young folk soaking up sun

“GIDGET” is enough to make anybody leave one of the neighborhood theatres, where it opened yesterday, and light out for Long Island Sound. Pictorially, this mild little Columbia frolic, about a teen-age girl with boy trouble, seems an ideal way to usher in the beach season. Most of the story spills along a balmy California…

surfboard and beach shack

“Sandra Dee is the ‘gidget’ of the title, being a young woman, so slight in stature she is tagged with a nickname which is a contraction of girl and midget. Dee is in that crucial period of growing up where she doesn’t like boys very much but is beginning to realize they are going to…

the one and only…

Gidget (Bantam Books #F2786) Kohner, Frederick New York, NY, U.S.A.: Bantam Books, 1964. Sixth Printing. Mass Market Paperback. My English comp teacher Mr. Glicksberg says if you want to be a writer you have to—quote—sit on a window sill and get all pensive and stuff and jot down descriptions. Unquote Glicksberg! I don’t know what…

Smitty and Melvin ~ the lively ones

Vic Damone (born 1928) with his “dates” – Smitty (Quinn O’Hara) and Melvin (Gloria Neil) — and director Barry Shear (Wild In The Streets) in a promotional photo for The Lively Ones (TV 1962-63), Vic Damone’s summer variety series. Gloria Neil plays Bunny, the monster’s first victim in The Beach Girls and the Monster (1965). Link.

Quinn O’Hara (1941 – 2017)

Quinn O’Hara: born Alice Jones in Edinburgh, Scotland 3 January 1941; died in Los Angeles, California, 5 May 2017, at 76 years of age. Obit after the jump.

Beauty and the Beat, August 1, 1965

Curvaceous and cute Quinn O’Hara, William A. Wellman Jr., left, and James Stacy, star in United Screen Arts’ “A Swingin’ Summer,” the musical story of teen-age adventure at Lake Arrowhead, now playing at the Skyway Drive-In Theater.

Linda Gaye Scott

Linda Gaye Scott: born 1 February 1943, Los Angeles California. First credit: Escape From Hell Island (1963) Appeared in Gidget (TV 1965) ‘The War Between Men, Women and Gidget’ (S1E13) as Patty “Introduced” in Psych-Out (1968) with Susan Strasberg and Adam Roarke Final credit: Archie Bunker’s Place (TV 1983)

My Summer Girl

SURF CITY b/w SHE’S MY SUMMER GIRL | JAN & DEAN (with Linda Gaye Scott) | LIBERTY #55580 | Jan & Dean fan club: 1307 Brinkley, Los Angeles, California.

My Buddy Seat

The Hondells in Beach Ball (1965): Jerry LeMire (guitar), Wayne Edwards (drums), Randy Thomas (melodihorn) and Dick (aka Richie) Burns (guitar); song My Buddy Seat composed by Gary Usher and Roger Christian ~ screenshot from the trailer.  

The Gasser

The Hondells in Ski Party (1965): pianist Randy Thomas behind the cymbal, Wayne Edwards playing the snare drum, Dick Burns in blue checkered shorts on guitar, Jerry LeMire in a white tee on guitar (behind Mary Hughes in a light blue bikini).

Frank Sinatra Jr. 1944 – 2016

Frank Sinatra Jr: born 10 January 1944, Jersey City New Jersey; died 16 March 2016, Daytona Beach Florida (heart attack); composer for The Beach Girls and The Monster (1965); kidnapped in December 1963 by Barry Keenan, best friend of Dean Torrence of Jan and Dean.

Sinatra sisters

Tina Sinatra (born 1948) and Nancy Sinatra Jr (born 1940), with their brother Frank Sinatra Jr (1944 – 2016), are the children of Nancy Barbato Sinatra, who died today at age 101, and the late Frank Sinatra (1915 – 1998).

The Hondells

The Hondells in Beach Blanket Bingo (1965); a project of Brian Wilson collaborator Gary Usher, the Hondells featured LA studio musicians on recordings and variety of members on the road and in movies; likely identities of this lineup: (left to right): Randy Thomas (keyboard), Jerry LeMire (born 1944), Wayne Edwards (drums), and Dick aka ‘Ritchie’…

Tab Hunter 1931 – 2018

Tab Hunter (11 July 1931 – 9 July 2018) “Hunter hid his relationships with championship skater Ronnie Robertson and actor Tony Perkins; publicly, he was romantically linked to co-star Natalie Wood and French actress Etchika Choreau.” LA Times.

The Oscar Winner at the Beach

By 1963, having taken time off to have children, Dorothy Malone‘s career was fading, and while filming Beach Party (1963), husband Jacques Bergerac returned from France and filed for divorce. Bitter custody battles ensued. In December 1964 their divorce was finalized with Malone winning custody of their two daughters. 50plusworld.

Dorothy Malone 1924 – 2018

Dorothy Malone: born Dorothy Eloise Maloney, 29 January 1924, Chicago Illinois; died 19 January 2018, Dallas Texas. Credited roles 1945 – 1992, including Beach Party (1963) and Peyton Place (TV 1964–1968).

The Professor and Marianne

Beach Party (1963): Bob Cummings (1910 – 1990) as Professor Sutwell and Dorothy Malone (1924 – 2018) as his long-suffering assistant Marianne.    

Let’s Go Trippin’

Dick Dale in Beach Party (1963) When most people think of surf music, they typically recall the pop harmonies of the Beach Boys, Jan and Dean, or the tunes from any number of beach party films, however, the true sound of surf got its origins in instrumental rock’n’roll, and Dick Dale is regarded as one…

North Hollywood High School Class of ’62

Terry Garr (aka Teri Garr, born 11 Dec 1944) and Carol Sydes (aka Cindy Carol, 19 Oct 1944) – class of 1962 at North Hollywood High School; other alumni supposedly include Martin Milner, Gary Crosby, Shelley Fabares and Meredith MacRae but I can’t find them in any yearbook.

third annual Teen Awards dinner

Cindy Carol (just turned 19), Hal Baylor (almost 45) and Paul Petersen (just turned 18) in a publicity photo for the third annual Teen Awards dinner, November 16, 1963, at the Knollwood Country Club, Granada Hill CA.

Cappy and Big Daddy

Beach Party (1963): Cappy (Morey Amsterdam) and Big Daddy (Vincent Price under the hat) – manager and owner of surfer hangout Big Daddy’s; venue inspired by the original Cafe Frankenstein at Laguna Beach.

why we love…

Beach Party (1963) starring Annette Funicello (22 Oct 1942 – 8 April 2013) and Frankie Avalon (born Francis Thomas Avallone, 18 September 1939).  

Green, green

A queasily-colored lobby card showing James Darren as Moondoggie and Cliff Robertson as The Big Kahuna in Gidget (1959).

Mary LaRoche 1920 – 1998

Mary LaRoche: born 20 July 1920 New York City; died 9 February 1999 Rochester New York; worked mostly on and off Broadway in musicals, screen credits 1945 – 1977 including Gidget (1959), Bye Bye Birdie (1963), Karen (TV 1964) and The Swinger (1965).

Chad and Chris

Chad Everett (1937 – 2012) and Chris Noel (born 1941), cast mates in Get Yourself A College Girl (1964).

Who is the man in the photo?

A familar face at dinner (looks like an awards ceremony) with Brenda Benet (1945 – 1982) of Beach Ball (1965). Who can identify him?

from a small town in Texas…

Jo Morrow migrated from a small town in Texas to Hollywood at an early age…she broke into the movies by the simple expedient of filling out a form and sending it to one of the major studios in Hollywood…her photograph attracted the attention of a casting director who arranged for a film test.. she was…

Why we like…

Beach Party (1963): Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon.

Marty Ingels (1936 – 2015)

Marty Ingels: born Martin Ingerman 6 March 1936, New York City New York; died 21 October 2015, Los Angeles California; comedian and character actor on screen 1958 until his death, including For Singles Only (1968); married to Shirley Jones of The Partridge Family (TV 1970-74) from 1977 until his death.

Charles Robinson (1932 – 2006)

Charles Robinson: born 13 April 1932, Orange New Jersey; died: 22 July 2006, Palm Springs California; on screen 1958 – 1987, including Take Her, She’s Mine (1963), Dear Brigitte (1965), For Singles Only (1968).

Duke Hobbie

Duke Hobbie: born 6 May 1942, Helena Georgia. On screen 1965 – 1971 including Winter A-Go-Go (1965) and For Singles Only (1968).

Dita Nicole

Dita Nicole: born 15 August 1945; five credits on IMDB 1968 – 1973 including For Singles Only (1968) pageant girl (uncredited).

Leslie McRae

Leslie McRae: pageant competitor, turned actress turned faith-based documentary producer. Miss Hawaii 1968; second runner up to Miss World-USA 1968. First screen credit: Mr. Terrific (TV 1967) ‘Stanley Goes to the Dentist’ –Sally … Valley of the Dolls (1967) Ted’s Girl (uncredited) Girl in Gold Boots (1968) Michele Casey For Singles Only (1968) uncredited ……

The Singing Seven

Paul Petersen (b. 1945), Bobby Crawford (b. 1944), Johnny Crawford (b. 1946), Lori Martin (1947-2010), Tim Considine (b. 1940), Roberta Shaw (b. 1943), Shelley Fabares (b. 1944) – 1963 TV Guide.

Sitting Pretty

Six models who have cashed in on their looks and abilities for TV commercials: Jim Galbraith, Bob Ames, Jean Swanson, Dagne Crane, Chris Noel, Augie Brown (Nov. 30, 1963 TV Guide)

Why we like…

For Singles Only (1968): Leslie McRae, Duke Hobbie, Mary Ann Mobley.

Why we like…

Girl Happy (1965): Lyn Edgington (1935 – 2005), Shelley Fabares, and Chris Noel.

Sandra Louise in 1967

Chris Noel: born Sandra Louise Noel, 2 July 1941; movie credits related to this website: Girl Happy (1965), Beach Ball (1965), Get Yourself A College Girl (1965), Wild Wild Winter (1966), The Glory Stompers (1968), For Singles Only (1968).  

Pin-Up Cindy

Cindy Carol, born Carol Sydes, was a child star, including a series regular role on The Loretta Young Show (TV 1963), before changing her name to be the third Gidget in Gidget Goes To Rome (1963).

Vicki Trickett

Vicki Trickett: born 2 September 1938, Kansas City Kansas; played Abby Stewart, friend and rival to Deborah Walley’s Gidget in Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961).

Get Happy! Get With It!

Have yourself a Hawaiian holiday with Gidget! Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) with James Darren, Deborah Walley, Vicki Trickett and Michael Callan.

Between Gidget and a Summer Place…

The Wild and the Innocent (1959): In this comedy western, Audie Murphy and Sandra Dee play a couple of innocents from the mountains who find themselves out of their depth in an unruly town. Radio Times.

Why we like…

Spinout (1966): Shelley Fabares, Deborah Walley, Diane McBain and Dodie Marshall.

Norman Neale Williams II and Hollywood royalty

Bronwyn Fitzsimons (1940 – 2016), Aron Kincaid (1940 – 2011) and Bronwyn’s mother, Hollywood Golden Age actress Maureen O’Hara (1920 – 2015) at “Donald’s Nite” – occasion, year and location unknown.

original Ski Party jacket

Aron Kincaid (1940 – 2011), who appeared in many of the popular beach party pics of the 1960s, died Jan. 6 in Los Angeles of heart failure. He was 70.

A surfer-girl starlet

Of all the surfer-girl starlets, Patti Chandler got the biggest career push, but her career never rose above the B level, even though she was absorbed into the young-Hollywood scene. Sheila Weller, Vanity Fair October 2006

Deb doing her own stunts

Once Walley overcame her reluctance to play Gidget, she threw herself into the role, arriving on location in Waikiki two weeks before the rest of the cast to practice surfing ~ she ended up doing most of her own surfing stunts, the only member of the cast to do so (Violet LeVoit, TCM).

perky young actress

Deborah Walley, the perky young actress who succeeded Sandra Dee as the “girl midget” in the first “Gidget” sequel, starred in several of the 1960s beach frolic movies and became a writer and producer aiding children and Native Americans, has died. She was 57.

briskly virtuous teen-ager

Not to be outdone by “Tammy” (and her faithful goat), “Gidget” is also back in a sequel — a broad but bouncy one — with some pretty Hawaiian scenery for armchair travelers. Replacing Sandra Dee, as the briskly virtuous teen-ager who magnetizes beach boys, is a newcomer named Deborah Walley. HOWARD THOMPSON August 10, 1961,…

Gardner McKay 1932 – 2001

Gardner McKay (born 1932 New York New York; died 2001 Oahu, Hawaii); artist-turned-model-turned-actor-turned-writer; star of I Sailed To Tahiti With An All Girl Crew (1968) – his final acting credit — “My life is defined by what I’ve quit.”

Rufus and Henry

Bob Denver (of For those Who Think Young and The Sweet Ride) with his pet chimp Henry, co-star of S2E11 ‘The Chimp Named Sam’ of The Good Guys (TV 1969) – a sitcom starring Denver as taxi driver Rufus Butterworth and Herb Edelman costarring as his childhood friend Bert Gramus, owner of a local diner.

Frankie vintage transparency

If you can’t remember a time when Frankie Avalon wasn’t a part of your life, you aren’t alone. This talented performer can look back on a career that spans three generations of music, television and motion pictures which he feels is due primarily to the loyalty and trust of his audience. Frankie’s years as a…

or how to succeed in paralyzing a parent without half trying! again

Pajama Party (1964) compare to preceding post; Tommy Kirk * Annette Funicello * Elsa Lanchester * Jesse White * Jody McCrea * Ben Lessy * Donna Loren * Susan Hart * Bobbi Shaw * Candy Johnson | with special guest stars Buster Keaton and Dorothy Lamour | Produced by James H. Nicholson and Samuel Z….

Or how to succeed in paralyzing a parent without half trying!

Pajama Party (1964): more terrible movie-star likenesses on an Australian illustrated daybill poster; Susan Hart has a monster head, Annette Funicello looks like a plastic sex doll, Tommy Kirk looks OK and Harvey Lembeck is substantially improved.

That Funny Feeling (1965)

That Funny Feeling (1965) Sandra Dee, Bobby Darin and Donald O’Connor as Harvey Granson, co-starring Nita Talbot • Larry Storch • Leo G. Carroll. FOR doodleheaded drivel and inane tedium, “That Funny “Feeling” and “Fluffy” take the cake. This three-hour, Universal package of froth, weighing about a ton, opened yesterday at neighborhood theaters. It is…

Hang around for the FUN!

In “If a Man Answers,” Mr. Darin and Miss Dee play a newly married couple who are plagued by a series of minuscule problems that make a viewer wonder if marriage is not wasted on youth. New York Times, 22 December 1962.

in Eastman COLOR

A better likeness of Sandra Dee in this Australian illustrated daybill poster for If A Man Answers (1962), but Bobby Darin looks like an overweight boxer.

Moondoggie in 1965 at half-past eight

James Darren: ‘Moondoggie’ in three Gidget movies EW: Interesting for the title character of a film series to be played by different actors but the costar to stay the same… JD: They had me under contract. I was a prisoner. But with those lovely young ladies, it was the best prison I think I’ll ever…

Be the first to fall in love with…

GIDGET (1959) co-starring Sandra Dee, Cliff Robertson, James Darren, Arthur O’Connell with Mary LaRoche, Jo Morrow and The Four Preps | The joyous movie based on that book!

sweetheart of the beach generation

Original Australian illustrated daybill for Gidget (1959) featuring poor likenesses of Cliff Robertson, James Darren and Sandra Dee – she looks more like Pam Colbert.

Naughty 1967

Karen Jensen: born 18 August 1944, San Francisco, California; on screen 1964 – 1979 including the lead female role in Out of Sight  (1966).

1967 Feliz Ano Novo

KAREN JENSEN estrela do filme “Out of Sight” de Universal deseja aos nossos leitores Feliz Ano Novo (KAREN JENSEN, star of the Universal film “Out of Sight”, wishes our readers Happy New Year 1967).

The kids are the same

August 6, 1964: The kids are the same “Beach Party” and “Muscle Beach” crowd, headed by Annette Funicello, growing prettier with each beach outing, whose chief playmates are Frankie Avalon, burlesquing a Beatle-type; Jody McCrea, the goony one; and Candy Johnson, the run-away mixmaster of “Muscle Beach” — Teenagers Needled in ‘Bikini Beach‘ by William…

Harvey Huntington Honeywagon III

August 13, 1964: Harvey Honeywagon (Keenan Wynn) sets out in “Bikini Beach” to prove that the modern teen-ager operates on the level of a chimpanzee; he has a pet chimp (a man in a monkey suit) named Clyde to prove his point, and somewhere along the way he finds an ally in Eric Von Zipper…

Ned, Keenan and Ed

KEENAN WYNN IS DEAD AT 70; THIRD-GENERATION PERFORMER. Keenan Wynn – who played a clowning thug in ”Kiss Me Kate,” blasted a vending machine in ”Dr. Strangelove” and was one of Hollywood’s most versatile supporting actors – was a third-generation entertainer who found the path to stardom rougher and steeper because of his roots. ”My…

Keenan Wynn (1916 – 1986)

Keenan Wynn (1916 – 1986): villain Harvey Huntington Honeywagon in Bikini Beach (1964). Veteran character player from the stage, a prolific staple at MGM in the 1940s and 50s, mostly as pals to the male stars of the films in which he appeared, and later memorable as the absurdly earnest Army man who gives Peter…

See the Beach-Party Gang Go Dragstrip!

Bikini Beach (1964) – the third Beach Party Gang movie – with special guest star Keenan Wynn (following Bob Cummings and Buddy Hackett), new mature leading lady Martha Hyer (after Dorothy Malone and Luciana Paluzzi) and Don Rickles in his second appearance.

sleek styling

This high powered sleek styling performance vehicle was featured in American International‘s motion picture “The Fireball 500“ ~ Promotions Inc, 19717 E Nine Mile, St Clair Shores, Michigan.

Leander and Fans

Linda Bent, Salli Sachse and Fabian in George Barris‘ title car of Fireball 500 (1966): Fabian and Frankie Avalon are rival stock car drivers competing for the affections of Annette Funicello. The days of fun in the sand, surfing and weenie roasts were quickly becoming passé as THE WILD ANGELS road their hogs in Panavision,…

1966 Plymouth Barracuda

Annette Funicello with the George Barris title car from Fireball 500 (1966): The base of the car was a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda; the signature characteristic was the dual cockpit, and to give the car its luminous shine, four men spent six days applying “fireheat” lacquer ~ Cool Rides.

Kelp and the White Buick Riviera

Bob Denver posing with the George Barris customised and repainted white Buick ‘Villa Riviera’ featured in For Those Who Think Young (1964).

Gardner Pruitt III’s Cherry Red Buick Riviera

When ‘For Those Who Think Young‘ director Leslie Martinson was visiting George Barris Kustom in North Hollywood, he was quite taken with the cherry red Villa Riviera but quickly signed a contract that included a clause to repaint the Buick white so it would show up more clearly when filmed ~ New England Auto Museum.

George Barris, 1925 – 2015

George Barris (20 November 1925 – 15 November 2015): creator of Kustom cars, supplying vehicles to Hollywood including the cherry red Villa Riviera for For Those Who Think Young (1964), the spymobile ZZR for Out of Sight (1966) and the title racecar for Fireball 500 (1966),  

Martha Hyer, 1924 – 2014

Martha Hyer, born 10 August 1924, died 31 May 2014; ‘Vivian Clements’ in Bikini Beach (1964) ~ “a horrible juvenile comedy in which surfers fight cyclists and convert their elders to the pleasures of the bronzed physique” NY Times. Obituary…

AKA Tara Ashton

Darlene Lucht (1938 – 2011): three credits as Tara Ashton: Wendy and Me (TV 1965) – ‘Tea Leaves for Two’ with Connie Stevens Marriage on the Rocks (1965) with Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin Five Bloody Graves (1969) with husband Robert Dix Credited in Muscle Beach Party (1964) and Bikini Beach (1964), and supposedly appears…

Lady Bug and the dragster

Bikini Beach (1964): ‘Lady Bug’ (Danielle Aubry) inspects the dragster to be raced by English mop-topped singer ‘Potato Bug’ (Frankie Avalon) – built by Schiefer Manufacturing Company of San Diego and customiser George Barris, creator of the original Batmobile, the Munsters’ hearse and the cars of Out of Sight (1966).

Morey Amsterdam, circa 1912 – 1995

Morey Amsterdam (14 December circa 1912 – 28 October 1996): played Cappy in Beach Party (1963) – manager of surfer hangout ‘Big Daddy’s’ (Vincent Price played the eponymous owner); then promoted to proprietor of ‘Cappy’s Place’ in Muscle Beach Party (1964); venues inspired by the original Cafe Frankenstein at Laguna Beach. “The versatile comedian Morey…

Danielle Aubry

Danielle Aubry: born Renée Aubry, 15 October 1931, France or Canada. Married to Charles B. Penrose 1954 – 1972 Married to 1940s independent movie producer Leo Popkin until his death in 2011 In American pageants and pin-up mags from 1957 On screen 1958 – 1973, initially in roles requiring a French accent Potato Bug‘s companion…

Starlet In Green Bay

Starlet in Green Bay — Blonde and vivacious Darlene Lucht was in Green Bay Thursday for a whirlwind tour of local radio and televisions stations to publicize “Muscle Beach Party.” Miss Lucht, a former Miss Milwaukee, is featured in the movie.

cars, bikinis and high-heels

Patti Chandler promoting her first Beach Party movie, American International Pictures‘ Bikini Beach (1964), the third Beach Party Gang movie.  

from Miss Milwaukee 1958 to Bikini Beach 1964

Darlene Lucht (born Darlene 17 Mar 1938 Franklin, Wisconsin; died 5 Mar 2011, Milwaukee, Wisconsin): Miss Milwaukee 1958, Myrtle Beach Miss Sun Fun USA 1961, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Miss December 1961, Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964).

San Francisco pageant girl

Darlene Lucht of Bikini Beach and Sebastian Cabot in an episode of the Doug McClure vehicle Checkmate (TV 1962, S2E12), also featuring Tina Louise ~ McClure and Anthony George operate a San Francisco detective agency, aided by British criminologist Cabot.  

In Pathecolor and Panavision

DARLENE LUCHT is featured in American International Pictures‘ “Bikini Beach” which stars FRANKIE AVALON and ANNETTE FUNICELLO. In Pathecolor and Panavision.

Bob Cummings (1910 – 1990)

Robert “Bob” Cummings: born 9 June 1910, Joplin, Missouri; died 2 December 1990, Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California; on screen 1935 – 1986. Beach Party (1963) ‘Professor Sutwell’ Gidget Grows Up (TV Movie 1969) ‘Russ Lawrence.’

Ready for Plunge

August 29, 1958: Four members of water ballet group who appeared in Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks 1958 Water Carnival pose on paddle boards at edge of pool before performance. Ready for plunge in Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks pool are from left, Mary Soth, Donna Russell and Pat Walter, all of Sherman Oaks, and Liz Bodnar, Van Nuys.

Rhonda in a yellow polka dot bikini

Valora Noland (born Valor Baum, 8 December 1941) made her film debut as Rhonda in Beach Party (1963), returning as ‘Animal’ in Muscle Beach Party (1964); final acting credit: Seduction of a Nerd aka Up Your Teddy Bear aka The Toy Grabbers (1970).

Rhonda AKA Animal

Valora Noland — ‘Rhonda’ in Beach Party (1963) and ‘Animal’ in Muscle Beach Party (1964) — in a photo to promote the John Wayne western The War Wagon (1967).

Six Kitten

Eva Six (born Eva Klein 1937 in Budapest, Hungary) the blonde bombshell in Beach Party (1963). APRIL 1963. THE REDS INVADE… But lovely, blonde EVA SIX was not there! Meet the Hungarian actress who arrived in Hollywood as a refugee and soon carved herself a niche as the Six-kitten who will oust the sex kittens….

Spring Prom Queen hopefuls, 1963

Donna Russell (born 1944) beach girl in Beach Party (1963), Surf Party (1964), For Those Who Think Young (1964) and Catalina Caper (1967). One of these Valley College coeds will be the college’s 1963 Spring Prom Queen. The winner and her four princesses will be announced at the prom in the Embassy Room of the…

Youthful Divers

Donna Russell (born 1944) beach girl in Beach Party (1963), Surf Party (1964), For Those Who Think Young (1964), Catalina Caper (1967) and credited roles in My Three Sons (TV 1964) S05E13 and Wagon Train (TV 1965) S08E19.