Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, on August 12, 1941, to parents who were professional ice skaters in Icecapades, as a child Deborah Walley was more interested in dramatics rather than skating, so her parents enrolled her in drama classes. In her teenage years she began getting good notices in off-Broadway stage productions, but her acting career took off when she was cast in the starring role in her first film, Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961; with James Darren). After her stint as Gidget, Walley then made a few Disney films, such as Bon Voyage! (1962; with Fred MacMurray and Tommy Kirk). However, she soon returned to beach party and youth-oriented films, most notably at American International (AIP), where she acted in a number of beach party genre movies. Walley starred in such films as Ski Party (1965; with Frankie Avalon and Yvonne Craig), Beach Blanket Bingo (1965; with Annette Funicello and John Ashley), The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966; with Tommy Kirk and Boris Karloff), and It's a Bikini World (1967; with Tommy Kirk). In addition, she also dabbled in singing, first doing numbers for Sergeant Deadhead (1965; with Frankie Avalon and Eve Arden) and Ski Party, which showcased her pleasant voice, and she released a few singles in 1965 and 1966.

Deborah WalleyDeborah WalleyDeborah WalleyJohn Ashley and Deborah Walley

LEFT: Campy Halloween promotional photo from 1965. CENTER A: On the hood of a Plymouth Barracuda. CENTER B: Early 1970s photo. RIGHT: With first husband John Ashley in 1962

Walley married American International contract actor John Ashley on April 28, 1962, and their son, Anthony, was born on May 4, 1963. Walley and Ashley acted in a few pictures together, including Beach Blanket Bingo and Sergeant Dead Head, before they parted company in 1966. Walley remarried in November 1968 to drummer Chet McCracken, but this union lasted little more than a year.

the films of deborah walley

Route 66 (1960-1964 CBS TV Series) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Deborah Walley and George Maharis

From the hit CBS series Route 66 with series star George Maharis in a 1960 episode titled Ten Drops of Water

Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Michael Callan and Deborah WalleyJames Darren, Deborah Walley, Michael Callan, and Vickie Trickett

From Columbia's Gidget Goes Hawaiian, Deborah Walley's first film. LEFT: With Michael Callan as Eddie. RIGHT: With James Darren, Michael Callan, and Vickie Trickett

Bon Voyage! (1962) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Tommy Kirk, Deborah Walley, Fred MacMurray, Kevin Corcoran, and Jane WymanMichael Callan and Deborah Walley

From the cute Disney movie Bon Voyage!. LEFT: With Tommy Kirk, Fred MacMurray, Kevin Corcoran, and Jane Wyman as the Willard family. RIGHT: With Michael Callan

The Young Lovers (1964)

Nick Adams, Deborah Walley, and Peter Fonda

With Nick Adams and Peter Fonda in the MGM college student drama The Young Lovers

Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, Deborah Walley, and John AshleyDeborah WalleyDeborah Walley and John Ashley

From AIP's Beach Blanket Bingo. LEFT: Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon, Walley, and John Ashley in a promotional still. CENTER and RIGHT: Walley and John Ashley

Ski Party (1965) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Yvonne Craig, Deborah Walley, Frankie Avalon, and Dwayne HickmanYvonne Craig, Deborah Walley, Aron Kincaid, Robert Q. Lewis, Mike Nader, Dwayne Hickman, and Frankie Avalon

From American International's comedy Ski Party. LEFT: With Yvonne Craig, Frankie Avalon, and Dwayne Hickman. RIGHT: With Yvonne Craig, Aron Kincaid, Robert Q. Lewis, Mike Nader, Dwayne Hickman, and Frankie Avalon

Sergeant Dead Head (1965) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Frankie Avalon and Deborah Walley

With Frankie Avalon in American International's comedy Sergeant Dead Head

The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966)

Tommy Kirk and Deborah Walley

From American International's final beach party film, The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, with costar Tommy Kirk

The Bubble (1966)

Deborah Walley and Michael Cole

From Arch Oboler's 3-D science fiction flick The Bubble with Michael Cole

Spinout (1966) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Elvis Presley and Deborah WalleyJack Mullaney, Elvis Presley, Deborah Walley, and Jimmy Hawkins

Walley portrays a drummer in Elvis Presley's band in MGM's musical Spinout. LEFT: Drummer Les cozies up to Elvis. RIGHT: With Jack Mullaney, Elvis Presley, Jimmy Hawkins

It's a Bikini World (1967)

Deborah WalleyDeborah Walley and Tommy Kirk

From the low-budget independent release It's a Bikini World with Tommy Kirk

The Mothers-In-Law (1967–1969 NBC TV Series) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Jerry Fogel and Deborah WalleyKaye Ballard, Deborah Walley, Jerry Fogel, and Eve Arden

From the NBC TV series The Mothers-In-Law, which was produced by Desi Arnaz. LEFT: With Jerry Fogel as Walley's husband. RIGHT: With series stars Kaye Ballard, Jerry Fogel, and Eve Arden

Benji (1974) Get It Here at Movies Unlimited

Deborah Walley and Christopher Connelly

Walley with Christopher Connelly in the children's film Benji

later years

After making several more films and landing a starring role in the NBC sitcom series The Mothers-in-Law (1967-1969; with Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard), Walley remarried and cooled her acting career. However, on occasion she resurfaced in such films as The Severed Arm (1973; with Paul Carr and Marvin Kaplan) and Benji (1974; with Peter Breck); in addition, she did some TV guest shots in the 1980s. In 1993, Walley published the children's book Grandfather's Good Medicine; see the Books Available section below.

Deborah Walley

Walley looks remarkably youthful in this photo taken in Australia in 2000

In the late 1990s, Walley renewed her acting career and signed many photos at autograph conventions. Tragically, in late 2000 Walley was diagnosed with cancer and passed away on May 10, 2001, at the age of 59. She was survived by two sons.

deborah walley films available from movies unlimited

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The Mothers-In-Law: The Complete Series [DVD] DVD
Domestic hilarity abounded in this NBC sitcom produced (and often directed) by Desi Arnaz, which ran from 1967-1969. Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard starred as best friends/neighbors Eve Hubbard and Kaye Buell, who had very different ideas of how to help their newly married daughter (Deborah Walley) and son (Jerry Fogel), who've moved into the Hubbards' garage. Co-stars Herbert Rudley and Roger C. Carmel (who was replaced after the first season by Richard Deacon). All 56 episodes of the series--including "On Again, Off Again, Lohengrin," "Divorce: Mother-in-Law Style," "Herb's Little Helper," "Void Where Prohibited by In-Laws," and "The Not-So Grand Opera"--are presented in an eight-disc set. 27 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English; featurettes. 56 episodes on 8 discs. 27 hrs.
Burke's Law: Season One, Vol. 2 [DVD](1964) DVD
The final 16 episodes from the first season-including "Who Killed What's His Name?," "Who Killed April?," "Who Killed the Paper Dragon?," "Who Killed My Girl?," and "Who Killed 1/2 of Glory Lee?"-have been collected in a four-disc set. 13 1/3 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo. **16 episodes on 4 discs. 13 1/3 hrs.**
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.: The Third Season [DVD](1966) DVD
All 30 episodes from season three--including "Lies, Lies, Lies," "Gomer and the Little Men from Outer Space," "Go Blow Your Horn," "Lost, The Colonel's Daughter," and "Lou Ann Poovie Sings No More"--are collected in a five-disc set. 12 1/2 hrs. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono. **30 episodes on 5 discs. 12 1/2 hrs.**

Gidget Goes Hawaiian [DVD](1961) DVD
In the second "Gidget" film, everyone's favorite surfin' girl is bummed to learn that her parents have planned a family vacation to Hawaii during the two weeks her boyfriend Moondoggie is home from college. Gidget heads to Waikiki where she finds fun and romance (naturally) with a dancer, but what happens when Moondoggie misses his girl and decides to make the trip himself? Deborah Walley, James Darren, Michael Callan, Peggy Cass, and Carl Reiner star. 101 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English.
The Complete Gidget Collection [DVD] DVD
First, "Gidget" (1959) stars Sandra Dee as the young beach bunny who must choose between surfer boyfriends Cliff Robertson and James Darren. Arthur O'Connell, Doug McClure, Yvonne Craig co-star. Next, everyone's favorite surfin' girl (Deborah Walley) heads to Waikiki and finds fun and romance in "Gidget Goes Hawaiian" (1961). With James Darren, Michael Callan, Peggy Cass. And, finally, when the bubbly blonde prima donna of the ocean waves (Cindy Carol) takes the Eternal City by storm, it seems Moondoggie's got some competition from a suave Italian charmer, in the fluffy romantic misadventure "Gidget Goes to Rome" (1963). James Darren, Cesare Danova co-star. 299 min. total on two discs. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo.
Bon Voyage! [DVD](1962) DVD
Harry Willard's (Fred MacMurray) dream vacation with his family in France was everything he expected and then some: he didn't count on his wife (Jane Wyman) having to dodge a relentless Hungarian admirer, his daughter (Deborah Walley) taking up with a young playboy, and his being lost in the Paris sewer system. 132 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: Spanish.
Summer Magic [DVD](1963) DVD
Delightful Disney family film, based on the book "Mother Carey's Chickens," about widow Dorothy McGuire and her children working to keep their family together in a small town in turn-of-the-century Maine. Hayley Mills, Eddie Hodges, Deborah Walley, and Burl Ives also star. 109 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, Spanish Dolby Digital mono.
Beach Blanket Bingo (1965)/How To Stuff A Wild Bikini [DVD](1965) DVD
The "Beach Party" gang is back in a double bill that's packed with more fun than a two-piece bathing suit. "Beach Blanket Bingo," a wild mix about a missing singing star, a mermaid, and biker Eric Von Zipper's gang, features guest stars Don Rickles, Paul Lynde, Buster Keaton, and Linda Evans joining series regulars Annette Funicello, Frankie Avalon and Harvey Lembeck. Then, while Frankie is away on Army Reserve duty, he gets witch doctor Keaton to send a bikini-clad beauty to keep rival Dwayne Hickman away from Annette, in "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini." Beverly Adams, Mickey Rooney, and The Kingsmen also star. 192 min. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: French, Spanish; theatrical trailers.
Frankie & Annette: M-G-M Movie Legends Collection [DVD] DVD
"Surf's up" in this four-disc boxed set saluting AIP's teen comedy series and seaside sweethearts Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Anthropologist Bob Cummings uses the pair as part of a study of modern mating habits in the original "Beach Party" (1963), with Morey Amsterdam, Dorothy Malone, and Harvey Lembeck as Eric Von Zipper. Annette has her hands full when the Potato Bug, a British pop star who's Frankie's double, arrives at "Bikini Beach" (1964). Don Rickles and Little Stevie Wonder guest star. Gym owner Rickles wants to take over the kids' surf spot, and heiress Luciana Paluzzi wants to woo Frankie from Annette, in "Muscle Beach Party" (1964). Avalon trades his board for slats and joins Dwayne Hickman, Deborah Walley and James Brown for a "Ski Party" (1965). "Beach Blanket Bingo" (1965) boasts a missing singer, a mermaid, and skydiving surfdogs. Avalon wants to keep pal Hickman away from Funicello while he's on military duty in "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" (1965), with Buster Keaton. Frankie's a moonshine-running hot rodder competing with racer Fabian for Annette's hand in "Fireball 500" (1966). And Fabian and Funicello burn rubber together in "Thunder Alley" (1967). 12 1/2 hrs. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English mono.
Sergeant Deadhead [DVD](1965) DVD
Lots of the A.I.P. beach movie crowd are on hand for this tune-filled farce starring Frankie Avalon as a hapless sergeant who finds himself accidentally shot into space on a chimp's orbital flight. Though safely retrieved, he's less than happy about it...and the military's got a wacky idea for a cover-up! Deborah Walley, Eve Arden, Cesar Romero, Gale Gordon, and Buster Keaton co-star. 89 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
Spinout (1966)/Double Trouble [DVD](1967) DVD
With three women (a spoiled rich girl, a man-hungry author, and his band's drummer) out to snare him, racecar driver/singer Elvis Presley sure has his hands full in "Spinout." With Shelley Fabares, Diane McBain, Deborah Walley, Carl Betz. 90 min. And, the "Double Trouble" that follows singer Presley around Europe in this breezy musical are a beautiful young heiress and some jewel thieves after both of them, but there's still plenty of time for him to do such songs as "Long-Legged Girl," "Could I Fall in Love?" and even "Old MacDonald"! With Annette Day, John Williams. 185 min. total. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtracks: English Dolby Digital mono, French Dolby Digital mono; Subtitles: English, Spanish, French; theatrical trailers.
Good Against Evil (1977)/The Severed Arm [DVD](1973) DVD
A writer teams up with an exorcist priest to battle a heretical holy man and some devil-worshipping cultists who may be in league with Satan's daughter in "Good Against Evil," a pilot for an unmade TV series. Dack Rambo, Dan O'Herlihy, and, in an early role, Kim Cattrall star. Then, in "The Severed Arm," a group of men trapped in a cave must face the deadly consequences when they amputate and eat the limb of one of their comrades in order to survive. Deborah Walley, Paul Carr, David G. Cannon star. 173 min. total. Standard; Soundtrack: English. Plays All Regions.
Benji [DVD](1974) DVD
America's most huggable hero makes his screen debut, as marvelous mutt Benji finds a family to call his own, fights kidnappers, and even finds true love. Deborah Walley, Edgar Buchanan, and Higgins as Benji star; Charlie Rich sings the theme song. 87 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English mono; scene access.
Benji [Blu-ray](1974)
America's most huggable hero makes his screen debut, as marvelous mutt Benji finds a family to call his own, fights kidnappers, and even finds true love. Deborah Walley, Edgar Buchanan, and Higgins as Benji star; Charlie Rich sings the theme song. 87 min. Soundtrack: English.

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deborah walley books available

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Benji (1974) with Peter Breck, Frances Bavier, Terry Carter, Edgar Buchanan, and Tom Lester
The Severed Arm (1973) with Paul Carr and Marvin Kaplan
Drag Racer (1971) with Jeremy Slate and Preston Pierce
The Bubble (1967) with Michael Cole
It's a Bikini World (1967) with Tommy Kirk, Sid Haig, and Suzie Kaye
Spinout (1966) with Elvis Presley, Shelley Fabares, Diane McBain, Dodie Marshall, Jack Mullaney, and Will Hutchins
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) with Tommy Kirk, Aron Kincaid, Quinn O'Hara, Patsy Kelly, Basil Rathbone, and Boris Karloff
Beach Blanket Bingo (1965) with Frankie Avalon, Annette Funicello, John Ashley and Linda Evans
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965) with Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, and Vincent Price
Sergeant Deadhead (1965) with Frankie Avalon, Eve Arden, Cesar Romero, John Ashley, and Donna Loren
Ski Party (1965) with Aron Kincaid, Frankie Avalon, Dwayne Hickman, Yvonne Craig, and Robert Q. Lewis
The Young Lovers (1964) with Peter Fonda and Nick Adams
Summer Magic (1963) with Hayley Mills, Burl Ives, Dorothy McGuire, Eddie Hodges, Michael J. Pollard, Peter Brown, and James Stacy
Bon Voyage! (1962) with Fred MacMurray, Tommy Kirk, Michael Callan, and Jane Wyman
Gidget Goes Hawaiian (1961) with James Darren, Michael Callen, Peggy Cass, and Vicki Trickett

Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, 1989-1992 Walt Disney animated TV series. Walley provided the voice for various characters
The Mothers-In-Law, 1967-1969 NBC TV series. Walley portrayed Suzie Hubbard Buell. Also starring in the series were Eve Arden and Kaye Ballard.

Baywatch, episode Baywatch Grand Prix, originally aired February 8, 1999
Simon & Simon, episode The Last Big Break, originally aired October 30, 1986
The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries, episode Mystery of the Avalanche Express, originally aired February 26, 1978
Love, American Style, episode Love and the Anxious Mama/Love and the Boomerang/Love and the Private Eye, originally aired January 28, 1972
The Virginian, episode With Love, Bullets and Valentines, originally aired October 7, 1970
Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., episode Lies, Lies, Lies, originally aired June 24, 1966
Wagon Train, episode The Nancy Styles Story, originally aired November 22, 1964
The Greatest Show on Earth, episode This Train Don't Stop Till It Gets There, originally aired April 14, 1964
Burke's Law, episode Who Killed Andy Zygmunt?, originally aired March 13, 1964
Route 66, episode Ten Drops of Water, originally aired November 11, 1960
Naked City, episode To Walk In Silence, originally aired November 9, 1960

deborah walley links

Elvis' Women
Greg Altenberger's site is amazing! Click on the link above to go to his Elvis' Women site for more photographs and information regarding Deborah Walley, Julie Parrish, Debra Paget, and many more.

Elvis! The King and his Court features information not only about Elvis Presley and his films; it also covers Elvis' co-stars.
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