Diane Varsi

Diane Varsi

Birth
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Death 19 Nov 1992 (aged 54)
Los Angeles, Los Angeles County, California, USA
Burial San Rafael, Marin County, California, USA
Memorial ID 9976606 · View Source
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Actress. She received notoriety in the late 1950s as a very promising American film and television actress. Her first starring role was the portrayal of Allison MacKenzie in the film made from the best-selling book, “Peyton Place”. For this work Diane received an Academy Award nomination as best supporting actress. With actresses Sandra Dee and Carolyn Jones, she shared the honor of the Golden Globe's “Most Promising Newcomer.” Her next three films: “From Hell to Texas” with Don Murray, then John O'Hara's “Ten North Frederick” with Gary Cooper and her final 20th Century Fox film “Compulsion” with Orson Welles were all successful and critically acclaimed performances. Refusing offered roles, she became withdrawn having a difficulty with her new celebrity status and stating that she never was comfortable in the acting profession. In 1958 she was hospitalized for a short period with anxiety related to stress from her work. Leaving Hollywood in 1959 while still under contract with Fox Studios, she moved first to Bennington Vermont and then to San Mateo California spending her time writing poetry and painting. She did accept a role in a stage performance. After her Fox contract expired in 1964, she did several films, including the 1968 cult classic “Wild in the Streets” and her last being the successful film, “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden” in 1977. She had several television performances during this time including the ABC 1971 made-for-television movie, “The People.” While filming “Wild in the Street,” she received a neck injury that resulted in chronic pain. In 1977 she contacted Lyme Disease which was diagnosed some years later with her having bouts of meningitis. Born Diane Marie Antonia Varsi as the oldest daughter of Russell Varsi and Beatrice DeMerchant Varsi, she had a troubled childhood with the family moving frequently. She was labeled a "oddball" by classmates and a "rebel" by teachers. Not finishing high school at the age of fifteen years old, she left her north California home with a friend to go to Mexico but settled in Los Angeles. She enrolled in Jeff Corey's acting classes and debuted in a community theater production of “Gigi.” She married four times with the first being annulled in 1954, the second was her agent, her 3rd husband was film producer and director, Michael Hausman and the fourth ended in divorce in 1970. When she was very young, she had a son and with Hausman, a daughter. Her cause of death was from respiratory problems related to the complications of Lyme Disease.

Bio by: Paul Theodore Riegert


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Paul Theodore Riegert
  • Added: 28 Nov 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9976606
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Diane Varsi (23 Feb 1938–19 Nov 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9976606, citing Mount Tamalpais Cemetery, San Rafael, Marin County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .