2. Television Roles

Sherry burst upon the small screen in 1953, when she was cast as Terry, the oldest daughter of the Williams family in "Make Room for Daddy" (renamed in 1957 as "The Danny Thomas Show". This top-ranked series propelled her into the front ranks of teen stardom as she became famous for her facial expressions, and her deadpan straightman rapport with Danny Thomas. Sadly, she physically outgrew her part, and in 1958 (at the age of sixteen) , Terry was "sent off to college".

A gap in her previously uninterrupted career ensued, with only one studio movie "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in 1960. She tried to keep busy after 1958 with guest shots in various Paramount series: Rifleman, Millionaire, Maverick, Dobie Gillis, Gunsmoke, and Perry Mason. But things slowed down after 1962, and Sherry was uncredited until 1965 with "Wild on the Beach" (featuring Frankie Lane, a soundtrack album by the Astronauts, and Sonny and Cher's first screen appearance!).

Then came her breakout year of 1966. Sherry credited diet and exercise with "rejiggering her bulges" into a sexier new shape, and she relaunched her career back onto the small screen. With rapid-fire appearances in "Lost in Space", "Batman", and "Star Trek", Sherry was back with a bang. She appeared to be poised for a big screen comeback with a very sexy role in the 1967 cinematic extension of the Peter Gunn TV series.

"Gunn", an early effort by director Blake Edwards, was supposed to challenge the James Bond franchise. Unfortunately, Craig Stephens was no Sean Connery, and the film was dissapointing at the box office.

For three years afterwards, she would gamely appear in one unremarkable movie each year with additional guest shots in "Wild, Wild West" and (appropriately) "Death Valley Days".

After "Wild Women" in 1970, Sherry suffered another three-year hiatus. "Cotter" marked a cinematic comeback in 1973, but this period until 1980 was notable mainly for the number of times Sherry guest starred in action/adventure movies and tv shows. With a final flourish in the three c's of 1980: "Casino", "CHiP's", and "Charlie's Angels", Sherry cashed in her casino chips and her career joined the angels having barely entered its fifth decade since those child actress parts of the forties.

Taken as a whole, Sherry's tv work must be regarded as a series of links from one cinematic segment in her career to another. "Make Room for Daddy" capped off her child actress movie career with a rocket into teen stardom, but left her stranded in tv until 1962. Then her great TV guest shots of 1966 set up her relaunch into "Gunn". And the period from 1973 ending in 1980 sees Sherry's television series guest shots intertwine with her movie roles.

Think what you may of the artistic merits of her roles in these generally action-based tv shows: her appearances are legion, and the science fiction series characters she portrayed are legendary to fans of the particular shows.


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