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Deborah Walley

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Covid-19
Cause of death  Esophageal cancer
Role  Actress
Name  Deborah Walley

Years active  1960 – 1999
Occupation  Actress
TV shows  The Mothers-in-Law
Deborah Walley Deborah Walley39s Feet ltlt wikiFeet
Born  August 12, 1941 (1941-08-12) Bridgeport, Connecticut, U.S.
Died  May 10, 2001, Sedona, Arizona, United States
Spouse  Chet McCracken (m. 1968–1975), John Ashley (m. 1962–1966)
Children  Anthony Brooks Ashley, Justin Ashley Reynolds
Movies  Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Beach Blanket Bingo, Spinout, The Ghost in the Invisible, Ski Party
Similar People  John Ashley, Diane McBain, Michael Callan, Bobbi Shaw, Dwayne Hickman

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Deborah Walley (August 12, 1943 – May 10, 2001) was an American actress noted for playing the title role in Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) and in several Beach Party films.

Contents

Deborah Walley Picture of Deborah Walley

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Early years

Deborah Walley Deborah Walley39s Feet ltlt wikiFeet

She was born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, to Ice Capades skating stars and choreographers, Nathan and Edith Walley. When she was three years old, she made her first public appearance at Madison Square Garden. In her teens, however, she decided to pursue a career in acting.

Deborah Walley gidget 24 Femmes Per Second

She attended Central High School in Bridgeport. At 14, she debuted on stage in a summer stock production of Charley's Aunt. During her sophomore year, she attended Rosarian Academy in West Palm Beach, Florida, where she was cast as Cinderella in the Academy's annual musical production at the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, Florida. She studied acting at New York City's American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She began working on stage in the city.

Career

Walley was discovered by agent Joyce Selznick in a performance in a production of Anton Chekov's Three Sisters. This led her to make her Hollywood film debut as Gidget in 1961's Gidget Goes Hawaiian. From then until 1974 she appeared in fifteen feature-length films, including several of the "Beach Party" films produced by American International Pictures. She also co-starred in the Elvis Presley film Spinout where she and Elvis bonded over a shared interest in spiritual matters.

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In 1967, with her movie career starting to decline, Walley portrayed Suzie Hubbard Buell in the comedy series The Mothers-in-Law, comedian Eve Arden playing her mother and singer-comedian Kaye Ballard playing her mother-in-law. Actress Kay Cole had played Suzie in the original pilot but was replaced by Walley, who played her through the series' two seasons on the air.

After moving to Sedona, Arizona, to bring up her children, Walley co-founded two children's theater companies, Pied Piper Productions and the Sedona Children's Theatre. She also wrote scripts and taught acting and production techniques to American Indians and was co-founder of Swiftwind Theater Company.

Personal life

From 1962-66, Walley was married to actor John Ashley, a co-star of ABC's Straightaway series about auto racing from 1961–1962 and one of the main actors in the "Beach Party" films. The couple had a son, Anthony Brooks Ashley. John Ashley preceded his former wife in death by four years. On his gravestone, the inscription says that he was a "loving husband and father".

Death

Walley died of esophageal cancer on May 10, 2001, at her home in Sedona, Arizona, aged 57. She was survived by her two sons: Anthony Brooks Ashley, a director, editor, and producer in Hollywood; and Justin Ashley Reynolds, an internet entrepreneur in Phoenix, Arizona.

Awards

Walley's work in Gidget Goes Hawaiian brought her the Photoplay Gold Medal Award for Favorite Female Newcomer. She was named Photoplay magazine's 'Most Popular Actress of 1961'.

References

Deborah Walley Wikipedia


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