Mostly Credited As: James Darren
Sometimes Credited As: Jimmy Darren
Birth Name: James William Ercolani
Date Of Birth: June 08, 1936 (Age 79)
Country Of Birth: USA
Birth Place: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Height: 5' 10 ½" (1.79 m)
James Darren is one of the few film stars to have successfully made the transition from teenage idol to adult film star.
He was 19 years old when he made his motion picture debut in "Rumble on the Docks," followed by his memorable role as Moon Doggie in "Gidget" opposite Sandra Dee and Cliff Robertson.
In addition to many more films, guest starring roles in television and becoming a major recording star, Darren is also a headliner in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Atlantic City and in many other cities and at state fairs around the country.
By 1982 he starred as officer Jim Corrigan in "T.J. Hooker,".
Born James William Ercolani in South Philadelphia on June 8, Darren was one of two children. His father was an electrician and worked in the Navy yards; his mother worked in tailor shops and during the summer the entire family worked as migrant workers, cutting asparagus and picking tomatoes.
As a teenager Darren discovered he had singing ability and began studying music. With money earned singing at weddings and working at his uncle's jewelry store, Darren saved enough money to buy a motorcycle which permitted him to commute twice a week to New York for drama lessons with Stella Adler.
Casting director Joyce Selznick signed him to a seven-year contract with Columbia Pictures which was followed by starring roles in 11 motion pictures. There were two successful sequels to "Gidget" and a recording contract with Colpix Records.
"Angel Face" was his debut recording which became an instant Top 10 hit. It was only the first of many hit singles and albums to follow.
Among Darren's many other film roles are "Diamond Head," "The Guns of Navarone" and "Operation Madball." He broke into television in 1966 with the series "Time Tunnel." He also starred in the television movies, "City Beneath the Sea" and "The Lives of Jenny Dolan."
In 1982 he hosted the syndication musical variety show, "Portrait of a Legend," which profiled the careers of pop musical greats.
When he isn't performing in night clubs and at state fairs around the country, Darren is at home in Beverly Hills.
Among his hobbies are racquetball and "taking off on a dirt bike and doing some desert racing or hill climbing."