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Sandra Dee

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Sandra Dee (April 23, 1942 - February 20, 2005) was an American film actress.

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Sandra Dee

Born Alexandra Zuck of Rusyn ancestry in Bayonne, New Jersey, Dee was a professional model by the age of four. She progressed to television commercials and then made her first film, Until They Sail, in 1957.

In 1958 she won a Golden Globe Award for "Most Promising Newcomer" (along with Carolyn Jones and Diane Varsi). Her film career flourished, and she became known for her wholesome ingenue roles in such films as Imitation of Life, Gidget and A Summer Place (all 1959).

Her marriage in 1960 to singer and actor Bobby Darin kept her in the public eye for much of the decade. She was contracted to Universal Studios, who tried to develop Dee as a mature actress, and the films she made as an adult--including a few with Darin--were moderately successful. They had one son together, who took the name Dodd Mitchell Darrin, but in 1967 she and Darin were divorced.

During the 1970s she took very few acting roles, but made occasional television appearances. Her 1950s persona was the inspiration for the song "Look At Me, I'm Sandra Dee," featured in the Broadway musical Grease. The song later reappeared in the 1978 film version of the play.

Dee's adult years were marked by ill health. She admitted that for most of her life she battled anorexia nervosa, depression and alcoholism. In 2000, she reported that she had been diagnosed with throat cancer and kidney failure. Complications from the latter condition, combined with a bout of pneumonia, led to her death at the age of 62 in Thousand Oaks, California.

Her life with Bobby Darin has been told in the 2004 film Beyond The Sea, in which she was played by Kate Bosworth.

Filmography

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