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Diane McBain, Actress in ‘Surfside 6’ and ‘Spinout,’ Dies at 81

Diane McBain, whose career playing spoiled rich girls included turns as yachtsman Daphne Dutton on the ABC crime show. surfside 6 and an author who stalks Elvis Presley in To enlarge, has died. She was 81 years old.

McBain died Wednesday morning at Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills after a battle with liver cancer, his friend and writing partner Michael Gregg Michaud said. the hollywood reporter.

McBain also guest-starred on four episodes of ABC’s bat Manfirst as a hat shop assistant who is in cahoots with David Wayne’s Mad Hatter in 1966 and then as stamp company owner Pinky Pinkston (she wore only pink and had a pink dog) in the memorable 1967 installment which featured The Green Hornet (Van Williams) and Kato (Bruce Lee).

In his first film, McBain appeared with Richard Burton in Vincent Sherman’s Snow storm (1960), then starred with Troy Donahue and Claudette Colbert in Delmer Daves’ Campy parish (1961) and as the main character, a farmer who meets a tragic end, in Claudelle English (1961).

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A contract player at Warner Bros. fresh out of high school, McBain broke out as the wacky Daphne in the 1960-62 crime show set in Miami Beach. surfside 6. His character owned a yacht, the Daffy II, which was moored next to the houseboat that served as the base of operations for the private detectives played by Williams, Donahue and Lee Patterson.

She played Diana St. Clair, author of books that help women win over their men, in To enlarge (1966), finding Elvis’s Mike McCoy the perfect subject for his next project, The perfect American male.

In Tom Lisanti’s 2001 book, Fantastic women of the cinema of the sixties, McBain said she regretted being typecast as mean girls. “She wanted to play naive,” she said. “I could never understand why everyone wanted to play bitch. Because when you go into society, people see you as they see you on the screen. It’s terrible to be seen as a horrible messy person when you’re not!”

SPINOUT, Diane McBain, Elvis Presley, 1966

Diane McBain with Elvis Presley in 1966 To enlarge

Courtesy of the Everett Collection

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Born in Cleveland on May 18, 1941, McBain moved her family to Glendale in 1944. She modeled for television commercials and magazine ads as a teenager, and while appearing in a play at Glendale High School, she was discovered by a talent scout and signed by Warners to a seven-year deal on his 18th birthday.

“When I was about to graduate from high school, I was offered the role of Richard Burton’s granddaughter in ice palace”, he told Lisanti. “And believe it or not, I didn’t even know who Richard Burton was! … He was an English actor and I was a teenager.”

He made his screen debut in 1959 in an episode of ABC Dissidentand besides surfside 6appeared in many other Warner Bros. TV shows including Alaskans, sugar pie, law man, 77 sunset strip, hawaiian eye Y Bourbon street beat.

McBain beat out Shirley Knight for the lead in Claudelle Englishthen he played a farm owner in black gold (1962), a nurse alongside Joan Crawford in caregivers (1963) and a health nut in mary mary (1963), starring Debbie Reynolds. She later met with Donahue to a distant trumpet (1964), the last film directed by Raoul Walsh.

Left Warner Bros. after turning down a small part in Sex and the single girl (1964). “I was making tracks and I thought it wasn’t a good idea,” she said.

McBain battled with the characters played by Shelley Fabares and Deborah Walley for Elvis’s affections in To enlargebut her Diana ended up marrying an older man played by Carl Betz.

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McBain then appeared in the low-budget AIP movies. thunder alley (1967), directed by Richard Rush; maryjane (1968); and, as the wild leader of a motorcycle gang, The miniskirt mafia (1968).

His resume included the movies Five the hard way (1969), I sailed to Tahiti with a crew of girls (1969), The broken hearts club (2000) and Stunned (2001) and episodes of Burke’s Law, The Wild Wild West, police story, The man from UNCLE, Hawaii Five-O, Charlie’s Angels, eight is enough, Dallas, days of our lives Y horseman knight.

She entertained US troops abroad in the 1960s and counseled rape survivors after she herself was victimized in 1982.

McBain published his autobiography, Famous enough, a Hollywood memoryco-written by Michaud, in 2014, he later wrote two novels, 2020 the laughing bear and 2021 the color of hope.

“She lived a full life and experienced every opportunity that came her way. She was very kind, attentive, loyal and generous, and she had a wicked sense of humor, ”Michaud, her friend of 35 years, wrote on social networks. “Despite her remarkable professional achievements, she was the least affected movie star I’ve ever known.”

The couple held numerous book signings and autograph shows, the latest just a few months ago, he said.

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McBain was married to Rodney Burke, whom she met at a Buddhist camp, from 1972 until their divorce in 1974. Survivors include her son, Evan, and her goddaughter, Mary.

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