Thursday, November 12, 2009

RIP Paul Wendkos

Paul Wendkos, who directed the 1959 surfing classic "Gidget" and two sequels, died early Thursday at his home in Malibu.

Published November 12, 2009
By Frank Swertlow

Wendkos, who was 87 (although some reports put his age at 84), had been ill for several years following a stroke.

"Gidget," which starred Sandra Dee and James Darren, was followed by "Gidget Goes Hawaiian" in 1961and "Gidget Goes to Rome" in 1963.

Wendkos' films helped popularize surfing in the U.S. and around the world.

Wendkos was a prolific director, with credits on more than 110 projects, including films, TV movies and miniseries.

He directed primetime network shows including "Playhouse 90," "Route 66," "Naked City," "The Untouchables," "Dr. Kildare," "Ben Casey," "The Big Valley," "The FBI," "I Spy," "Rawhide" and "Hawaii Five-O."

In 1977, he produced and directed the miniseries "Harold Robbins' 79 Park Avenue."

Wendkos was nominated for an Emmy Award for directing 1988's "The Taking of Flight 847: The Uli Derickson Story," starring Lindsay Wagner.

His feature film credits include 1961's "Angel Baby," with George Hamilton and Mercedes McCambridge, and 1971's "The Mephisto Waltz," starring Alan Alda and Jacqueline Bisset.

He is survived by his wife, producer Lin Bolen, a former NBC programming executive.

Born: 2/20/1922, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Died: 11/12/2009, Malibu, California, U.S.A.

Paul Wendkos' westerns - director:
Bitter Heritage (TV) - 1958
Face of a Fugitive - 1959
Law of the Plainsman (TV) - 1960
Two Faces West - 1960
The Rifleman (TV) - 1961, 1962
A Man Called Shenandoah (TV) - 1965
The Big Valley (TV) - 1965
Guns of the Magnificent Seven - 1969
Cannon for Cordoba - 1970

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