As part of the Peanuts Brand Ambassador program, I have some more fun facts and insight into A Charlie Brown Christmas to share.
The characters were all voiced by child actors, which was highly unusual at a time when Hollywood usually used adult actors to mimic children’s voices. Most of the child actors lived in director Bill Melendez’ neighborhood, and had no experience doing voice work. Some were so young that they could not read the script, so the crew would read the lines and the kids would repeat it several times until they got the take right.
To hear more about this I had the chance to do a phone interview with Sally Dryer (right) who provided the voices for several Peanuts characters in television specials and film from 1965 to 1969. Dryer first started as the voice of Violet in A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965), before going on to Lucy (my favorite) in four Peanuts specials including It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (1966). Dryer said she much preferred getting cast as Lucy "because of her frankness and willingness to say anything."
Dryer received only $100 per show, which her mom made her put into her college fund. She joked, "Fortunately, I went to state college." She later received some royalties from anniversary specials though.
Growing up, my favorite character was the bossy Lucy. I even named my Cabbage Patch doll after her as it had a brown yarn pony tail and a dress that looked like her. Which Peanuts character is your favorite?
To learn more interesting behind-the-scenes tidbits, enter below to win A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Making of a Tradition and It's the Great Pumpkin: The Making of a Television Classic hardcover books and a bag of holiday themed Peanuts Crunch candy.
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