The Home of Sixties Cinema

Welcome to SixtiesCinema.com the home of award winning author and film historian Tom Lisanti's groovy books on 60's starlets and drive-in movies from Elvis and beach party musicals to biker films to teenage exploitation. Check out his Blog below for updates or tribute pieces on all your favorite '60s starlets and B-movie actors. Purchase his highly entertaining, well-illustrated books directly from Amazon.com

About Tom

Tom Lisanti is an award-winning author and historian on Sixties B-movies. He has written a series of books on the subject and has interviewed some of the most famous starlets of the time. His latest book Pamela Tiffin: A Career from Hollywood to Rome, 1961-1974 will be released in 2015.

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Some great Blog posts:

Hill Place dissects Morgan Fairchild’s cred as “foreign policy expert.”


Cinema Retro reviews biker movie The Glory Stompers starring Dennis Hopper, Jody McCrea, and Chris Noel. This is movie high on my must see list (scroll down one past Brannigan review).


Finally Stephen Bowie’s look back on the cult late sixties countercultureTV series Then Came Bronson starring Michael Parks for the AV Club.




One of my favorite new TV channels is Get TV. Though it does have commercial breaks, it airs movies in wide screen format and does not edit out any scenes. The channel has access to Columbia Pictures library stock and concentrates on films from the ‘40’s, ‘50’s, and ‘60’s. I recently watched the lush sudsy soap opera Diamond Head (1963). Fun in the sun, as island big shot and hypocrite Charlton Heston freaks out when his headstrong sister Yvette Mimieux becomes engaged to Hawaiian native James Darren (such realistic casting–not). Heston though has a secret Hawaiian mistress France Nuyen who he has knocked up. I also watched some forgotten flicks such as the surprisingly good off-beat teenage exploitation movie Life Begins at 17 (1958) with Mark Damon and Luana Anders; and the dullsville rock musical Two Tickets to Paris (1962) with Joey Dee (resembling a pudgier less attractive Sal Mineo) and Jeri Lynn Frazer (a very poor man’s Deborah Walley).

kissWhat I was most excited to see though was the 1966 spy spoof Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die a.k.a. Se tutte le donne del mond0, directed by Dino Maiuri and Henry Levin. Produced by Dino De Laurentiis, the Italian-Portuguese co-production had a nice size budget for a Euro Spy Movie and was beautifully shot on location in Brazil. In this entertaining film, the great Michael Connors played an American CIA agent named Kelly in Rio de Janeiro on assignment to investigate mysterious suave industrialist Mr. Ardonian (Raf Vallone whom I always like) who has perfected a satellite that emits ultrasonic waves that can sterilize mankind. In cahoots with the Red Chinese, he plans to target the U.S only but he double crosses them with his determination for worldwide domination to make up for his implied impotence. While monitoring Ardonian, Kelly learns that is has collected a stable of unsuspecting beautiful women including Nicoletta Macchiavelli, Beverly Adams, and Margaret Lee who he freezes and plans to use to repopulate the planet with him. At first Kelly assumes Brit Susan Fleming (the less great Dorothy Provine clad in over-the-top mod fashions) is just another one of Ardonian’s girlfriends. She is aided by a trusting and resourceful chauffeur (Terry-Thomas). They agree to work together to bring him down. Ardonian discovers that Susan is a spy and Kelly saves her from becoming part of his “hibernation harem” before dispatching of the madman.


Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die is colorful and fast moving fun. Mike Connors makes a very convincing secret agent and no wonder was snagged for Mannix shortly after this. As Susan Fleming, Provine’s forced British accent is off-putting and annoying. Even so, Provine acquits herself quite well as a prim and proper spy who doesn’t use a gun but relies on some outlandish gadgets (including a mascara tube that emits knockout gas and a ring laced with poison) to waylay her enemies. Provine also displays quite a voluptuous figure when she strips down to her jungle shorts outfit though she is outclassed by some of the film’s other shapely beauties amongst them American starlet Beverly Adams (next seen as Lovey Kravezit in The Silencers and 2 additional Matt Helm spy flicks). She appears briefly as Karin who suffers the wrath of Ardonian when she decides to get married to another man. Before the nuptials can take place, she is killed by a poisonous snake concealed in a beautiful frilly white boa given to her as a wedding gift from Ardonian.

The only other thing that annoyed me about this movie was the musical score a mixture of Latin rhythms with sort of standard sixties spy music. This and Provine’s accent aside, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die ranks as one of the better Euro Spy movies that I have seen and for me stands right up there with In Like Flint in the arena of James Bond copycats.


Pamela Tiffin Fun Fact #2

Billy Wilder chose Pamela over Tuesday Weld to play ditzy Scarlett Hazeltine in his classic political satire One, Two, Three (1961) opposite James Cagney.



To my friend and former 1960s starlet Gail Gerber (1937-2014). Gail lives on her in beach and Elvis movies and her award-winning memoir Trippin’ with Terry Southern: What I Think I Remember. We miss you Gail!


Coming in 2015!


PTBlogPamela Tiffin: Hollywood to Rome, 1961-1974 pays tribute to the stunning beauty that is Pamela Tiffin. Critics adored her. James Cagney hailed her “remarkable flair for comedy.” Turner Classic Movies dubbed her “Hollywood’s favorite air-headed ingénue in the Sixties.” Yet super stardom evaded her due to contractual obligations and self-imposed exiles in New York and then Rome, though she remains a cult Sixties icon to this day.

Dark-haired Pamela Tiffin debuted in 1961’s Summer and Smoke adapted from the Tennessee Williams play. She then emerged as a scene-stealing comedienne in Billy Wilder’s classic satire One, Two, Three with Cagney, before she became the teen queen of teenage camp in State Fair; Come Fly with Me; two with James Darren – For Those Who Think Young & The Lively Set; and The Pleasure Seekers. After landing a sexy adult role opposite Paul Newman in Harper where the bikini-cad Tiffin jiggled the diving board into Sixties cinema infamy, she went blonde and ran away to Italy. There she starred in sex comedies including Kiss the Other Sheik; The Blonde in the Blue Movie; and The Archangel; a giallo The Fifth Cord, and the western Deaf Smith & Johnny Ears. During her career, her leading men also included Laurence Harvey, Bobby Darin,Tony Franciosa, Burt Lancaster, Marcello Mastroianni, Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman, Peter Ustinov, Franco Nero, and Anthony Quinn.

Not a biography, this book is a career retrospective of Pamela Tiffin’s movies plus TV and stage appearances. Interviewees (including Hugh O’Brian, Lada Edmund, Jr., Carole Wells, Tim Zinnemann, Martin West, Jed Curtis, Eldon Quick, Peter Gonzales, and Larry Hankin) provide a behind-the-scenes look of some of her most popular movies listed above and The Hallelujah Trail; Straziami, ma di baci saziami; and Viva Max. Plus noted film historians Dean Brierly, Roberto Curti, Howard Hughes, and Paolo Mereghetti weigh in on Pamela Tiffin’s place in cinematic history.




RIP Arlene Martel

AMOvershadowed by the sad loss of Robin Williams and Lauren Bacall, 1960s starlet Arlene Martel also passed away this week from a heart attack. I had the pleasure to interview Arlene for my book Drive-in Dream Girls. Below is an excerpt from it including some of her quotes. She will be missed.

Arlene Martel was one of the many talented Hollywood actors whose face fans recognize but whose name may elude them. In her case it’s even more so since she started out in Hollywood using her real name of Arline Sax. On the big screen Martel had the female lead in the cult film noir The Glass Cage (1964) and played a biker chick in the popular film Angels From Hell (1968), the follow-up to Hell’s Angels on Wheels (1968). But it was on TV where Martel excelled essaying a variety of roles usually hidden under different hair colors and gobs of make-up or speaking in a foreign dialect in such series as Route 66, The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Hogans Heroes, Star Trek, The Monkees and Bewitched. The exotic, shapely beauty played so many varied roles that she was dubbed “the Chameleon” by honchos at Universal Studios. “I think this was a hindrance because no one knew it was the same actress from week to week,” commented Arlene. “In fact, in one week I was on three different shows. And nobody knew it was the same person. I think it is very good to have that versatility when you are established as a star. They say, ‘Look she can do this and do this.’ But if the audience doesn’t know it’s you, it is not to your advantage.”

Her comments on some of her most memorable 1960s TV appearances.

Route 66 “A Legacy for Lucia”

“This was written by Stirling Silliphant so you can imagine the quality of the writing. I played a young Italian girl who meets this American soldier in Italy. Trying to impress her, he tells her that he owns the state of Oregon and if anything happened to him he’d leave it to her. He dies and she comes to America to claim her property. It was a very touching and beautiful experience. We actually shot it in a lumber camp in Oregon. I still feel the air on my face and I still feel the passion that surrounded this character. Both George Maharis and Martin Milner were just lovely to work with.”

AM R66

The Outer Limits “Demon with a Glass Hand”

“When I first read Harlan Ellison’s script I felt inspired by it. I felt I could do a lot in the role of Consuela. This part had a lovely substance that I connected with. Byron Haskin was our director and he was wonderful! He was the reason I got this role. When they replaced me with Christiane Martel [in the 1959 movie The Little Savage], Byron told me, ‘One day I will make it up to you and find something else for you.’ And sure enough he did.”

“I believe Harlan Ellison was on the set during filming but to tell you the truth my concentration was so much on my part that other than Robert Culp I don’t think I was aware of anyone else. I was very focused on what was happening between our characters.  I found Culp to be very attractive in many ways. I got a very beautiful feeling about him. I thought that as a person he projected a lovely sanity. I enjoyed working with him. He remains a favorite.”

“I also had an operation and had just been released from the hospital the day before. If you watch the episode you’ll notice that as I am being pulled by Robert Culp I am running very stiffly with my arm at my side because I was nervous that the stitches would open. I was running in so much pain—up the stairs, down the stairs—but I was afraid to tell them that I just got out of the hospital because I thought that they would replace me. I kept that to myself and just prayed, ‘Oh dear God please don’t let me start bleeding all over the place.’”


The Monkees “The Spy Who Came in from the Cool”

“The guys were having a ball doing this series. I had an especially good rapport with Peter Tork and Davy Jones. There was a great deal of joviality on the set. I hung out with them one day and it was the first and only instance where I wasn’t on time getting back to a set. The air was thick with smoke and I guess I innocently inhaled. I was twenty minutes late and the director berated me mercilessly in front of the cast and crew.”


Star Trek “Amok Time”

“[Director Joseph] Pevney kept guiding me towards doing less and less and less [playing a Vulcan betrothed to Spock]. Finally he said, ‘Do even less than what you’re doing.’ I said, ‘But I wouldn’t be doing anything at that point.’ He replied, ‘That’s exactly what I want. It will come through.’ So this very dry, icy, intellectual quality came forth and that is exactly what he was after. But it was very different from everything else I had done.”

“Every time Celia Lovsky pronounced one of the Vulcan words Bill Shatner would whisper something funny about it and get me to laugh, which was terrible to do. It was just terrible of him! Of course Ms. Lovsky wasn’t aware of this. But she had difficulty pronouncing the Vulcan words. Bill was like a naughty schoolboy and suddenly I became five years old too. At one point, the director threatened to throw us both off the set. I have very good concentration but Bill just broke me up.”

“Leonard Nimoy was rather removed. Maybe he was maintaining his character—I don’t know. Or maybe he genuinely didn’t like me! I have no idea to this day. We were cast together in three different shows. Before Star Trek we played a mountain couple in the western The Rebel with Nick Adams and I also worked with him later on Mission: Impossible. I thought I was very good to work with and that I gave a great deal in my work. For some reason, he remained very aloof.”






sharon-farrell-1If I thought Diane McBain had a harrowing life that she wrote about in Famous Enough, it does not compare to what her 1960s contemporary Sharon Farrell revealed that she went through in her fascinating memoir Sharon Farrell “Hollywood Princess” From Sioux City, Iowa: The “Bad Girl’s” Story. First the simularities: both are pretty blondes who were two of the most promising starlets of the 1960s; both had one son from short-lived marriages; both saw their chances for super stardom fade away; both did drugs; and both were rape victims. But for every horrible incident that befell Diane McBain, Sharon Farrell’s was even worse.

As someone who loves reading (and writing) about the back stories in making movies or TV shows, Sharon does not disappoint with her career highlights such as Marlowe with Bruce Lee; The Reivers with Steve McQueen; The Last Ride of the Dalton Gang with Jack Palance; Out of the Blue with Dennis Hopper; The Stunt Man with Peter O’Toole; and her stint as a regular on Hawaii Five-0 during its last season. However, most are unhappy experiences and depressing to read as she is used and degraded (physically and/or psychologically) by practically every leading man and then tossed away once filming stops. She gets credit for not holding back and depicting herself in a very unflattering manner, but as you keep turning the pages you just hope she finds happiness. Instead the drug taking and sexual abuse by many hideous men continues and also because she foolishly binds herself to a man who took so much advantage of her stealing her money and forcing her to relocate to Fiji. Finally free of him and back in the States, Sharon finds herself committed to a psycho ward in California, which is really hard to read considering what she was put through.

What is most amazing to me despite the living hell she was going through in the 1970s and 1980s, is that she worked pretty consistently and got some really good parts well into her forties doing better than her more stable 1960s contemporaries for sure. This was due to her acting talent and her professionalism on the set despite what was happening to her off-camera.

Though Sharon highlights her major films/TV shows, her body of work is tremendous and I would have liked to have read more about them and less of the sex/drug tales she shares. Being self-published, the book is at times a bit disjointed and contains misspelling and such. Even so, I still recommend the book to fans of Sixties actresses and the New Hollywood of the late 1960s (let’s hope actresses in the Golden Age of Hollywood weren’t treated this shabbily). The fact that Sharon Farrell survived all she did and is still alive to tell about it is a testament to her strength and courage. Kudos to Sharon for persevering.



When I began interviewing 1960s starlets in the late nineties I always asked them about working on TV’s Batman, if they had on their list of credits. It was one of my favorite TV shows as a kid. Though the villains stole the show, I always took a special liking to the dastardly dames by their sides. Some of the most beautiful starlets of the day donned miniskirts to catsuits to fabulous furs to help their man defeat the Caped Crusader. Some repented for their greedy ways while others went down swinging. My next couple of Blogs will pay tribute to some of them in honor of the upcoming DVD/Blu-Ray release FINALLY of Batman this Fall.

First up sultry brunette Eileen O’Neill as the Clock King’s cleverly named moll Millie Second who was one of Batman’s most eager crooked gals who seemed to just revel in her boss’ sinister schemes. Awed by his cleverness, she even calls him Your Highness, but her character, who had a lot of potential, is wasted and not given much to do.


In “The Clock King’s Crazy Crimes” and “The Clock King Gets Crowned,” which originally aired on October 12 & 13, 1966, viewers are introduced to Gotham City’s newest multi-wrist watch wearing villain as he and his moll Millie Second watch the goings-on at a high-end jewelry store through a hidden camera planted in an antique clock. The Clock King then releases knockout gas as his thugs nicknamed the Second Hands race in and make off with diamond bracelets and necklaces. When Millie Second, clad in a mod striped green and blue mini-dress and always holding a feather duster, gets a peak at all the jewels she coos, “Just look at all these goodies! They’re marvelous Clock King.” Unfortunately, Millie Second is AWOL for the rest of the episode (guess someone had to stay behind and dust all those clocks).  She doesn’t even show up after Clock King captures the Dynamic Duo and puts them in a giant hourglass complete with the sands of time pouring in on them.

With time ticking away, Batman and Robin are able to knock over the hour glass and then like squirrels in a cage roll it out onto the street where they are freed. Unaware that his arch enemies are alive, Clock King boasts of their death at his hands as an enamored Millie and his Second Hands clap in approval. The egotistical thief then makes his final plans to crash Wayne manor to steal the millionaire’s collection of antique pocket watches. “This sure is tingly,” exclaims an excited Millie as they view the goings-on at the mansion through a clock Aunt Harriet bought as a birthday gift for Bruce. Frustratingly, Millie stays behind again to do her housework as the men folk go on their crime spree. She finally does go along for the big score when The Clock King plans to gas the entire city while he hijacks an incoming helicopter transporting a cesium clock. This was the time Millie should have stayed back as the Dynamic Duo ruin his plans. The only time left for Clock King, Millie Second, and the Second Hands is the time they are going to serve in the Big House.

Given more screen time, Millie Second could have been one of the series’ most memorable molls instead of just pretty decoration. Eileen O’Neill definitely had the acting talent to do more as shown by her numerous TV and movie appearances during the sixties. To read more about her, catch my book Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinemanow available in revised soft cover edition. Below are Eileen O’Neill’s remarks about working on Batman from it:

“Walter Slezak [the Clock King] was another kind man.  We spent so much time talking.  I sensed an effort on his part to share his richness and experience in the theatre with me.  We had extensive conversations on acting.  Again, I appreciated the knowledge you can incur like a sponge when you have an opportunity to talk to people who are so good at what they do.”

“Burt [Ward] and Adam [West] were professional and so much fun to work with.  They both jumped into the zany spirit of their roles.  They played their parts to the hilt and that is why Batman was so successful in its day.”

Next Bat Time, Next Bat Channel: Tisha Sterling as Legs Parker


Niki Flacks, ex-Karen Martin Wolek, Remembers One Life to Live

NFFans of the now departed soap One Life to Live remember the character Karen Wolek (the doctor’s wife-turned-prostitute-turned-baby switcher) from 1976-1983 played most famously by 2 time Emmy winner Judith Light. However, when the soap premiered there was another character named Karen that snagged Dr. Larry Wolek first. Theater actress Niki Flacks had just co-starred on Broadway with Walter Pidgeon, Arlene Francis, June Havoc, and Pamela Tiffin in the Broadway revival of Dinner at Eight. [You can read her recollections of this show in my upcoming book Pamela Tiffin: The Films  from Hollywood to Rome, 1961-1974.]. Soon after, she was cast as grasping nurse Karen Martin in a new ABC-TV daytime soap called One Life to Live created by Agnes Nixon.

When not caring for patients, Karen Martin had her sights set on handsome young doctor Larry Wolek (Paul Tully briefly followed by James Storm). He however was in love with fragile rich girl Meredith Lord (Trish Van Devere followed by Lynn Benesch), whose father Victor disapproved of the relationship and was pushing his daughter to marry Dr. Ted Hale. Larry discovered that Meredith was suffering from a dangerous blood disease, but kept it secret from her. When Ted found out, he and Larry argued. Hale took a tumble down the stairs and died. Karen heard the argument and being spiteful testified against Larry. He was eventually cleared and Meredith learned the truth about her illness. She ran off to California leaving Larry in the hands of manipulative Karen who professed her sorrow through crocodile tears in regards to her testimony. This did not bring Larry and Karen together, but when she risked her life to safe him after he was caught in a fire the two drew closer. After his bandages were removed (and new actor Michael Storm took over), the couple drew closer and made love. Karen thought it was now smooth sailing to the altar, but sad sack Meredith Lord returned to town. With her health improving, she declared her love for Larry and the two reconciled–for a moment anyway. Karen discovered she was with child and threatened to end the pregnancy if the good doctor did not to right and make her his wife. Trapped, he agreed. Shortly after tying the knot, Karen miscarried and Larry sprinted to the nearest judge to end the marriage. Not wanting to work at the hospital with Larry knowing he was with Meredith, Karen chose to leave town never to be heard from again.

What do you recall about the early days on One Life to Live?

I was one of the original actors on the show. Agnes Nixon was brilliant. She is a genius. It was beautifully produced by Doris Quinlan. She was just so top notched. She hired wonderful directors and was very closely involved. Evertything was done on a really high level.

Was the show shot live when it began?

We did not shoot live, but on tape. However, editing tape in those days was expensive so you had a lot of pressure to do it as if it was live.

One Life to Live came right at of the gate breaking new ground with its controversial storyline about light skinned African American Carla Gray (Ellen Holly) who passed herself off as white.

We were all very aware that we were breaking new ground with the diversity and were very proud of it. Ellen Holly had established herself as one of the best stage actresses of her generation. She broke ground constantly, doing Shakespeare and other classics as a Black actress. I adored her! I know that ultimately she felt ill-used by the show and story lines. But those first years were very exciting for all of us, including her. I also became very close to the actress playing her mother [Lillian Hayman]–a wonderful character actress. Seeing the Black faces as we would sit around the table doing our first read-through of a script certainly gave me a thrill. Remember, this was the 60’s. We had protested during college and supported the sit-in’s happening in the south. And during my years on the soap I remember wearing a black arm band in protest of the Vietnam war. Much to the horror of many of the ‘grips’ (stage hands) who were quite right wing in their politics.

You went through 3 leading men playing Larry Wolek in the almost three years you were on the show.

Paul Tully [Larry #1] was just not strong enough. After James Storm [Larry #2], his brother Michael took over the role and stayed with the show for a long time. He was delightful to work with. All the women drooled over him–the fan mail was incredible. And in real life he was happily married–a very solid guy.

Any other actors stand out for you?

Gillian Spencer was also very easy to work with although my character didn’t really interact with hers very much, but we were often at the studio at the same time. Trish Van Devere was the first Meredith Lord. She was sooooooo difficult to work with. She decided she was a big movie star ordering people around. She was so awful and was fired. We all breathed a sigh of relief. Lynn Benesch took over and she was just lovely–an incredibly generous, beautiful person. The cast, after the first shake up was thoroughly professional and everyone seemed very well cast in their roles.

You were the bad girl the audience loved to hate.

Yes, especially after Karen got Larry drunk and seduced him. They were prudish in those days so one episode ended with the big kiss and the next episode had me in bed yawning and purring like Scarlett O’Hara. And of course from that one night of bliss Karen got pregnant. Even though Karen knew Larry loved another, she said, ‘I’m having your baby.’ Though she threatened abortion, it was illegal and actually we couldn’t even say the word ‘abortion.’ Larry was a Polish Catholic and the implication was that he would marry Karen and he did.

Why did you leave?

I left because I wanted to return to more theater. They said we are not going to kill you because we would like you to come back. For about a month Karen apologized to everyone for being so horrible and did a lot of weeping, which they knew I was good at. Karen was going back to her home town to try to find herself. I left and a few years later I was married and pregnant. They called my agent and wanted to bring back Karen. He said, ‘Darling, do you want to go back to One Life to Live?’ I said, ‘Do they want me seven months pregnant?’ He laughed and replied, ‘I don’t think that is in the storyline.’

Niki Flacks went on to have a distinguished career in the theater. She is currently teaching and writing on acting technique.




Just finished reading Famous Enough: A Hollywood Memoir by Diane McBain and Michael Gregg Michaud. It has to be one of the most brutally honest memoirs I have ever read. It is a harrowing tale of what happened to Diane (and probably a lot of other 1960s female contract players) once the studios tossed them out without fanfare during the mid-1960s when the studio system was collasping. Surprisingly, Diane did not make a lot of money while working for Warner Bros. despite starring in a TV show (Surfside 6) and getting leads in motion pictures (Parrish; Claudelle Inglish; The Caretakers; A Distant Trumpet; etc.). Today, actors doing the same are millionaires 3 times over.

Grass is always greener on the other side, so when Diane refuses to play a small role in a Natalie Wood comedy she knew she would get the boot, but thought life as a freelancer would be better. She soon learned the harsh realities of going it alone in mid-sixties Hollywood. Always one of my favorite blondes of all-time (along with Carol Lynley and Yvette Mimieux), I found it mind boggling on why she did not do better. Though I love Diane in the Elvis musical Spinout and her AIP exploitation movies like The Mini-Skirt Mob, she should have still been getting studio A picture offers. Soon Diane would be joined by Sandra Dee and Connie Stevens who when their studios set them free in 1966 or so, they too could not land any more major motion pictures. The times they were a’changin’ and these gals were just not hip to the Free Love crowd.

Diane does not hold back in her book slamming actors she disliked (hear that Edd Byrnes); her sexual exploits (she had an itchin’ for unattainable men); her drug taking; and her brutal rape in the early 1980s. She also must be one of the unluckiest actresses in Hollywood in regards to roles that might have been and the number of times she was a victim of a crime. One of the book’s highlights is her documenting her two trips to Vietnam in 1966 and 1967 to entertain the troops.

Once the book passes 1970, my minor quibble is that though she mentions all the low-budget movies (Savage Season, Deathhead Virgin, etc.) and TV shows she appeared in they get short shrift. I really like hearing the back stories in depth. Instead, Diane concentrates on her life outside of acting as she needed to support herself and a child. While her contemporaries like Carol Lynley, Connie Stevens, Anjanette Comer, Sue Lyon and even Sandra Dee were landing leads in TV movies, Diane for some reason was barely getting supporting parts in episodic TV. For me Diane always had an air of glamour and sophistication. She was the Dina Merrill for the 1960s teenage set though most of her big screen charactes were usually icy and bitchy. Diane Baker had the same effect, but she came off like that even while trying to play the sweet ingenue. If she was able to get steady work through the 1970s, I have no idea why McBain was not as she had the ability to play sweet and not so sweet believably. In the book, Diane attributes her fading movie career to the New Hollywood of the independent filmmaker who shunned glamour for more real looking actors.

Diane McBain’s memoir was an eye opener for me and is truly recommended. And despite her struggles, it does have a well-deserved happy ending for the still gorgeous actress.