This black-and-white press photo, promoting the Walt Disney film Summer Magic, features actress Deborah Walley as Julia Carey.
The film, released July 7, 1963, is a loose musical adaptation of the 1911 novel, Mother Carey’s Chickens, by Kate Douglas Wiggin, and tells the story of a widow and her three children who leave the city for the promise of a new start in the Maine countryside. With the help of the town’s lovable postmaster, the family fixes up an old house, the owner of which has been living abroad for years, and settles into a happy life. Their bliss, however, is seemingly jeopardized when the owner unexpectedly returns. Walley plays a cousin to the Carey children, who is sent to live with the family temporarily, but ends up staying. The iconic Hayley Mills stars as the film’s protagonist, alongside Dorothy McGuire, Burl Ives, Eddie Hodges, and Peter Mathers. The soundtrack is scored by the Sherman Brothers, and includes the number, “Pink of Perfection,” which Mills and Hodges sing (rather mean-spiritedly) about Walley’s character. Walley joins Mills on the track, “Femininity.”
An East Coast girl schooled at New York City’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Walley began her film career with the role for which she is best known, the title character in 1961’s Gidget Goes Hawaiian. She appeared in fourteen more films throughout her career, including Beach Blanket Bingo with Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello, and alongside Elvis Presley in his film Spinout. She would make only two films for Walt Disney Productions, Bon Voyage! in 1962 and Summer Magic a year later, though nearly thirty years after, she voiced minor characters for the studio’s animated series, Chip ’n Dale: Rescue Rangers. Walley passed away in 2001, at the age of fifty-seven.
The press photo features a teenage Walley posing as Julia Carey. In addition to the 1962 Walt Disney Productions copyright, the print includes the film’s title and starring cast. On the reverse side, a type-written caption can be found which was to accompany the photo in publication.
SM-3862: Petite and pretty Deborah Walley currently starring in Walt Disney’s lyrical feature motion picture, “Summer Magic,” in color by Technicolor also starring Hayley Mills, Burl Ives, Dorothy McGuire, Peter Brown and Eddie Hodges. James Neilson directed from a screenplay by Sally Benson. Buena Vista releases.
This original press photo, released in conjunction with the well-loved musical, Summer Magic, represents a very successful period for both Walt Disney Pictures and Deborah Walley, one of Hollywood’s hottest young stars of the early 60s.