If you want to know what’s happening on the Monkee set at Screen Gems, just ask Sally Field, who is a number one fan of the Monkees along with all her other fun activities—most of which are very distant from those of the typical Hollywood actress.
Sally knew Micky even before he became a Monkee, but even though she was dying to see them film, she just didn’t have the nerve to go onto their film set.
Sal remembers, “Micky used to come down to the beach set all the time while I was making ‘Gidget.’ The Gidget set was like the Monkee set is now—everybody goofing off and visiting with friends. Well, we’d all be goofing around and Micky would come and join in.”
“We didn’t know who he was, but he was part of our little gang. One day when he came down he said he was making a pilot for a show called ‘The Monkees.’ We couldn’t help laughing. Everyone thought ‘what a hideous, ridiculous idea—The Monkees!’ He came back another day and said, ‘I think it’s sold,’ and we all wished him luck. Then one day he came down and said ‘It’s sold!!!’ and we were all jumping around, really happy.”
A lot happened between the days when Micky was an unknown member of Gidget’s unofficial beach gang and the time that Sally began her series, “The Flying Nun.” Today the Monkees are the world’s biggest show business act and Sally has the most successful series on television this season. Still, she admits, “I was too shy to go over to the Monkees set. I’m usually goofing around with everyone and having a ball, but for some reason I just didn’t have the nerve to just walk onto their set.
“Then Peter started to come over and watch me film my show and so he took me over the Monkees’ set. Now I run over there every chance I get because something is always happening!
“Like one time I was standing in the corner in my habit watching them film and Jim Frawley (who’s an old friend) came over and asked if I’d help play a joke on the boys. Of course I agreed. He said that just before he yelled ‘cut’ I should walk in and surprise the boys. So I did and they just began goofing around and the camera kept going and it was hilarious. But for weeks I was scared to death they were really going to put it on TV!”
Outside of her role as Sister Batrille on “The Flying Nun,” Sally is much the same girl she was at 17 before she was signed to do the “Gidget” series, her first acting job. It’s no wonder she is a very popular girl around town, since her sweet personality and zany sense of humor is such a rarity among young actresses.
She’s so involved in being young and having the time of her life, she seems almost unaware that she’s making thousands of dollars per week. She lives alone in her one bedroom apartment at Malibu Beach, which she decorated herself. She calls the decor “a conglomerated mess,” then admits, “I tried for it to be elegant, but at the time I was buying furniture I was pinching pennies. Anyway, I’ve never really gone for terribly elegant stuff. I like a homey feel, so I just bought something here and some thing there and it all went into my apartment.”
Quite often when Sally gets home from the studio at 8:30 she “crashes” and sleeps straight through until her alarm sounds at 6:30 the next morning. If she’s not too tired, though, she spends an evening with her girlfriends or she may go out on a date.
“My girlfriends and I go on different kicks. One week it was knitting and another week it was painting, but we change our hobbies so much we never finish anything!”
“While I was on my painting kick I invited some of my friends over to paint the inside of my dressing room. It turned out semi-psychedelic or what you might call nursery-psychedelic, since everyone was painting balloons and lollipops all over the walls. It turned out really wild!”
Many things in Sally’s life “turn out wild,” since she thinks the most fun evenings are when you do things on impulse—an idea hits you and you have to do it, right now!
Weekends aren’t always days off for this bright young girl. When there aren’t photo sessions or public appearances, Sally spends all day Saturday shopping. Because she works every day of the week, Saturday is the only time Sal can shop for the groovy clothes she wears when she takes off her habit.
If her life off the set is wild, her life on the set is just as zany. “That’s why I love my work so much. I never have a chance to get bored because my job is totally unpredictable. Like the other day we spent a week on a yacht filming. And last week we were going through a routine day when all of a sudden I turned around and there’s Omar Shariff [sic] standing there. I nearly died!”
Sally’s excitement shows all over. When she’s happy or thrilled, her eyes dance, her chatter moves faster and her hands wave as she talks. The thing that’s extra nice about Sally is that she’s like this all the time. She’s a very happy girl and it shows.