HDMI is a digital interface which can carry encrypted audio and video. VGA is an Analog connection which can carry RGB channels, vertical an horizontal sync, and some other things.
So you are speaking about different languages. And this means you will not just need an "adapter", you need a converter.
This also means that the resulting image quality will be influenced by the converter's quality.
Doing some research, I found a converter sold by Startech, called VGAHD2HDMI. It was mentioned in another forum as a cheap option (US$192). There are also USB to HDMI adapters.
I don't know if any of them support full HD input.
I am not an expert on HDTVs, but I haven't seen any without VGA input.
Hey larry, you can buy a VGA to component cable (the 1522A) here for around 80 bucks. I suggest you forget trying to connect your laptop via HDMI because as rsilves says, it's a digital interface, while VGA is analog. His Startech converter basically converts the analog signal into something the HDTV can understand, which is what the cable I linked to also does.
Component video is the same as VGA, 3 analog color channels. If larry50's HDTV has an RGB Component input, then it has its own analog-to-digital converter, and should also have a VGA input.
Or it might have a YPbPr component input, which is also analog and would need 2 converters. One from VGA to YPbPr component, and one from YPbPr to digital (which would be inside the TV).