Beach Beauties of the 60's
The girls of summer back in the 60’s, images of Annette frolicking with Frankie or Gidget on her surfboard. Southern California was the place to be in the 60’s, with Beach Boys tunes blaring on the radio and tan teenagers hitting the waves or dancing on the sand.
The Queen of Beach movies had to be Annette Funicello, she was the wholesome beauty with the perfect coif and cute bikinis. She was iconic among beach bunnies of her time. Starring with Frankie Avalon, they started off in 1963 with “Beach Party”, “Muscle Beach Party”, “Bikini Beach”,”Beach Blanket Bingo” and “How To Stuff a Wild Bikini”. Annette starred without Frankie in “Pajama Party”, instead with Tommy Kirk as her co-star in this beach romp. A young and stunning Linda Evans was also in “Beach Blanket Bingo” with Annette and Frankie. A few years before Annette hit the beach, there was a bubbly Sandra Dee as Gidget. She had her handsome Moondoggie (James Darren) and surfboards galore!
Later on Sally Field, in her first role, appeared as Gidget in the 1965 TV sitcom.
Elvis had his share of beach babes, with beauties like Shelley Fabares in “Clambake” or “Blue Hawaii” featuring Joan Blackman. Shelley was also in a beach movie called “Ride the Wild Surf” with heartthrobs Fabian, Tab Hunter, Peter Brown, Susan Hart and Barbara Eden. Barbara Eden would go on to star in the TV series “I Dream of Jeannie” where she was never allowed to show her belly button. But in this film it is shown often!
Even Jimmy Stewart had a beach film, the 1962 comedy “Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation” featured teen idol Fabian and the beautiful Maureen O’Hara as Jimmy’s wife. The fun begins when the family vacation at a run-down California beach house turns into a madhouse! Of course, Maureen looks anything but a typical housewife in her swimsuit!
In 1964, “A Swingin' Summer” was another beach film that featured musical performances by popular acts like the Righteous Brothers and Gary Lewis & the Playboys. But the highlight of the film was the beautiful Raquel Welch, who made her acting and singing debut in this film.
Beach beauties like Deborah Walley and Nancy Sinatra were in “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini” in 1966. Tommy Kirk and Boris Karloff also starred in this silly beach party film. But the most iconic beach beauty back in the 60’s had to be Ursula Andress as Honey Ryder in the James Bond film, “Dr. No”! Her stunning beauty and the white bikini she wore became legendary and well-known from the famous 'coming out of the water scene' in the film.
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