Director: Paul Wendkos
There's nothing sadder than losing a major movie icon. Okay, Deborah Walley wasn't a major movie icon . . . well, yes she was -- to us! This was the second Gidget, after all -- the star who followed Sandra Dee in the role. We actually preferred the second Gidget film -- 1961's Gidget Goes Hawaiian -- over the first one. But it's all just sand and surf blowin in the wind, what with Walley's untimely death at age 57 and Dee apparently not doing too well either. And didn't Sally Field die or something on ER recently? Damn, it's just hard times for Gidgets these days.
Anyway, we truly were saddened by the loss of Deborah Walley. You see, some of us from the Meeker Museum got to meet this lovely lady in February 2000 and we found her to be utterly charming. The occasion was an autograph and memorabilia show in Houston, Texas, where we also got to meet a number of of other exciting personalities, including Stella Stevens (see photo below) and even the lady who modeled for Walt Disney's Tinkerbelle. Deborah Walley and Stella Stevens were seated near one another and we found both of them extremely friendly and easy to talk to . . . and, of course, now our memories of Miss Walley are especially poignant. We'll always treasure our encounter with this important star.
-- Jack Stalnaker
Deborah Walley and Stella Stevens
Houston Autograph Show
(L to R) James Darren, Deborah Walley,
Michael Callan, and Vickie Trickett
Gidget Goes Hawaiian