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."
Darren’s son Jim Moret was at one time an anchor and reporter for the news network CNN.