that for a first? She also has a spontaneous sense of humor which breaks me up.

Recently we went to the opening hockey game of the season. Many stars were invited and came just for the purpose of being interviewed on Television as they arrived. We also were told we'd be on TV and Sally spent extra time getting made up and her hair dressed. Just as we were brought up to the interview, the TV time was over and we never got on the air. Another girl would have been furious. Sally and I broke up laughing and went in to see the game.

"That's what we came for, isn't it?" she said.

You wouldn't think so if you saw the number of other celebs who turned around and went home after being interviewed on teevee. That was all they came for.

She has a natural affection for anybody who has something on the ball. Often some people mistake a girl who is naturally affectionate as a flirt. A flirt Sally ain't, baby. She just enjoys people.

I should say something negative about Gidget, or Sally, if you will. That's really a bit difficult. I can expose her as an "artist." Confidentially, I've caught her painting by the numbers in her dressing room! I can't stand "number paintings." Besides, there's no reason for Sally to do it. She could paint a better picture on her own.

As an actress, thought--she is completely her own. I think she has a great future. For one her age, she has acquired good experience, has played comedy, drama, and pathos. And best of all--she has passed the "awkward age." In fact, I doubt that Sally was ever awkward about anything.

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