MSS 194

Fjeld, Julianna, 1947-

The Julianna Fjeld Papers, 1970-1993

Gallaudet University Archives

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Gallaudet University Archives

Call No.: MSS 194

Creator: Fjeld, Julianna, 1947-

Title: The Julianna Fjeld Papers, 1970-1993

Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (5 document boxes)

Abstract: Papers of deaf actor and producer Julianna Fjeld. Includes photographs, newspaper and magazine clippings, correspondence, scripts, awards, and more.


Administrative Information

Acquisition Information: Collection created from several donations given to Gallaudet University by Ms. Fjeld in 1994 and 1995.

Processed By: Christopher Shea, October 2013.

Processing Note:

Conditions on Use and Access: This collection is open to the public with no restrictions. Photocopies may be made for scholarly research.

Related Material in the Archives:


  • [MSSD Project Poem Part One] [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Film 275-4
  • [MSSD Project Poem Part Three] [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Film 233-4
  • [MSSD Project Poem Part Two] [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Film 274-4
  • Joan Templin, leader of extras [motion picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Film 280-4


  • Deaf artists and performances celebration 87 [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Drawer B7


  • Papers, Julianna Carol Fjeld, 1975-1986. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: MSS 10
  • Photographs

    • Julianna Fjeld [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits
    • Barbara Jo Hong [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits
    • Jane Norman [picture]. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Portraits


    • Papers, Sharon Wood, 1986-1988. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: SMSS

    Vertical files

    • Fjeld, Julianna Carol. Gallaudet University Archives, call number: Deaf Biographical
    • Biographical Sketch

      Born in Minneapolis in 1947, Julianna Field was deaf from birth, although her parents were hearing. She was enrolled in the John Tracy Clinic at Los Angeles, and at young age met actor Spencer Tracy, whose wife operated the clinic. This encounter led her to become interested in show business. Since her father was an Army colonel, the Field family traveled to many different bases around the country, and she studied at several different schools, including the Kansas School for the Deaf, the Percy Hughes School in Syracuse, Kendall Demonstration Elementary School, and the California School for the Deaf. She attended Gallaudet and graduated in 1970, joining the National Theatre of the Deaf.

      Early in her acting career, she changed her name from Field to Fjeld, the spelling originally used by her Norwegian ancestors. Fjeld left the NTD to go to Hollywood in 1977, and obtained roles in movies such as Goldengirl, Johnny Belinda, and Hear No Evil. She also worked at Los Angeles’s Mark Taper Forum, where she led the way in making hearing theater productions accessible to the deaf through the DATE (Deaf Audience Theatre Experience) program. While working at the Taper Forum, she also became a consultant and understudy for the original Los Angeles and Broadway runs of Children of a Lesser God.

      While at the NTD, Fjeld had met author Joanne Greenberg and bought the film rights to her book In This Sign for $1. Fjeld spent the next ten years trying to find interest in making a movie based on the book. A screenplay was written by Darlene Craviotto, and Fjeld eventually managed to interest the Hallmark Company in filming the screenplay for their Hallmark Hall of Fame TV movie series. Marian Rees and Dorothea Petrie joined Fjeld as producers.

      The movie based on In This Sign, retitled Love Is Never Silent, was originally offered to CBS, but the network wanted established stars to headline the project, while Fjeld insisted that the deaf roles in the movie must be played by deaf actors. The disagreement could not be resolved, so the production moved to NBC, which agreed to cast deaf actors, including Fjeld herself. This marked one of the highest-profile performances by deaf actors on television. Love Is Never Silent aired in December 1985 to critical acclaim and was nominated for five Emmys the next year, winning two.

      Afterward, Fjeld embarked on a lecture tour and created her own theatrical company, White Rose Productions; white roses had long been her personal trademark. She has also worked as an artistic director for the NTD, a producer for Deaf Mosaic, and a counselor and educational coordinator for abused deaf women. As of this writing, she continues to work as a producer, director, and actor in the Bay Area.

      Scope and Content

      The bulk of these papers is devoted to Fjeld’s activities in 1985 and 1986 – the filming and broadcast of Love Is Never Silent in 1985 and the Emmy and other award ceremonies that followed in 1986, as well as her visits to deaf schools that year. Much of the material is in the form of news clippings, in particular clippings from show business trade papers such as Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. Also included are original drafts of the In This Sign/Love Is Never Silent script, alternate script pages, correspondence and other material produced during filming, and letters of congratulation to Fjeld on the broadcast and the awards.

      MSS 10 has more on the making of Love Is Never Silent, in particular Fjeld’s correspondence with author Joanne Greenberg and letters of support for the use of deaf actors that Fjeld gathered.

      Also present is some fragmentary material on Fjeld’s activities before and after 1985, including theater and television productions, in particular a 1978 appearance on the children’s program Captain Kangaroo. Some clippings on her post-Emmy speaking tour of deaf schools in the Bay Area and Pacific Northwest are included.

      Series Descriptions

      Series 1: Correspondence and clippings, 1979-1993

      A collection of material related to Fjeld’s career, in particular newspaper and magazine clippings on her activities at the NTD, on the stage, and on TV, as well as interviews and articles on school visits she made. Also included are some general clippings on subjects of interest to Fjeld, such as deaf actors and Gallaudet.

      Of particular interest is a file of correspondence between Fjeld and Katharine Hepburn about various aspects of the entertainment business. This series also includes the text of a speech Fjeld gave at the celebrations for Gallaudet’s 125th anniversary in 1989 on the university’s future in entertainment.

      Series 2: Love Is Never Silent papers, 1984-1987

      Based on Joanne Greenberg’s 1970 novel In This Sign, Love Is Never Silent is a TV movie about the hearing daughter of deaf parents. Mare Winningham played the daughter, while deaf actors Phyllis Frelich and Ed Waterstreet played her parents. Sid Caesar, Cloris Leachman, Lou Fant, and Fjeld also had roles, and the movie was directed by veteran Joseph Sargent. The movie was originally broadcast on NBC in December 1985, and after winning numerous awards, including two Emmys, it was shown again in December 1986.

      This series includes a wide variety of papers from the production and initial broadcast of Love Is Never Silent. It includes a first draft of the script and a set of alternate script pages produced during filming, correspondence and memoranda between the producers (Fjeld, Petrie, and Rees), articles on the filming, reviews of the movie from TV critics at various newspapers and magazines, advertisements and television listings for the movie, letters of congratulation from viewers and Fjeld’s friends, and public relations materials. See series 6 for photographs from the filming of this movie.

      Series 3: Love Is Never Silent Emmy awards and other awards papers, 1986-1987

      Love Is Never Silent was nominated for five Emmy awards in 1986, and won two, including Outstanding Drama/Comedy Special and Outstanding Direction in a Miniseries or Special. As a co-executive producer of the movie, Fjeld shared in the former award.

      Besides the Emmys, Love Is Never Silent won many other awards, including the following:

      • three Media Access Awards
      • a Golden Eagle Award from the Southern California Motion Picture Council
      • Awards of Excellence from the Christophers and the Film Advisory Board
      • Best Film and Best Director Awards at the Monte Carlo Television Festival
      • a Leopard’s Eye (Bronze) award at the Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland (the only American film to receive an award)
      • a Woman of the Year Award to Fjeld from Gallaudet’s Phi Kappa Zeta
      • an Artios Award from the Casting Society of America for best casting

      It was also nominated for, but did not win, a Humanitas Award.

      The bulk of this series is clippings of news articles about Love Is Never Silent’s various nominations and awards, along with ads taken out in Hollywood trade publications urging consideration of the movie for an Emmy and congratulating Fjeld and the other winners. Also included is correspondence from Fjeld’s co-executive producer, Marian Rees, and the various award-granting institutions; letters of congratulation from Fjeld’s friends; and programs from award ceremonies. See series 6 for photographs from the Emmy ceremony as well as candid photographs of Fjeld with her Emmy statue. Series 7 includes the three Media Access Awards Fjeld won.

      Series 4: Hallmark Hall of Fame 40th Anniversary ceremony program and invitation, 1991

      Love Is Never Silent was featured in a retrospective film festival held in 1991 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Hallmark Hall of Fame series. Included here are a program book from the festival and invitations to a tribute dinner, as well as a news clipping on the festival. See series 6 for a photograph from this event.

      Series 5: Captain Kangaroo correspondence and scripts, 1971-1978

      In 1978, Fjeld and Timothy “Timi” Near appeared in a segment of the popular syndicated children’s show Captain Kangaroo. They demonstrated the fingerspelling alphabet and American Sign Language (ASL), and told and acted out “Little Red Riding Hood” using ASL. This series includes correspondence between Fjeld and the Captain Kangaroo producers arranging the visit, drafts of a script for the segment, a press release and some media clippings on Captain Kangaroo, and a collection of mail from viewers of the program, as well as letters to Fjeld from her friends and associates on the appearance.

      Series 6: Photographs, 1986-1987

      A collection of photographs and negatives from Fjeld’s life and career. Of particular interest is an album of candid snapshots taken during the filming of Love Is Never Silent. This series also includes some still photos used to publicize Love Is Never Silent, some photos from Fjeld’s time with the National Theatre of the Deaf, and an extensive set of photos of a Gallaudet University football game, as well as a collection of location photos taken around the Gallaudet campus, accompanied by notes on the area for a potential film project.

      Series 7: Artifacts, 1985-1986

      A small collection of objects donated by Fjeld, including a personalized “WITROSE” California license plate, three Media Access Awards statuettes won by Love Is Never Silent, and a custom-bound first draft of the Love Is Never Silent screenplay inscribed to Fjeld by writer Darlene Craviotto. It also includes the evening gown Fjeld wore at the Emmy awards ceremony, as well as a blazer with a Gallaudet College crest that she wore in 1970.

      Series Description and Folder Lists

      Box Folder Title Date(s)
      1 1 Banners Undated
      1 2 Cable ACE Awards nominee certificate 1993
      1 3 Clippings and correspondence 1985-1991
      1 4 Clippings and correspondence on deaf actors 1984-1988
      1 5 Clippings and correspondence on Gallaudet 1979-1992
      1 6 Clippings and correspondence on Impact ’82: Breaking the Sound Barrier 1982
      1 7 Clippings and correspondence on school visits 1986-1987
      1 8 Clippings on television productions 1983
      1 9 Clippings on theatrical productions 1978-1983
      1 10 Correspondence with Katharine Hepburn 1975-1986
      1 11 Deaf Life magazines 1991-1993
      1 12 Deaf Life magazines and photographs 1993
      1 13 Inspirational poster Undated
      1 14 National Theatre of the Deaf correspondence and brochures 1992-1993
      1 15 National Theatre of the Deaf players’ guides 1979-1983
      2 1 Papers for 125th anniversary speech at Gallaudet 1989
      2 2 Poster and press kit for “Julianna” show 1987
      2 3 Advertisements and TV listings 1985-1986
      2 4 Alternate script pages 1985
      2 5 Attendee list and invitation for Hallmark event Undated
      2 6 Autographed card 1986
      2 7 Cast and credits card 1985
      2 8 Cast biographies and credits Undated
      2 9 Casting photographs and memoranda 1985
      2 10 Clippings on ratings 1985
      2 11 Contact sheets 1985
      2 12 Correspondence and clippings for public relations 1985
      2 13 Correspondence on rights to In This Sign 1985
      2 14 Correspondence with Love Is Never Silent producers 1984-1988
      2 15 First draft of script 1985
      2 16 Guest list and invitation for Directors Guild screening 1985
      2 17 Hallmark newsletter articles on production 1985
      2 18 Interviews with Julianna Fjeld and cast 1985-1987
      2 19 Invitation to preview screening 1985
      3 1 Letter from American Film Institute 1986
      3 2 Letters of congratulation 1985-1986
      3 3 List of cast and crew 1985
      3 4 List of important phone numbers Undated
      3 5 Memoranda and description of network format 1985
      3 6 Memoranda and fact sheets on Vancouver 1985
      3 7 Memoranda and itinerary of promotion tour 1985
      3 8 Memoranda and notes on postproduction 1985
      3 9 Memoranda and script for screen credits 1985
      3 10 Notes and memoranda 1985
      3 11 Notes on script 1985
      3 12 Phil Bravin clipping collection 1985
      3 13 Press kit 1985
      3 14 Press kit for 1986 rebroadcast 1986
      3 15 Press releases 1985
      3 16 Producer’s information packet 1985
      3 17 Program and speech for dinner honoring Marian Rees 1987
      3 18 Reviews and articles on broadcast 1985
      3 19 Reviews and articles on broadcast 1985-1986
      3 20 Travel memoranda and cast schedules 1985
      4 1 Viewer’s guide 1985
      4 2 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences correspondence 1986
      4 3 Clippings about award ceremony 1986
      4 4 Clippings and correspondence from advertising campaign 1986
      4 5 Drafts of acceptance speech Undated
      4 6 Letters and advertisements of congratulation 1986
      4 7 Nomination certificate 1986
      4 8 NPR audiotape of report on awards 1986
      4 9 Press releases 1986
      4 10 Program and ballot 1986
      4 11 Program book 1986
      4 12 Schedule and credits 1986
      4 13 Christopher Awards programs and correspondence 1986
      4 14 Clippings and correspondence on other awards 1986-1987
      4 15 Program and invitation 1991
      4 16 Correspondence with Captain Kangaroo 1971-1978
      4 17 Personal correspondence on Captain Kangaroo appearance 1978
      4 18 Script and public relations material 1978
      5 1 Viewer letters 1978
      5 Photographs and negatives with Emmy statue 1987
      5 Gallaudet location photographs and negatives Undated
      5 Negatives of Gallaudet football game Undated
      5 Photographs and negatives Undated
      5 Photographs from filming of Burger King commercial 1990
      5 Photographs from Love Is Never Silent screening at Directors Guild 1985
      5 Photographs of Gallaudet football game Undated
      5 Photographs of Gallaudet football game Undated
      5 Photographs of party 1986
      5 Contact sheets and negatives of photos with Emmy Undated
      5 Emmys award ceremony photographs 1986
      5 Hallmark Hall of Fame 40th Anniversary celebration photograph Undated
      5 Love Is Never Silent crew photo and negatives Undated
      5 Love Is Never Silent production stills Undated
      5 Love Is Never Silent publicity stills Undated
      5 NTD photographs Undated
      5 Photographs Undated
      5 Photographs and negatives of Gallaudet Undated
      5 Photographs from Christopher Awards 1986
      5 2 License plate Undated
      5 Bound copy of Love Is Never Silent script 1985
      6 Media Access Award – Movie of the Week 1986
      6 Media Access Award – Outstanding Achievement (Individual) 1986
      6 Media Access Award – Individual Achievement 1986
      Evening gown 1986
      Gallaudet College blazer 1970

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