'Gidget' Director Paul Wendkos dies at age 84

AP News
Posted: Nov 15, 2009 4:23 PM

Paul Wendkos, who directed over 100 films and television shows during a 50-year career, including the 1959 surf movie "Gidget," has died. He was 84.

Family spokeswoman C. Christie Craig says Wendkos died Thursday in Malibu of a lung infection that followed a stroke.

"Gidget," starring Sandra Dee as an all-American surfer girl, was a hit and led to two sequels for Wendkos.

His other films include the 1957 drama "The Burglar," starring Jayne Mansfield, and 1969's "Guns of the Magnificent Seven."

For television, he directed series such as "The Rifleman" and "Hawaii Five-O." His made-for-TV movies include "The Legend of Lizzie Borden" and "The Ordeal of Patty Hearst."

Wendkos is survived by his wife Lin Bolen, a former NBC television producer, his son Jordan Wendkos, a granddaughter, niece and nephews.