If you’re in doubt about angels being real…

15 Nov

Gillian Zinser’s new surfer chick character on 90210, Ivy, is reminding me of better more simple times, when all a girl needed to do for attention while surfing was pretend to drown like the great pre-teen temptress Gidget.

Gidget was a character so great that in the 1950s -1960s four different actresses had to play her in film, sequel, and television. I miss them all.

Sandra Dee as Gidget

Sandra Dee, the original girl + midget (a Gidget) introduced the role to teens everywhere in 1959 when she adapted the character from Fredrick Kohner’s novel Gidget into the film of the same title. Sandra Dee’s Gidget was blonde and stick thin with a high-pitched squeaky voice. Gidget was grossed out by men and unwilling to grow up. Sandra Dee was a popular actress in many more films including the melodramatic classic that is Douglas Sirk’s remake of Imitation of Life (1959) and also in the Tammy and the FILL IN THE BLANK Franchise. Dee went on to marry Bobby Darrin at age 18. And in middle-age became an anorexic alcoholic.

Deborah Walley in Gidget Goes Hawaiian

The next girl to fill the baggy boyish bathing suits of Gidget was Deborah Walley. Walley played Gidge as a wide-eyed red head in Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961). Post Gidget, Walley was in 15 major motion pictures, most of them B- movie Beach Flicks for American Pictures. Walley last worked on Television in 1999 in a bit part on Baywatch. Sadly Deborah Walley died in 2001 of cancer.

The fourth lucky girl was Cindy Carol in the non-related sequel to a sequel Gidget Goes to Rome (1963). Carol had the shortest post-Gidget career, appearing in her last film in 1965 in the Brigitte Bardot movie, Dear Brigitte (1965). She was also the least popular among fans, her Gidget rarely surfed and often tested the word of Moondoggie.

Sally Field as Gidget

The last, and in my opinion the most important woman, to play Gidget was the one and the only Sally Field in the T.V. series adaptation of the film. Field’s Gidget was vivacious and conniving. This Gidge got dates, tortured her older sister, helped her community, dated her teachers and met pop stars all while being the model of the perfect daughter to Conrad Bain look-a-alike Don Porter. Sally field, known to most of my generation as the mother from Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), has had the most successful post-Gidge career. She has starred in more than 4 T.V. shows including The Flying Nun (1967-1970) and the current ABC Drama Brothers and Sisters. She has been in more than 40 films including Forrest Gump (1994), Steel Magnolias (1989), Where the Heart Is (2000), and T.V. movie gem Sybil(1976).

Gidgets, I miss your silly resistance towards being feminine, the frequent amount of times you hire boys to be your dates, and your gift for green screen surfing.

Gidgets, I miss your face-Shassie

One Response to “If you’re in doubt about angels being real…”

  1. Kelly June 30, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    I stumbled upon your blog while searching gidget pictures on google (i’m having a waterslide party and trying to make a retro flier with a gidget pic). I just wanted to drop a comment because I couldn’t help but love every article I’ve read! Your gidget article was very interesting to me and neat to stumble upon, my fav gidget growing up was always from the Goes Hawaiian movie.
    I, too, saw Titanic in theaters 4 times at the age of 10! Haha, I had the soundtrack too!
    And who under the age of 30 doesn’t love Daria? I am a child of the nineties and proud of it like you!
    Thanks for the words.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: