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Herbie J. Pilato's 'Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door': TV women who made it after all

"Glamour, Gidgets, and the Girl Next Door: Television's Iconic Women from the 50s, 60s, and 70s," by Herbie J Pilato. Credit: Taylor Trade Publishing

Back in the '60s and '70s, women on TV really knew how to work their magic on viewers, especially those playing witches or genies.

Now, television historian Herbie J. Pilato celebrates those small-screen sorceresses, as well as the surfer girls, sweethearts and superwomen that were the stuff of male baby boomers' fantasies, in the new book "Glamour, Gidgets and the Girl Next Door" (Taylor Trade).

Pilato has penned breezy profiles of 45 "iconic" actresses, from Gale Storm ("My Little Margie") to Mary Tyler Moore, who personified boomer TV in chapters with titles like "Teen Angels," "Country Girls," "Wonder Women" and "Liberated Souls." Peppered throughout are interviews from many of the women, including Elinor Donahue ("Father Knows Best"), Adrienne Barbeau ("Maude"), Diahann Carroll ("Julia") and Lindsay Wagner ("The Bionic Woman").

There's also plenty of trivia. Dawn Wells, for example, played Mrs. Howell in a stage musical of "Gilligan's Island."

And while it's clear the women enjoyed the spotlight, they also seem humble. "It's flattering that anyone would consider me an icon," Donahue says in the book, "but I don't."

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