Produced in Bayonne, New Jersey, on April 23, 1942, Sandra Dee made a splash impersonating ingnues in 1950s and 1960s teen films. The late 1960s seen her career stumbling, yet, and her highly publicized marriage to singer/actor Bobby Darin finished in 1967.
By age 12, she was a successful version, and she was only 14 when she was signed to her first movie, Till They Sail (1957). In 1959, Dee hit box office success with all the shore film Gidget as well as the young-love film A Summer Place. The theme song from A Summer Place became a big hit, as well as the film became a touchstone for a lot of young folks.
Although their union remained a secret for a long time, the couple appeared together in If a Man Answers (1962) and That Funny Feeling (1965). Dee appeared in two “Tammy” movies, but her description of the character never caught on with audiences. Dee appeared in just six other movies in the 1960s, and her 1967 divorce from Bobby Darin also indicated the ending of her short lived stardom.
Sandra Dee found herself a divorcee in 1967, as well as the landscape of Hollywood movies had also altered: Crowds no longer lined up to begin to see the sugary-sweet cuisine that made her a star in the early 1960s. Dee appeared in only one (verifiable) big screen movie in the 1970s, The Dunwich Horror (1970), although she starred in four made-for-TV movies. In the 1970s, she played parts on various TV series, including Night Gallery; Love, American Style; and Fantasy Island. In 1983, she appeared again on Fantasy Island and in her final movie, Lost.
Dodd Mitchell after written a novel about his parents, Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, where he chronicled his mom’s anorexia, her substance and alcohol issues, as well as the sexual abuse Dee endured as a kid. Six years after their divorce, in 1973, Bobby Darin expired.