'Gidget' Star Dies

08/25/1997 at 12:00 AM EDT

"Gidget Goes Hawaiian" and "Beach Blanket Bingo" star Deborah Walley, 57, died of esophageal cancer at her home in Sedona, Ariz., on Wednesday. Of her 15 films in the '60s, she took over the role of the young surfer originally played by Sandra Dee in 1959's "Gidget" for its Honolulu-based sequel, and starred opposite Elvis Presley in 1966's "Spinout." She also costarred on TV's "Gomer Pyle" and "The Mothers-in-Law." She was married three times.

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