The Original Mickey Mouse Club Show


Sherry Allen         (Dec 04, 1946)

The Little Girl With A Lisp

Sherry joined the show as a second season replacement, apparently as the personal choice of the director, and was assigned to the Blue Team. She had few solo performances in her one season with the club, but was part of many audience scenes for guest stars and circus acts. She had a long show business career as an adult, including voice work for cartoons.

Background

Sharyn Eileen Alberoni was born December 4, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio, the youngest of three children. After her family moved to California, Sherry started modeling at age two, and shortly after, took up dancing lessons, joining her older brother Roy. Both kids also learned to play musical instruments; trumpet for Sherry, and drums for her brother. Sherry's biggest hobby was collecting dolls, and by her teenage years she would have several hundred.

Early on Sherry displayed a generosity of spirit that would stay with her throughout her life. She volunteered for charity work, and became so successful at it that she was proclaimed a "Red Feather" girl by the Community Chest. This enabled her to attend opening day at Disneyland in 1955, where she first met Walt Disney.

Both Sherry and her brother tried out for the Mouseketeers in the spring of 1956. Roy was up first, and after realizing his chance was slipping away, gallantly volunteered that his little sister could play the trumpet while tap-dancing. The casting judges then called for Sherry and she performed as advertised, in the process nearly knocking her teeth out. What really got her a spot on the show though was her lisp; director Sidney Miller thought it was hilarious.

Performance

At age nine, Sherry was the youngest Mouseketeer for the show's second season (there were two younger mice during the first season). She was the odd girl out among all thirty-nine Mouseketeers, the only one chosen without a match from the opposite gender in her age group. She used the stage name "Allen" upon the advice of her first agent, who thought some casting directors might not hire an ethnic talent.

Like all second season mice, Sherry's performances are largely unavailable for viewing today, as the studio hasn't released production numbers from that year on video or DVD. And in truth, there really were very few shows on which Sherry had more than an audience member role. Perhaps her most prominent part was in the skit Holiday in Hawaii, where she played a hula-dancing Hawaiian princess. She also had a large role in the number Fun with Fish, performing in a trio with Karen and Sharon, and smaller bits singing a line or two in Land of Me Oh My and Herman's German Band.


Assigned to the Blue Team for Circus Day and Guest Star Day audiences, Sherry also took part in two Anything Can Happen Day serials, Rookie Fireman and Fun with a Camera. These educational serials used a quartet of kids (Blue Team Mouseketeers for the most part) for location-based film action, while the dialogue was provided by voiceover narration. Rookie Fireman in particular was such an action-filled serial that the kids (even the girls) were allowed to wear jeans with their Mouseketeer shirts. Sherry recalled in later years that director Sidney Miller would often change her lines to include many sibilants, so fond was he of hearing her lisp.

Aftermath

After leaving the show Sherry appeared in the film Dance With Me, Henry, the last and one of the weakest Abbott and Costello pictures. It was Lou Costello who advised Sherry to stick with her original last name, Alberoni. She followed that up with guest appearances on Bronco and The Ed Wynn Show, before going to Europe to make The Three Worlds of Gulliver in 1960. Upon return to the United States, Sherry had a feature role on The Tom Ewell Show as the star's daughter.

Sherry graduated from Westchester High School in Los Angeles, where she was a straight "A" student. She had quite a teen romance with Cubby O'Brien according to his and other Mouseketeers' recollections. In 1962 her brother Roy founded a professional combo called The Rhythmaires, for which Sherry was the lead vocalist.

Throughout the sixties Sherry would appear on episodes of many television series, such as The Farmer's Daughter, Ripcord, My Three Sons, The Man from UNCLE, and The Monkees, while also doing bit parts in minor films. Her biggest recurring television role was as "Sharon James" on Family Affair (1966-71). Sherry also took a regular part in entertaining Marines at Camp Pendleton during these same years for a monthly production called "The Julie London Show". It was also in the late sixties that she began doing voice work for animated series, like Josie and the Pussycats, Super Friends, and in 1984, The Mighty Orbots. During the seventies she also featured in two horror films, Nightmare Circus (1974), and Sisters of Death (1977).

In 1980 Sherry took part in the televised Mouseketeer Reunion, and for once got a chance to tap dance with the Red Team. Sherry took part in the Mouseketeer live performances at Disneyland in the 1980's, and also became a fixture on Mouseketeer personal appearance tours during the late eighties and nineties, often teaming with Bobby Burgess.

Sherry has been married to Dr. Richard Van Meter for over thirty years. The couple has two adult daughters, and resides in Laguna Hills, California. Throughout her life Sherry has kept up her volunteer work for charities, donating her time and talents for a variety of worthy causes.

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