Actress-dancer Gail Gerber, a vivacious blonde with a shapely figure and a flair for comedy remembered most for her appearances in a few beach and Elvis films during the mid-'60s, died from complications of lung cancer in Sharon, Conn., on March 2. She was 76.
A Canadian, Gerber moved to Hollywood after in 1963 and quickly snagged the lead role in the play "Under the Yum Yum Tree." She also appeared on TV series including "My Three Sons," "Perry Mason" and "Wagon Train." She made her film debut in "The Girls on the Beach" (1965), co-starring the Beach Boys, before her agent suggested she change her name and, as Gail Gilmore, she went on to appear opposite Elvis Presley in "Girl Happy" (1965) and "Harum Scarum" (1965). She then returned to the sands of Malibu to co-star with Edd "Kookie" Byrnes in "Beach Ball" (1965) before growing to gigantic proportions along with five other delinquent teenagers, including Beau Bridges and Tisha Sterling, who terrorize a town in "Village of the Giants" (1965).
Gerber was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and began studying ballet at age 7; at 15 she became the youngest member of Les Grandes Ballets Canadiennes in Montreal. Quitting the ballet troupe in the late 1950s and abandoning a husband who was a jazz musician, she moved to Toronto to work as an actress. She appeared on stage and in many live CBC television dramas. As part of the act of vaudeville entertainers Smith and Dale (who were the basis for the Sunshine Boys), she appeared on "The Wayne and Schuster Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show" before heading for Hollywood.
2014 Variety Media, LLC, a subsidiary of Penske Business Media; Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC
Gail Gerber, Actress in Elvis, Beach Films, Dies at 76
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