Diane McBain
American actor
Diane McBain
Diane McBain is an American actress who, as a Warner Brothers contract player, reached a brief peak of popularity during the early 1960s. She is best known for playing an adventurous socialite in the 1960-62 TV series Surfside 6 and as one of Elvis Presley's leading ladies in 1966's Spinout.
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  • 1982
    Age 40
    In 1982, McBain was accosted and raped by two men in West Hollywood, and began a second career as a rape victim counselor.
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  • 1966
    Age 24
    She toured Vietnam in 1966 as part of Bob Hope's USO shows.
    More Details Hide Details McBain later developed an image as a villainess, particularly in movies such as Maryjane (1968) and The Mini-Skirt Mob (1968). The last movie had her killed off as an especially vicious biker. She is remembered for a lighter role in the Elvis vehicle Spinout (1966), for playing opposite Annette Funicello in the stock car racing movie Thunder Alley (1967), and appearing in the cult biker film The Sidehackers (1969). During the 1970s, McBain slowed her career somewhat to care for her son Evan, though she continued to make guest appearances in a number of television series. She was featured in the horror film Wicked, Wicked (1973), in yet another bad girl role. She remained active through the 1990s and into the new millennium, playing such character roles as a grandmother on Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, and appearing in such films as Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994) and The Broken Hearts Club: A Romantic Comedy (2000).
  • 1961
    Age 19
    While the majority of the episodes of Surfside 6 bookended Daphne's appearances, a number of them showcased her fairly prominently, and a handful, such as October 9, 1961's "Daphne, Girl Detective", built the entire plotline around her.
    More Details Hide Details When 77 Sunset Strip kicked off its sixth and final season in 1963 with a special five-part story entitled "Five", McBain played opposite Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. as the character Carla Stevens.
    McBain's second and third features were released at the end of Surfside 6s first season, Parrish on May 4 and Claudelle Inglish on September 20, 1961.
    More Details Hide Details Parrish, at 140 minutes, was nearly as long as Ice Palace, as well as being another big-budget, Technicolor "A" picture. Diane had one of three ingenue roles, Alison Post, who was Daphne Dutton taken to a much higher level: a flirtatious, sexually provocative and ultimately vindictive daughter of tobacco plantation owner Sala Post (Dean Jagger). McBain also appeared in many other 1960s TV shows, such as Maverick, Burke's Law, Batman, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as well as such films as The Caretakers (1963), Mary, Mary (1963), A Distant Trumpet (1964) and The Karate Killers (1967).
  • 1960
    Age 18
    McBain had a banner year in 1960.
    More Details Hide Details In addition to appearing in a top feature film and guest-starring in eight TV episodes, she was assigned two more theatrical features. The first offered her one of three ingenue roles in a major "A" film, Parrish, and the other was a title role in her own "B"-film vehicle, Erskine Caldwell's fiery coming-of-age story, Claudelle Inglish. She was also given what would turn to be her only regular part in a prime-time series, Daphne Dutton on Surfside 6, with costars Troy Donahue, Lee Patterson, Van Williams, and Margarita Sierra. Warner Bros' super-fast, corner-cutting production methods tended to stereotype actors, and McBain's blonde-princess looks suggested upper-class party girls, heiresses, and debutantes. The role of Daphne fit the category precisely, a flighty heiress whose yacht was moored alongside the Surfside 6 houseboat, she constantly stopped by for visits and occasionally participated in some cases. As with all multiple-cast Warner Bros shows, most installments starred a single cast member, with the others appearing at the beginnings and ends of storylines to allow for explanations and wrap-ups, thus enabling simultaneous filming of multiple episodes, each using a separate film unit.
    Warner Bros continued to keep McBain busy during 1960 with numerous appearances on their TV shows.
    More Details Hide Details She returned to 77 Sunset Strip on February 26, then nine days later found herself back in the 49th state milieu with a guest role in the March 6 installment of The Alaskans. Eight days after that, she was in Bourbon Street Beat and the following day on Sugarfoot. Another episode of Bourbon Street Beat followed two weeks later, on March 28, and still another 77 Sunset Strip on May 6. In eight more days, she was in an episode of Lawman, and three weeks thereafter, on June 6, a third episode of Bourbon Street Beat in as many months.
    The filmed-on-location Technicolor epic was released on January 2, 1960, to mixed reviews, but McBain's notices were generally favorable.
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  • 1959
    Age 17
    At the age of 17, McBain was immediately put to work, making her TV acting debut in two episodes of Maverick, March 8 with Jack Kelly and November 22, 1959, with James Garner, as well as the October 16 episode of 77 Sunset Strip.
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  • 1942
    Age 0
    Her first director, at the helm of the March 8 installment, "Passage to Fort Doom", was Warners stalwart Paul Henreid, best known as Victor Laszlo in the studio's 1942 Oscar-winner Casablanca.
    More Details Hide Details Having received a positive reaction to McBain's initial performances, the studio realized it had a potential star under contract. The young blonde was beginning to be seen as Warner's possible answer to Carroll Baker, Grace Kelly, and even Marilyn Monroe. She was given a prominent ingenue role in her first feature, Ice Palace, a top-budget, 143-minute generational saga based on the Edna Ferber novel which dramatized the lives and families of the pioneers who settled and developed Alaska between World War I and statehood. McBain, whose character appeared only in the last part of the film, held her own against the three female leads, Martha Hyer, Carolyn Jones, and Shirley Knight, as well as stars Richard Burton and Robert Ryan.
  • 1941
    Born on May 18, 1941.
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