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Diane Varsi
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    (February 23, 1938-November 19, 1992)
    Born in San Mateo, California
    Appeared in the films 'Peyton Place' (1957), 'Ten North Frederick' (1958), 'From Hell to Texas' (1958), 'Compulsion' (1959), 'Sweet Love, Bitter' (1967), 'Roseanna' (1967), 'Wild in the Streets' (1968), 'Killers Three' (1968), 'Bloody Mama' (1970), 'Johnny Got His Gun' (1971) and 'I Never Promised You A Rose Garden' (1977)
    She dropped out of high school to work odd jobs as a waitress, fruit picker and candle maker.
    She was a vegetarian.
    Her four marriages produced an annulment and two divorces.
    After suffering a nervous breakdown, she walked out on her contract with Fox, declaring 'Acting is destructive to me. I don't see any reason to be made miserable just because other people say I should go on with my career.'
    Eight years later, she signed with American International Pictures and made three movies she called 'cheap films of little merit.'
    Her film debut in 'Petyton Place' got her an Oscar nomination for best supporting actress and a Golden Globe for most promising female newcomer.
    Producer Jerry Wald said, 'Diane was different. She was fresh and original. She didn't act like anyone else or think like anyone else. That's what comes across on the screen.'
    During her layoff from Hollywood, she attended Bennington College, studying poetry and photography.
    She suffered a neck injury during the filming of 'Wild in the Streets' that caused decades of on-and-off pain until it was properly diagnosed.

Credit: C. Fishel

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