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Pamelyn Ferdin (born February 4, 1959) is an American animal rights activist and former child actress.

Acting career

Ferdin is best remembered for her roles as Felix Unger's daughter, Edna, on the TV sitcom The Odd Couple, as well as in fantasy and science fiction movies and television series. These roles included Mary Janowski in the Star Trek episode "And the Children Shall Lead", Laura Gentry in Space Academy,[1] and Mary Constable in the supernatural thriller Daughter of the Mind. Ferdin also provided the voice of Lucy van Pelt in three Peanuts cartoons, including the 1969 TV special It Was a Short Summer, Charlie Brown, the 1969 feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown and the 1971 TV special Play It Again, Charlie Brown. She also appeared in the 1965-1966 NBC sitcom The John Forsythe Show as Pamela, a student at a private girls' academy owned by Forsythe's character of Major John Foster. She played a girl tormented by a devilish child (portrayed by Laurie Prange) in the Night Gallery episode "Brenda." She was very nearly cast in the role of Regan MacNeil, the demon-possessed girl in the 1973 William Friedkin film "The Exorcist," but casting directors preferred the then less-familiar actress Linda Blair.[2]

File:STChildLead.jpg

Some of her early characters seemed to have special relationships with animals. Her character Amy in the 1971 film The Beguiled turned against the Clint Eastwood character after he killed her pet turtle. [On her "Memory Alpha" webpage, she is credited as the first person who ever killed Clint Eastwood in a film--as a 10 year-old girl.] As the voice of Fern Arable in the movie Charlotte's Web in 1973, she saved the life of Wilbur the pig, and reprising her role from "Charlotte's Web" was dressed up in a gingham dress and braided pigtails is Dorothy Gale in the Wizard of Oz stage show in 1976.

Ferdin's association with animals continued when she co-starred with the dog Lassie from 1971 to 1973. Her character, Lucy Baker, a deaf adolescent who initially had a pet wolf, loved and interacted with a variety of animals, including horses and a llama.

Activism

Ferdin left the acting world in the 1980s and became a registered nurse. She married surgeon and fellow animal-rights activist Jerry Vlasak in 1986.

In 1996 she quit her job as director of public relations for the Center for Animal Care and Control, a nonprofit organization under contract to the New York City Department of Health. She claimed there was mismanagement in the agency.

On April 1, 2004, Ferdin and her husband appeared among the animal-rights activists interviewed for the PETA episode of the Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!.

SHAC presidency

In August 2004, Ferdin accepted the presidency of Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty USA, according to statements filed under oath in U.S. District Court in New Jersey. The incumbent, Kevin Kjonaas, resigned after being indicted on charges of conspiracy and interstate stalking.[3] When Kjonaas and six other SHAC activists were jailed in 2006, Ferdin vowed to continue the campaign. According to Salon.com she defines her current role as "a squeaky-clean representative for SHAC USA", but warns, "[P]eople, I think, are going to get hurt. There's going to be a lot of violence."[4]

Arrests and convictions

On January 11, 2000, Ferdin faced up to six months in jail after being found guilty of possessing an elephant prod at an August 1999 protest at Pierce College in California. Circus Vargas had set up near Pierce College. Protesters demonstrated against alleged cruelty in circus training methods. Ferdin's arrest was based on a local ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to carry a staff or rod greater than 1½ inches in diameter while engaging in protest. This law dates back to the civil rights era and was originally enacted to protect police from overly aggressive demonstrators. She received 30 days.

On June 22, 2006, Ferdin was sentenced to 90 days in jail for trespassing and "targeted demonstration" outside the home of an employee of the Los Angeles Department of Animal Services. She stated that the conviction "is not going to affect my speaking out and exposing the atrocities occurring at our six city shelters."[5]

In December 2006, Ferdin's group the Animal Defense League, Los Angeles (ADLLA) announced that it had been awarded $75,000 against the city of Los Angeles for an anti-SLAPP (Strategic lawsuit against public participation) motion.[6] In 2008 Ferdin was convicted of contempt of court, after violating an injunction barring the harassment of University of California, Los Angeles faculty members.[7] She served one day in jail.

In 2004, Pamelyn Ferdin attended a Glendale City Council meeting regarding a proposal to cull urban coyotes. Ferdin addressed the Council wearing a shirt covered in fake blood, urging the city to oppose the cull. Ferdin mentioned the Keen event, and argued that rather than having been killed by a coyote, Kelly had been the victim of child abuse. She claimed that medical records indicated that the child died of a ruptured spleen, which could only have come from blunt trauma, not an animal bite. Her colleague, Michael Bell, went further by claiming that, after digging around in hospital records, he discovered discrepancies and missing documents. He stated that the coyote story was a cover-up for how the child really died.[2] Robert and Cathy Keen watched the meeting live on cable and, upon hearing Bell's statement, raced to the Glendale City hall to respond to the allegations. They recounted the event to the council, and showed the death certificate, which listed the cause of the child’s injuries as "mauled by a coyote".[2][1]

Ferdin's stance remained unchanged; "I stand by my beliefs that a coyote did not kill (the girl)." Her accusation was met with harsh criticism. Councilman Frank Quintero stated "What the activists said at the dais was cruel and absolutely uninformed... Knowing the mother, it broke my heart that they would do that to her. When they were making the accusations, I was considering stopping them."[2]

Filmography

Television

References

  1. "Space Academy". www.70slivekidvid.com. Archived from the original on 2008-06-01. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  2. http://memory-alpha.org/wiki/Pamelyn_Ferdin
  3. "Radical Animal Rights Group Convicted of Inciting Violence and Stalking". www.adl.org. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  4. Cook, Jon. "Thugs for puppies". www.salon.com. Retrieved 2008-06-15.  Text " Salon Life" ignored (help)
  5. "abc7.com: Former Child Actress Sentenced to Jail 6/22/06". abclocal.go.com. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  6. Milionis, Allison. "Los Angeles CityBeat - SLAPPing Back". www.lacitybeat.com. Retrieved 2008-06-15. [dead link]
  7. "Judge: animal activist harassed UCLA researchers". Associated Press. Retrieved 2008-11-16. 
  8. Script error

External links

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