Gidget (1965–1966)
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Dear Diary - Et Al. 

Gidget tries to attract the attention of surfer Jeff. Anne, upset that her little sister is staying out all night, reads her diary and misinterprets its contents.


William Asher


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Episode cast overview:
Sally Field ... Gidget
Don Porter ... Professor Russell Lawrence
Betty Conner Betty Conner ... Anne Cooper
Pete Duel ... John Cooper (as Peter E. Deuel)
Lynette Winter Lynette Winter ... Larue
Stephen Mines ... Jeff (Moondoggie)
Pam Colbert Pam Colbert ... Cornbread (as Pamela Colbert)


Gidget tries to attract the attention of surfer Jeff. Anne, upset that her little sister is staying out all night, reads her diary and misinterprets its contents.

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Release Date:

15 September 1965 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Screen Gems See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Pathé)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Sally Field's TV debut. See more »


When Anne is behind Russel and John when they are playing cards, in the long shot, the cards have a red backing but in a close up, they have a blue backing. See more »


Frances "Gidget" Lawrence: Now Jeff has me exactly where he wants me. And when I think it was my idea ...
Professor Russell Lawrence: Your idea?
Frances "Gidget" Lawrence: You don't think Jeff would suggest it? When it comes to things like that, he's not square. He's cube.
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User Reviews

Welcome to Gidget's World
3 July 2017 | by JordanThomasHallSee all my reviews

In the series opener, 15 1/2-year-old Frances Elizabeth 'Gidget' Lawrence (Sally Field in her TV debut) has just simultaneously fallen in love with surfing and her "Moondoogie" Jeff (later soap opera player Stephen Mines). Gidget adores her father Professor Russell Lawrence (Don Porter)- "the best English professor at UCLA". Her older sister Anne (Betty Conner) is a nervous type who is an overprotective mother figure for Gidget. Anne's husband John Cooper (Pete Duel) is studying to be a psychologist and reads into Gidget's every move. The married pair feel Professor Lawrence is going too light on Gidget by not using any discipline. Gidget returns home to her room to phone her friend Larue (Lynette Winter) expressing her sorrow that Jeff will be returning to Princeton the next week. Gidget tells Jeff that with the distance she feels she should still date whether he did or not. He agrees to think it over and call her back. In the vein of a romance novel she spices up her diary. Anne comes across it and is flabbergasted by what she reads. Jeff calls back to say that he too will see other people, which upsets Gidget. She and Larue drive to the beach, featuring nice on-location filming. Larue is allergic to the sun and is comically overdressed. They find Jeff there with another girl. Gidget returns home upset. Anne and John explain the findings of the diary to her father. With her world turned upside-down, her father steps in for a heart-to- heart.

Gidget originated as a character created by noted screenwriter Frederick Kohner based on his own daughter for the novel "Gidget, the Little Girl with Big Ideas". Gidget is a portmanteau of "girl" and "midget". The novel follows the adventures of a teenage girl and her surfing friends on the beach in Malibu. Columbia Pictures purchased the filming rights and released three movies between 1959 and 1963. In 1965, it was picked up by Screen Gems for a sitcom executive produced by legendary developer Harry Ackerman. Ackerman was simultaneously producing "Bewitched" and the house on Gidget is situated beside the "Bewitched" home. The exterior and kitchen on "Gidget" was lifted from that of "Hazel", which was in it's final season at the time. Field, who was 18, made her TV debut by beating out 75 other girls for the part of Gidget. She lied of her surfing experience and had to learn how to even pretend to surf for the camera. The series faced strong competition from other notable series and was canceled by ABC in 1966 after 32 episodes. Entering the summer, the network realized the show had reached a strong teen following. Being too late to renew Gidget, they worked quickly to place Field in a role she disliked in "The Flying Nun". Nevertheless, Field's screen presence was established.

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