Monday, June 23, 2014

“Peanuts” interview: Cathy Steinberg (Sally in Christmas, Halloween)

Introduction to the Peanuts interview series (including the list of interviewees).

How old were you when you portrayed Sally in A Charlie Brown Christmas?

About 4.

Where were you living at the time?

San Mateo, CA.

Were you already a Peanuts fan?

Not that I recall.

How were you hired?

The producer [Lee Mendelson] was a neighbor and family friend.

Presuming you were not the only girl in the neighborhood, do you know why they chose you for Sally?

I believe that they went to L.A. and cast most of the voices but they had not found a Sally. They came by to test my voice and it worked for them. I’m not really sure why.

What other shows had you appeared in?


Any funny stories from the experience (either Christmas or It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown)?

I remember not being able to read the script for the Christmas show because I was too young to read and I have heard that they rushed recording because I had a loose tooth.

Do you know how the loose story got out there?

The loose tooth story was put forth by someone, maybe Lee Mendelson.

Was anything hard about the process (either Christmas or Great Pumpkin)?


Did you record in the same room at the same time as the other actors (
either Christmas or Great Pumpkin)?

Christmas was recorded at my parents’ house and Great Pumpkin was recorded in a studio with other actors

If you got to meet Charles Schulz, how was that?

I don’t recall meeting Charles Schulz.

What did you think of the finished show?

I enjoyed it.

What did your parents think?

I think that they enjoyed it, too.

What did your friends think?

When I was in elementary school, my friends thought that it was very cool.

What were you paid?

Unfortunately Peanuts.

How did your experience differ between Christmas and Great Pumpkin?

Not much different in my experience. I could read the script by that time and the recording was with other kids, so it was more fun.

Peanuts special you worked on is your favorite, and why?

I don’t have a favorite.

Did you or your family stay in touch with anyone else from the cast?


Have you had any fun
Peanuts moments since (a reaction when someone you meet discovers you had a role in it, Halloween costume, etc.)?


Did you do other voice work/acting after this?


What are you doing these days?

I own a business that designs and manufactures interior design accessories for luxury hotels.

What has been your career highlight so far?

Running a successful business, seeing staff grow and develop new skills, manufacturing beautiful handcrafted objects.

Where do you live?

Miami Beach and Paris.

If you’re married, what was your future husband’s reaction when he learned you were part of this cultural institution?

He did not grow up in the U.S. so he was not familiar with

Do you have kids?


What did you think when you first heard from me?

I thought that it is amazing that this keeps living on. It was such a long time ago.

Has anyone else ever interviewed about this? If so, when and for what publication?


Do you still have any ongoing connection (professionally or personally) to Peanuts?


Have you appeared at any fan conventions to sign autographs?


Would you?

I am not interested. I’m really busy and travel quite a bit.

How do you look back on the experience?

It was a positive childhood memory. I’m glad that I had the experience. It really has not had an impact on me other than that.

Next: Sally Dryer—Violet (Christmas), Lucy (Halloween).


Anonymous said...

This is really a fantastic interview, it's a shame she's not more into it but it was great she did the interview. For many Peanut fans the Halloween and the Christmas specials were the most important.

Unknown said...

Wow. She seemed really reluctant to talk about that part of her life. Noteworthy comment that she was 'paid peanuts' for her work and wanted to only talk about her current business selling for luxury hotels. She is not a sentimental person, evidently, but money appears to be a great attraction.

Kristen said...

She seems very boring and bland. I get she was young when she played the part but she really did not go all out for the interview process did she geezzz