Faces of Film: Sandra Dee, Our Summer Princess

Now that summer has quickly come and gone, and we need to tend to some fall cleaning, there is talk about beauty trends and other things that have us mesmerized about those lost idols of summer’s past. We have grown to cheer those idols that embodied the spirit of the season, and there is absolutely nothing bad to say about those blondes that culturally meant a lot to beach life– such as the shy and infamous Sandra Dee, synonymous with bubbly beach blondes and beauties.

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Via Veronica Felipe

Sandra Dee served as a jovial choice. More than just Gidget, she was famous for her fun attitude staying aloft of her looks, believing she simply wasn’t pretty. Her modesty made her the kind of actress that shelled out a great performance and did make a fast impact. She was not only shy and reserved, but also symbolized what the girl-next-door acted, and looked, like.

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Movie Still for Gidget (1959), Via Reese Whitherspoon, Twitter

Being innocent was hard to play in movies, but she obviously knew her acting chops and played these roles well. It is no wonder that in the movie, Grease, she was mocked even for that being young and innocent, a total honor, rather than a negative reputation.

Sandra Dee did many movies, such as playing the innocent Tammy in the Tammy movies, but she will always be known as Gidget, the summer princess that wanted to join the boys on the waves and make a splash, even if it meant being ducked in the water by the boy of your dreams. In Gidget’s case, it was Moon Doggie, who gave her a dunk and yet saved her life. How romantic!

There are other movies from that age that seemed to shelter the fact that girls were just objects, but Gidget made it known that she was no dummy and she announced the reason for girls and women everywhere to raise their boards and try surfing, despite it being an all-male dominated sport. Many surfer girls today can thank the legend of Gidget, who in fact was a real life surfer on which the movies are based. Sandra Dee’s perfect performance offered both emotional pain and fun transparency that seemed to mirror what a summer princess is defined by.

Her role as a famous surfer made Sandra Dee known as a surfer, even though she did not identify herself as a real-life surfer. Her desire to surf with the boys in the movie and woo the head surfer, Moon doggie was great enough cause to watch the whole movie, even if it meant trying harder to prove herself on the surf board. But she was brave and very informed. She didn’t wait for a man, she wasn’t even looking– just wanting to stay true to her real passion for surfing.

Sandra Dee’s babyface looks remain a fascinating teaser in the classic Hollywood world of femme fatales and fierce heroines. Innocence on the silver screen was never sweeter than when portrayed by our dear Sandra Dee!


by Veronica Felipe

Twitter @vfelippe99

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