Sandra Dee - Biography - IMDb
Sandra Dee Poster


Jump to: Overview (5)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (1)  | Trivia (26)  | Personal Quotes (6)  | Salary (2)

Overview (5)

Born in Bayonne, New Jersey, USA
Died in Thousand Oaks, California, USA  (kidney disease)
Birth NameAlexandra Cymboliak Zuck
Nicknames Sandy
The Queen of Teens
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Sandra Dee was born Alexandria Zuck on April 23, 1942 in Bayonne, New Jersey, to Mary (Cymboliak) and John Zuck. She was of Carpatho-Rusyn descent. Her mother envisioned a show business career for her daughter and would often lie about her age in order to get Sandy where she wanted to go. For example, her mother enrolled her in school early so she could have a head start. Sandy was only four years old when she entered the second grade. Sandra was an extremely pretty young lady, which enabled her to get into modeling. In fact, she was already very successful at her craft by the time she was 12 years old. This in turn led to television commercials for local companies, an added benefit for the young model.

Through her mother's prodding and the talent scouts, Sandra was signed to do a movie when she was 14 called Until They Sail (1957), released in 1957. While the film didn't exactly top the charts, it would lay the foundation for Sandra's career. The new young actress was then signed to two more films for 1958, The Reluctant Debutante (1958) and The Restless Years (1958), both with a young actor, John Saxon. In 1959, Sandra appeared in five productions with Gidget (1959) and A Summer Place (1959) being the two most popular. Sandra was 17 years old and becoming the heartthrob of teenage boys all across America. In 1960, Sandra appeared in only one film, Portrait in Black (1960), but is remembered by her for something else. She married teen idol Bobby Darin in December of that year. It may have sunk a few teen boys' hearts, but most still were enamored of her. Her work, once again, took off. The 1961 releases were Come September (1961), Romanoff and Juliet (1961), and as Tammy Tyree in Tammy Tell Me True (1961).

Sandra had replaced the ever-popular Debbie Reynolds in the "Tammy" series, but the film and its 1963 sequel, Tammy and the Doctor (1963), didn't do all that well at the box-office. The films were now slowing for Sandra. The last few that she made were I'd Rather Be Rich (1964), That Funny Feeling (1965), A Man Could Get Killed (1966), Doctor, You've Got to Be Kidding! (1967), and Rosie! (1967). By 1967, her marriage to Darin ended and so did her film career. There was little call for a teenage movie star to play daughters and such, when everyone knew that she was a divorcée. Plus, the face of movies had changed and sugary stories were not the ones that people wanted to see. Sandra did nail down the part of "Nancy Wagner" in 1970's The Dunwich Horror (1970).

In the 1970s, Dee made a few appearances in made-for-television movies, but it was the film Grease (1978) that made her famous to a new generation. While she was not in the film, one of the popular songs was "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee".

Sandra's last silver screen role was in Lost (1983). She died of kidney complications on February 20, 2005.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Tony Fontana <> and Denny Jackson

Family (4)

Spouse Bobby Darin (1 December 1960 - 7 March 1967)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Dodd Darin
Parents John Zuck
Mary Cymboliak
Relatives Alexa Darin (grandchild)
Olivia Darin (grandchild)

Trade Mark (1)

Frequent portrayal of wholesome ingénue roles

Trivia (26)

Gave birth to her only child at age 19, a son Dodd Mitchell Cossotto (aka Dodd Darin) on December 16, 1961. Child's father was her ex-husband, Bobby Darin.
By 1965, she was the last major star still under an exclusive contract. Was Universal Studios last actress under contract.
Made her modeling debut in Girl Scouts magazine.
After her once-hot career fell apart in the 1970s, she fell victim to anorexia, alcoholism and depression. To the delight of her fans, she resurfaced briefly after two decades of seclusion and was warmly embraced at Beverly Hills Canon Theatre in a stage production of "Love Letters" with her The Restless Years (1958) co-star John Saxon.
Her son, Dodd Mitchell, penned a book about his parents, Dream Lovers: The Magnificent Shattered Lives of Bobby Darin and Sandra Dee, in 1994. In the book, he chronicled his mother's anorexia, and her drug and alcohol problems.
Was diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure in 2000.
Had two granddaughters: Alexa and Olivia Darin (daughters of Sandra's son Dodd Darin and his wife Audrey Tannenbaum).
One of the most successful teenage movie stars of the 20th century, Dee was listed on the Quigley Publications Top Ten Money-Making Stars poll four years in a row, from 1960 through 1963, achieving her highest ranking of #6 in 1961.
Is immortalized in the popular song "Look at Me, I'm Sandra Dee" from the movie Grease (1978). The song mocked her squeaky-clean image but Dee reportedly said in a statement that she did not mind, and always had a big laugh about it.
She received renewed attention after the release of the movie Beyond the Sea (2004), the biopic about her late husband Bobby Darin that recalled and detailed their stormy, headline marriage. Despite its painful aspects, she reportedly approved of the project and gave it her blessing.
Universal Studios concocted the name 'Sandra Dee' for her by shortening her first name and by using her stepfather's surname initial "D" to sign vouchers.
Is portrayed by Kate Bosworth in Beyond the Sea (2004)
Attended and graduated from Universal High School in Los Angeles, California in June 1958.
Biography in: "The Scribner Encyclopedia of American Lives". Volume 7, 2003-2005, pages 135-136. Farmington Hills, MI: Thomson Gale, 2007.
Had appeared with John Saxon in three films: The Restless Years (1958), The Reluctant Debutante (1958) and Portrait in Black (1960).
Had appeared with then-husband Bobby Darin in three films: Come September (1961), If a Man Answers (1962) and That Funny Feeling (1965).
Sandra Dee passed away on February 20, 2005, two months away from what would have been her 63rd birthday on April 23.
Following her death, she was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park (Hollywood Hills) in Los Angeles, California.
Portrayed by Anastasia Art in Hollywood Mouth 3 (2018).
Mentioned in the song "Heart Shaped Locket" by the Gin Blossoms.
Mentioned along with many other celebrities in Bette Midler's list song, "Samedi et Vendredi", on her 1976 album, "Songs for the New Depression".
Had appeared with John Gavin in three films: Imitation of Life (1959), Tammy Tell Me True (1961), and Romanoff and Juliet (1961).
In 1991, a frail Sandra Dee, then 49, did what would prove to be her last interview with Sally Jesse Raphael. Some considered it exploitative and confessional. At the end of the show there were surprise reunions with James Darren and John Saxon, whom Dee was to appear with in a stage play. Also appearing was Shelley Fabares, who was a fan of Dee's. The appearance did not lead to a hoped-for comeback.
Lived at 1400-1426 Rising Glen Road in Los Angeles when she was married to Bobby Darin, just 1½ miles (2Km) from Holly's (Meg Foster) house in They Live (1988).
A shy and retiring person by nature, Dee had never wanted to be either a model nor an actress, but was "bullied" into both by her domineering parents and, as a result, spent most of her adolescence and adult life in mental anguish and abject misery.
Attended professional children's school in New York with fellow child models and future actresses Carol Lynley and Tuesday Weld. All three girls, along with another top New York child model of the time, Lorna Gilliam, frequently appeared in The American Girl Magazine and even appeared together in an ad for Canada Dry ginger ale.

Personal Quotes (6)

I think male nudity is wonderful.
Me, I'm good at nothing but walking on the set with a pretty dress.
I don't know anything about making a passionate love story, even if it's appealing for an audience to see a husband and wife make love on the screen.
Listen to great storytellers; slowly, you will learn about voice, timing, tension, structure, climax - all the things you need to tell stories that will capture the imagination of your audience.
There are constant cycles in history. There is loss, but it is always followed by regeneration. The tales of our elders who remember such cycles are very important to us now.
[1967, on her ingenue image]: Look at this - [a] cigarette. I like to smoke. I'm 25 years old, and it so happens that I like to smoke. So out in Hollywood the studio press agents are still pulling cigarettes out of my hand and covering my drink with a napkin whenever my picture is taken. Little Sandra Dee isn't supposed to smoke, you know. Or drink. Or breathe.

Salary (2)

Until They Sail (1957) $6,000
The Dunwich Horror (1970) $65,000 + 5% of profits

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