American character actress Jackie Joseph reminisces about her good ole ‘Doris Day’ daysSeptember 10, 2007 No Comments
The Los Angeles born character actress Jackie Joseph first worked with Doris Day, in 1968, on her final motion picture With Six You Get Eggroll. In 1971, Jackie then joined the 4th season cast of The Doris Day Show.
Jackie began her entertainment career as a featured performer and singer in the Billy Barnes Revues of the 1950’s and ’60s. She subsequently went on to appear in countless American TV shows that included her recurring role as Jackie Parker in Doris’s sitcom. Jackie will also be remembered in movie circles for having starred in the original 1960 version of The Little Shop Of Horrors which is regarded as a cult classic comedy of B-Movies.
In recent years, Jackie has been heavily involved with the Screen Actors Guild as well as organizations providing care for stray animals. She has been a columnist for Toluca Lake’s newspaper, The Tolucan Times, where she often ends her column with the phrase, “We’ll talk”.
On the eve of the Season 5 DVD release of “The Doris Day Show” Jackie kindly agreed to do the interview below for the ‘Discovering Doris’ website.
When and how did you first become aware of who Doris Day was? Is there a film or song that opened your eyes to her career?
When I was a teenager, there was a weekly event in a local department store called “Coke Sesh.” [It was sponsored by Coca Cola.] They always had a ‘starlet’ there to sign autographs. That’s where I first was aware of Doris. She may just have started her film career. I remember thinking she was a star, not a starlet. Beautiful and blonde and kind, as she paid attention to all the kids who were present. [I realize, she was just a little more than a kid herself.] I came there for a free Coke and left as a Doris Day fan.
I understand you first worked with Doris in her final motion picture “With Six You Get Eggroll”. Had you met her prior to this and how did you feel to get this roll?
I hadn’t met her before this film. The job was just the miracle of being a young player who accepted any job offered. She was so friendly on the set. But I never struck up a chat with her, it seemed unseemly to me as she was the star and had a lot on her mind, like remembering her lines.
How did the part for your DD sitcom character Jackie Parker come about?
How to make a long story short? I was at home when my agent called me. She said, “I know you are trying not to work anymore, and that you want to stay home with your kids and be a good wife and mother. I know that you don’t like the early hours and the late day…however, you just got a call from the Doris Day Show and they want you to join the series as a costar.” Well…. She also told me that they promised work wouldn’t start until noon, and that I could come in to work only when they needed me, so that I wouldn’t have to sit around for hours. Well, that phone call came within minutes of the time my husband [Ken Berry],told me I should really go back to work, as he felt his career was over and we would need money. So, I accepted. The job was great. [obviously, the marriage wasn’t. We separated a year after that.
What did you enjoy most about working on The Doris Day Show and are there any memories from this time you wish to share with this site?
Oh, that would take a book! The best memories are when we decided to become activists with Actors and Others for Animals. Even while working, we were making plans and calling people for auction items to help animals. and then, working with her doggies on the set was totally unusual. Near the end of the day, they sat in Directors Chairs and watched us work. I loved the attitude and the atmosphere on the set, everyone was nice. No meanies.
Have you seen the new DVDs of the show and what did you think of them?
I love the new DVDs of the show. Not only are they fun, they bring back the memories. It’s great to hear the conversations with all the players involved. We were all so lucky.
Do you still stay in touch with Doris?
Yes, I do, hooray for the telephone. And I loved seeing her in Carmel and staying at her Inn. The Cypress Inn is so Doris, loaded with class, comfort and pets.
Are there any current projects that you are working on that you’d like to tell this site about?
Well, I’m fairly newly married (Dec. 2, 2003). So that is a project! He likes to travel a lot…
I’m still on the Board of Actors and Others for Animals. Decades now, much good work has been accomplished, much more to do. I’m also involved with the Foundation Fighting Blindness, as I have a new step son who has lost his sight to RP I still write a column for my local paper every week. Fun… And, I make appearances when asked, for fan shows. If I get a show business job, I would faint and then jump for joy. Ready when they are, who ever they is? Meanwhile, I love being a wife, having a house and doing my garden work. Veggies and flowers, happiness every day.
Sincere thanks to Jackie Joseph for taking the time to do this Q&A interview (conducted by Stephen M).Features