Sally Todd Interview: Page 6


Last Update: March 31, 2011
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We  shot some of Frankenstein’s Daughter at Harold Lloyd Sr.’s house, so I think maybe that’s how his son got cast in the film. Who knows, maybe Harold Lloyd Sr. had even invested some money in it.

All in all, I have to say that I did have a lot of fun making Frankenstein’s Daughter. We were all either going to have fun, or cry a lot.

Jack WebbJohn: During the time you made these horror films, I know you were also guest-starring on several TV shows. Among your television credits in the late 50’s, you acted in a few episodes of Dragnet. You told me earlier that you also dated its star, Jack Webb, in 1958. What can you tell us about him (and your relationship)?

Sally:  That was quite an eventful period in my life…both personally, and professionally. I went in for a reading to play a teenager on the show and I got the part&#151it was that easy. I was thrilled that I was going to be working with Jack Webb because he was a very powerful guy at the time. Jack was also known for using many of the same actors over and over again on his show so I was looking forward to being asked back if I did a good job. (And I was asked back to do another show, in 1959.)

Well, about halfway through the first show, Jack asked me to have dinner with him. He had a beautiful suite right above the executive offices at the studio that was almost as big as a sound stage…it was fantastic. I remember I wore a lovely black dress and Jack seemed very attracted to me. We had a wonderful, relaxing dinner there with a few other guests (including the famous songwriter and conductor Ray Heindorf, and his wife), for which I was grateful, as I was a little nervous. Not that nervous, but Jack was a lot older than me, and at first I felt a bit threatened by that.

Sally ToddJack had a Filipino houseboy who was supposed to be the best cook in the world and I think he was. The meal he prepared for us was absolutely delicious. Jack always had all his meals served to him in this suite above the studio and sometimes he even had them catered by Chasen’s. He threw some terrific parties up there. Anyway, we had a lovely dinner that night.

The next day I was back to work on the set of Dragnet and a delivery boy brought me a huge bouquet of flowers. And that was the beginning of my little courtship with Jack Webb, which actually quickly became a big courtship. The following weekend he took me to the world premiere of Around The World in Eighty Days, which was fabulous. Earlier that evening, he had sent a messenger over to my apartment with a gorgeous cocktail dress he wanted me to wear. Jack absolutely took over my life but it was fun and exciting to me as I was still very young and naive. I was at his house almost every night that summer. His friends dropped in constantly and I was really impressed with him as it seemed like he knew a million people and they were all at his beck and call.

Jack was charming and witty and intelligent, but it didn’t take me long to see that he drank a lot. And unfortunately, before you knew it, I was drinking a lot, too. So, it was pretty much always party time when we were together.

Saly ToddEverything was going along fine and then he insisted I move closer to the studio so that he could see me whenever he wanted. He wound up getting me an apartment right across the street from the studio, and it was beautiful. We furnished it with this very expensive imported stuff from an antique store on Sunset Boulevard. Jack had great taste&#151whether it be in fine art or furniture or music.

After a while, I learned that there was a very private area in Jack Webb’s suite that I was not allowed to see. He told me the area was ‘off limits’ to me, which, of course, piqued my interest even more. I guess you could call it a ‘secret room’ as it was always locked and I later found out why.

But that story is best saved for another time!

To read more about Sally’s amazing experiences in show business, look for her upcoming autobiography. John O’Dowd wishes to thank Sally and her manager Peter Clark for their graciousness, as well as fellow writer Michael Barnum, whose kindness and generosity in arranging this project with Sally is deeply appreciated.

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