Monday, October 3, 2011

"THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW" @ 50 - A TOUCH OF GRACIELLA

In 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' episode "Who And Where Was Antonio Stradivarius, Rob was conked over the head with a real violin instead of the breakaway prop. He suffered a concussion and eventually fell under the delusion that he was Sgt. Antonio Stradivarius. He wound up in Red Hook, New Jersey, at a party where he met a flighty young loverly named Graciella.
For Graciella, it was love at first sight. She fell hard for "Tony" and when he disappeared from the party, she tracked him down to Bonney Meadow Road in New Rochelle. There she had her heart broken when she learned that her Antonio Stradivarius was really Rob Petrie and that he was already married to Laura.
As all of her friends found out about her humiliation, Graciella was too embarrassed to remain in Red Hook. She was too embarrassed to stay in the same sitcom! Her kinfolk told her "Move away from there!" So she loaded up her car and moved to Beverly... Hills, that is.

Graciella wasn't her real first name, you see. I think she was a free spirit, one of the last of the Beat Generation. It's my belief that she changed her name to Graciella to suit her personality, and that her real first name had been Grace.

And as for her last name? I'm going to claim it was Swenson.
Grace Swenson had family in California - her uncle Larry Chapman ran Mammoth Pictures which ended up being purchased by Mr. Drysdale for his bank's largest depositor, Jed Clampett. When she got to Hollywood, she visited Uncle Larry and he hired her on the spot to be his personal secretary. (Chapman always hired relatives - four of his nephews were producers.)
Since her last name was never mentioned in 'The Dick Van Dyke Show' episode, and her first name was never mentioned in the three episodes of 'The Beverly Hillbillies', Toobworld Central is combining the two characters to be Grace "Graciella" Swenson.
If you get a chance, watch the episode "Who And Where Was Antonio Stradivarius?" Sallie Janes, the young lady who played Graciella is so sweet and beguiling, and with such a great vocal delivery. It's a shame that the only other credits in her IMDb listing are 'Top Cat', 'Surfside 6', and a Bert Convy variety show.....

'The Dick Van Dyke Show' - "Who And Where Was Antonio Stradivarius?"

'The Beverly Hillbillies' - "Jed Becomes A Movie Mogul"

'The Beverly Hillbillies' - "Clampett City"

'The Beverly Hillbillies' - "Clampett City General Store"
BCnU!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

There will only be one Sallie Janes. She is the best. Beautiful and brilliant.

Anonymous said...


I found your wonderful site by looking for anything I could find, on this fantastic actress. Why oh why didnt she become a regular? Sallie made this episode imo. I'd love to know if she's alive.