10.18.2011

THE REAL GIDGET: KATHY KOHNER

Sally Field as Gidget

One of my favorite tv shows was Gidget with Sally Field. It was a light weight, fun and entertaining show. Funny thing... until today I never knew there was a "real" Gidget! I stumbled across this video about Kathy Kohner the surfer girl of the mid 1950's. It would appear that after Kathy's book came out and then the release of the first Gidget Movie in 1959... the billion dollar Malibu/surf industry began...

Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman

Widely recognized as a pioneering female surfer and an inspiration to generations of surfer girls worldwide, Kathy Zuckerman is the Real Gidget. She was ranked seventh among the 25 most influential surfers of all time in Surfer Magazine's 40th anniversary issue.

Kathy Kohner Zuckerman was born in 1941 and grew up in Southern California. She also spent some of her childhood living in Ketchum, Idaho, and Berlin, Germany. Kathy's Father, Frederick Kohner, was a screenwriter, and her mother, Mimi, was an outdoor enthusiast.

As a teenager in the mid 50s, Kathy spent several summers surfing near the Malibu pier with a group of young surfers who dubbed her "Gidget," meaning "girl midget." Kathy conveyed many of her experiences on the beach to her father, who, in 1957, went on to write the landmark novel "Gidget." The novel spawned a series of movies and TV shows for Columbia Pictures, and Gidget became an American icon.


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