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James Darren

Actor / Singer

Born: 8 June 1936
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Best known as: Moondoggie the surfer in Gidget

Name at birth: James William Ercolani

James Darren made the transition from teen idol to character actor sometime around 1965. Earlier he had been the handsome young surfer Moondoggie in the movie Gidget (1959, with Sandra Dee) and its sequels. Later he became the older-but-still-dashing type in TV shows like the cop drama T.J. Hooker (1983-86, with William Shatner and Heather Locklear). Still later he became a successful TV director. Darren also had an early career as a pop singer, recording the #1 hit "Goodbye, Cruel World."

Extra credit: Darren's son Jim Moret was at one time an anchor and reporter for the news network CNN.

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More on James Darren from Infoplease:

  • James Darren - Biography of James Darren, Moondoggie the surfer in Gidget
  • Sandra Dee - Biography of Sandra Dee, Star of the 1959 movie Gidget
  • Selected Biographies: D - Selected biographies of well-known people and fictional characters
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