Diane Baker


  1. Jill St John, Holiday for Lovers, 1958.   The female roles seemed jinxed. Or was it just the lousy script? As if he wasn’t having enough issues with the emotional breakdowns of first Gene Tierney, then Joan Fontaine, as the mother, one of the daughters went from plush model Suzy Parker to the Peyton Place find, Diane Varsi,  to Diane Baker  and finally,  St. John.   Suffering  her own nervous breakdown,  Varsi quit Hollywood after Compulsion  later that year. 
  2. Elana Eden, The Story of Ruth, 1959.    Producer Sam Bronston announced his new star  in a seven-minute trailer. She was chosen “because of her natural qualities, which most faithfully exemplify this beloved biblical heroine… Elana Eden comes to us from the Holy Land following a worldwide search in which literally over a score of young, talented actresses were tested.” Including  Diane Baker, Myrna Fahey, Ingmar Bergman’s discovery Ulla Jacobsson, Susan Kohner,and Tina Louise. Plus Millie Perkins and Susan Strasberg who (like Eden)  hadtested for The Diary of Anne Frank – won by Millie in 1958. Variety buried Ruth as a “moth-eaten, misleading mishmash of biblical hysterics.” 
  3. Barbara Eden, Flaming Star, 11960.    Or Flaming Lance, Flaming Heart, The Brothers of Broken Lance, Black Star, Black Heart when Diane was set as The Girl in the Elvis Presley Western.  Barbara Steele started the role, walked off and the other Barbara replaced her. His mother was Dolores Del Rio, her first movie since John Ford’s The Fugitive in 1946.  E wisely cut two songs. One was called… Britches. ‘Yuh aint nuttin’ but  mah britches... rippin’ all the time”?
  4. Natalie Wood, West Side Story,  1961.    Great little actress but never enough charisma for the big screen. A much better bet than… Angie  Dickinson!
  5. Jean Seberg, Lilith, 1963.    Yvette Mimieux discovered the JR Salamanca book and sent it to various directors, including Robert Rossen. Unfortunately, her dream role was thwarted by his lengthy decision-making – and Warren Beatty advising him to see Seberg… after promoting Samantha Eggar and Romy Schneider. Also in the mix: Dianes Baker and Cilento (Salamanca’s choice, who was Mrs Sean Connery at the time), Sarah Miles (too busy with her secret lover, Laurence Olivier) and Natalie Wood. Seberg, who never understood why it was not given to Audrey Hepburn, was delighted to win. “I’d really begun to reach the end of my little American girls in Paris.”
  6. Rosemary  Forsythe, The War Lord, 1965.     Tight money on Charlton Heston’s  epic (made on Universal’s  back porch) meant forgetting Julie Christie for a Universal pactee to  join his “cast of dozens.”



 Birth year: Death year: Other name: Casting Calls:  6