Continued from the Cast Bios page
By the fall of 1961, the series was in its third season and North was making $2,500 an episode. The show remained in the top 20, but North had grown tired and frustrated with the pressures of carrying a hit show and the long work hours.
Complicating matters was his relationship with his Aunt Marie. Many years later, North would reveal that his aunt would physically and verbally abuse him when he made mistakes on the set or when he didn’t perform to her standards. North’s mother, Dorothy and the rest of the Dennis the Menace cast were unaware of the abuse, and young North was always careful to conceal his unhappiness with a smile for fear of retribution from his aunt.
[In July 2007, North’s childhood co-star, Jeannie Russell, who played Margaret Wade on the series, told radio host Stu Shostak in a radio interview, “‘The show comes first.’ This was the ethic that we were raised in. Had I seen any abuse or any horrible upset on Jay’s part, I would have noticed. It would have impacted me. It would have upset me terribly.]
By the fourth season, North was earning $3,500 an episode, however, by 1962, 11-year-old North had begun to outgrow the childish antics that the character was known for. This, combined with the unexpected loss of Joseph Kearns near the end of season three, had changed the dynamic of the show. During his interview with Filmfax, North recalled, “Between the pressures of the business and Joe’s dying, I became very serious, very morbid and very withdrawn from the world. I was the antithesis of the little kid that I played on the television show.” By the end of the fourth season, ratings were down, and in the spring of 1963, much to the relief of its young lead star, Dennis the Menace was cancelled. -- Wikipedia, with permission
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For the 2011 interviews with KTLA, go to Interviews
What is a soundstage? The first soundstages appeared in 1928 - these were now fully enclosed, and had been sound-proofed to reduce external noise and to prevent sound echoing around the stage, as movies were increasingly using sound.
The very first soundstage is still in use and is located on the Warner Brothers' lot at Sunset Bronson Studios (now a KTLA television studio) at 5800 Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. (from the studiotour.com)
For an exterior & interior view of a soundstage on the Warner Ranch, go to photo gallery 4 on this website.
Robert Hastings, photo