Sherry Jackson

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Sherry Jackson
Sherry Jackson 1963.JPG
Jackson on an episode of Mr. Novak in 1963
Born (1942-02-15) February 15, 1942 (age 75)
Wendell, Gooding County
Idaho, USA
Residence Los Angeles, California
Occupation Actress
Years active 1949–1980
Parent(s) Curtis Loys, Sr., and Maurita Kathleen Gilbert Jackson
Relatives Montgomery Pittman (stepfather)

Sherry D. Jackson (born February 15, 1942) is an American actress and former child star.

Early life[edit]

Jackson was born in Wendell in Gooding County in southern Idaho to Maurita[1] (or Maurite [2]) Kathleen Gilbert and Curtis Loys Jackson, Sr.[3] Her mother provided drama, singing, and dancing lessons for Sherry and her two brothers, Curtis L. Jackson, Jr., and Gary L. Jackson,[4] beginning in their formative years.[5] After her husband died in 1948,[6] Maurita moved the family from Wendell to Los Angeles, California.[7]

By one account Maurita, who had been told while still in Idaho that her children should be in films, was referred to a theatrical agent by a tour bus driver whom they met in Los Angeles.[7] According to another, she was referred by the friend of an agent who saw Sherry eating ice cream on the Sunset Strip.[8] Apocryphal perhaps, but within the year Sherry had her first screen test, for The Snake Pit with Olivia De Havilland, and by the age of seven appeared in her first feature film, the 1949 musical You're My Everything, which starred Anne Baxter and Dan Dailey.[7]

In 1950, young Sherry became friends with actor Steve Cochran while working with him on The Lion and the Horse. Steve introduced his friend, writer Montgomery Pittman, to Sherry's widowed mother.[9] A romance developed, and Pittman married Maurita Jackson in a small ceremony on June 4, 1952, in Torrance, California]], with Sherry as flower girl and younger brother Gary as ring-bearer; Cochran himself was Pittman's best man.[10] In 1955 Cochran hired Pittman to write his next film, Come Next Spring, the first that Cochran produced himself.[11] Sherry played the part of Cochran's mute daughter Annie Ballot,[12] a role Pittman wrote specifically for his step-daughter.[13]

During the course of appearing in several of the Ma and Pa Kettle movies during the 1950s as Susie Kettle, one of the titular couple's numerous children, she also appeared in The Breaking Point, which starred John Garfield in the actor's penultimate film role. In 1952, she portrayed the emotionally volatile visionary and ascetic Jacinta Marto in The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima,[8] and the following year played John Wayne's daughter in the football-themed Trouble Along the Way.

Make Room for Daddy[edit]

Sherry Jackson with Danny Thomas on Make Room For Daddy (ca. 1955)

Jackson may be best remembered for her role as older daughter Terry Williams on The Danny Thomas Show (known as Make Room for Daddy during the first three seasons) from 1953–1958. During the course of her five years on the series, she established a strong bond with her on-screen mother, Jean Hagen, but Hagen left the series after the third season in 1956.

Worn out from the relentless pace of the program, Jackson left the program once her five-year contract ended two years later. Jackson received a star at 6324 Hollywood Blvd. on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 8, 1960 for her work in television.[14] Penny Parker replaced her in the 1959-60 season, but the character was written out of the series after Parker married.

Later roles[edit]

Over the next few years, Jackson broadened her range of acting roles, appearing as a hit woman on 77 Sunset Strip, a freed Apache captive who yearns to return to the reservation on The Tall Man, an alcoholic on Mr. Novak, a woman accused of murder on Perry Mason, and an unstable mother-to-be on Wagon Train. After a 1965 appearance on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., she then made guest appearances on Lost in Space ("The Space Croppers" (1966 March 30)), My Three Sons, The Wild Wild West ("The Night of the Gruesome Games" (1968 Oct 25)), Batman, and the original Star Trek series. On the latter program, she made one of her more memorable portrayals as the android Andrea in the episode "What Are Little Girls Made Of?".

In 1966, Jackson was cast as Katherine "Kate" Turner, a young woman from Boston who takes over a wagon train after the death of the trailmaster, in the episode "Lady of the Plains" of the syndicated series Death Valley Days. DeForest Kelley plays a gambler, Elliott Webster, who falls in love with her though she is engaged to marry once the wagon train reaches Salt Lake City.[15]

When Blake Edwards remade the television series Peter Gunn as a feature film entitled Gunn (1967), Jackson was filmed in a nude scene[16] that appeared only in the international version, not the U.S. release.[17] Stills of the nude scene appeared in the August 1967 issue of Playboy magazine, in a pictorial entitled "Make Room For Sherry".[18] The movie has not yet been released on VHS or DVD.[citation needed]

Personal life[edit]

In 1967, Jackson began a five-year relationship with business executive and horse breeder, Fletcher R. Jones, a union that ended on November 7, 1972, when Jones was killed in a plane crash eight miles east of Santa Ynez Airport in Santa Barbara County, California.[19] Five months after Jones' death, Jackson filed suit against his estate, asking for more than $1 million, with her attorneys stating that Jones had promised to provide her with at least $25,000 a year for the rest of her life.[20] The litigation proved unsuccessful.[citation needed]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ "Maurita K. Gilbert Census Record in 1930". United States census. 1930. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Maurite Gilbert Census Record in 1920". United States census. 1920. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  3. ^ "Curtis L. Jackson Jr. Census Record in 1920". United States census. 1920. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Maurita Pittman, TV writer, manager, 88". alt.obituaries. February 1, 2006. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Cook, Ben (June 26, 1952). Written at Hollywood. "The Kid Finally Gets Second Chance". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. p. 34. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  6. ^ "Curtis Loys Jackson (1908-1948)". Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  7. ^ a b c West, Alice (January 25, 1953). "Behind the Scenes in Hollywood". Ogden Standard-Examiner. Ogden, Utah. p. 9. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b "Young Actors Play Leads in 'Miracle' at Warner". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. September 17, 1952. p. 29. Retrieved February 1, 2015. Sherry [Jackson] is only ten. ... [She] has been a movie actress for four years. She was discovered by the friend of a Hollywood talent agent, while she was having an ice cream soda. 
  9. ^ "Human Interest Story Is Behind Fox Lodi Film". Lodi News-Sentinel. Lodi, California. June 14, 1956. p. 2. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Writer, Starlet Wed in Torrance" (PDF). Torrance Herald. Torrance, California. 12 June 1952. p. 17. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  11. ^ "Will Hutchins on Montgomery Pittman". Western Clippings. January 2013. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  12. ^ "CMBA Blogathon: Come Next Spring (1956)". Jim Lane's Cinemadrome. May 22, 2014. Retrieved February 1, 2015. Matt assures her that he's been sober for three years, then he asks about Annie. "Is she...Did she ever get over...?" "Nope," says Bess, "still mute. Cain't utter a sound." 
  13. ^ a b "A Happy Family Affair Inspires a Screen Hit". The News and Eastern Townships Advocate. St. Johns, Quebec. September 6, 1956. p. 17. Retrieved February 1, 2015. Her dad, Montgomery Pittman, wrote the screenplay and he built the script around little Sherry. ... [I]t turned out to be one of the most dramatic roles ever offered a youngster and was planned as such. ... [F]or her work in this show [she] received the "Gold Star Award" from Mars, Inc. 
  14. ^ "Sherry Jackson profile". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  15. ^ "Lady of the Plains on Death Valley Days". Internet Movie Data Base. May 5, 1966. Retrieved September 12, 2015. 
  16. ^ Heffernan, Harold (May 9, 1967). Written at Hollywood, CA. "Danny's Sherry Big, Big Girl Now". The Blade. Toledo, Ohio. NANA. p. 42. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  17. ^ J. Kingston Pierce (February 13, 2013). "Make a Wish". Rap Sheet. 
  18. ^ Lockhart, Michael J. (November 28, 2012). "Femme on Fire: Melissa Rauch". Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  19. ^ a b c Kleiner, Dick (March 17, 1978). Written at Hollywood. "Third Career for Sherry". The Daily News. Bowling Green, Kentucky. NEA. p. 27. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  20. ^ Written at Los Angeles. "$1-Million Suit by Sherry Jackson". St. Joseph News-Press. St. Joseph, Missouri. UPI. April 12, 1973. p. 3C. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  21. ^ Nott, Robert (2003). He Ran All the Way: The Life of John Garfield. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 263. ISBN 9780879109851. Retrieved February 1, 2015. Maurita Pittman always felt that Jack L. Warner experienced an internal struggle regarding the film: 'I don't know why the film was unsuccessful. Warner was really too greedy of a man not to get whatever money he could out of a picture. But he was fervently anti-communist and maybe he realized that Garfield was in trouble, and he didn't put that much publicity into the film.' 
  22. ^ a b Written at Burbank. "10-Year-Old Screen Star 'Just Loves John Wayne'". The Sunday Star. Wilmington, Delaware. December 7, 1952. p. 16. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  23. ^ Kern, Janet (July 23, 1959). "It Happens On TV -- Girls Drop Years". The Milwaukee Sentinel. p. 2 §2. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  24. ^ "TV Weekagazine: Friday". Evening Independent. St. Petersburg, Florida. October 4, 1959. p. 10. Retrieved February 2, 2015. 
  25. ^ Finnigan, Joe (January 26, 1960). Written at Hollywood. "Sherry Jackson Keeping One Eye on Bank Account". Schenectady Gazette. Schenectady, New York. UPI. p. 19. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  26. ^ Johnson, Erskine (March 22, 1962). Written at Hollywood. "Sherry Jackson, Home-Grown Dish". Sarasota Journal. Sarasota, Florida. NEA. p. 13. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 
  27. ^ Deffernan, Harold (January 8, 1967). Written at Hollywood. "Sherry Jackson Sees Light". The Pittsburgh Press. Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. p. 4 §7. Retrieved February 1, 2015. 


  • Best, Marc. Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen, South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., 1971, pp. 122–127.

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