Nickname for Kathy Kohner of Brentwood, California, whose lightly fictionalized life as a teenage surfing neophyte at Malibu in the mid-1950s became a durable pop culture phenomenon, branching into books, movies, comics, television, and theater. "It was Gidget," Los Angeles magazine noted in 1994, "along with the Beach Boys, who gave surfing its most memorable turn in the great American youth culture parade."

Kohner was born (1941) in Los Angeles and raised in the fashionable west Los Angele...