Synopsis of TV Show

Gidget began its life as a novel by Frederick Kohner. It was inspired by his surfer daughter, Kathy, and presented a fictionalized version of her adventures on the beach with her surfer friends. In 1959, Kohner's novel was adapted into a popular film of the same title, starring Sandra Dee. Two sequels followed, and the popularity of the character led to a half-hour series on ABC. Though it had a short network run, Gidget was a notable television show for introducing the world to a new star: Sally Field.

Field starred as Francine ‘Gidget’ Lawrence, the fifteen-year-old surfer daughter of widower Professor Russ Lawrence. She was a boy-crazy teen who yearned for fun in the sun and did everything should could to find it with her best friend Larue. Frequent obstacles to this quest were created by Anne, Gidget’s over-protective sister, and John, Anne’s over-analytical psychologist husband. However, Gidget usually triumphed over the adult’s objections and found plenty of time for boys and surfing.

The show ran for one season, ending its run in September of 1966. Field would go on to greater success with another sitcom, The Flying Nun, and gain a reputation as a dramatic actress with films like Sybil and Norma Rae. Gidget still pops up periodically via syndication and remains memorable to sitcom fans for Field’s ebullient, star-making performance.

Release History of Prime Time Show

9/15/65 - 9/1/66 ABC

TV Sub Categories


Television Network


Television Studio

ABC/Screen Gems Television

TV Cast

Frances 'Gidget' Lawrence Sally Field
Professor Russ Lawrence Don Porter
Anne Cooper Betty Conner
John Cooper Pete Duel
Larue Lynette Winter
Peter Stone ("Siddo") Michael Nader

Other Prime Time Links