Diana Love Webster (née Dill; formerly Douglas and Darrid; January 22, 1923 – July 3, 2015) was a Bermudian-born American actress who was known for her marriage to actor Kirk Douglas from 1943 until their divorce in 1951. She was the mother of Michael and Joel Douglas.
Diana Love Dill
January 22, 1923
|Died||July 3, 2015 (aged 92)|
Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 1943; div. 1951)
(m. 1956; died 1992)
In 1942, Douglas began her career as an actress and appeared in more than 50 films. Some of her well-known roles were as Susan Rogers in The Indian Fighter (co-starring Kirk Douglas) and as Peg in Planes, Trains and Automobiles. She was also known for her recurring role as Martha Evans in Days of Our Lives (1977–1979, 1982). In 2003, she appeared in It Runs in the Family with her ex-husband Kirk, her son Michael and her grandson Cameron. She retired from acting in 2008.
She was born in Devonshire, Bermuda, on January 22, 1923. Her father, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Melville Dill (also the name of her great-grandfather, a mariner), was a former Member of the Colonial Parliament (MCP) (representing the Parish of Devonshire in the Parliament of Bermuda), Attorney General of Bermuda, and former Commanding Officer of the Bermuda Militia Artillery. Her mother Ruth Rapalje (née Neilson) had roots in New Jersey, including being a descendant of American Revolutionary War hero Col. John Neilson. Douglas' brother Bayard was a prominent lawyer and politician. Her sister Ruth was married to John Seward Johnson I, heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. Douglas' father was from a prominent Bermudian family, present on the island since the early 17th century.
In 1942, she began her career in a minor, uncredited role in Keeper of the Flame. She went on to appear in many films during the 1950s and 1960s, one of her most notable roles arguably being Susan Rogers in The Indian Fighter. During the 1960s and 1970s, she appeared in a variety of television programs (such as the General Electric Theater and Naked City), her best known television role being Lily Chernak Donnelly on Love Is a Many Splendored Thing.
She played Poco on Three Steps to Heaven and Martha Evans in Days of Our Lives. Following the cancellation of Love Is a Many Splendored Thing, she played Annie Andersen in The Cowboys. She appeared in Roots: The Next Generations and The Waltons. In It Runs in the Family, Douglas appeared with her former husband, Kirk Douglas, son Michael and grandson Cameron, and later appeared on an episode of CBS's Cold Case and in the Season 15 ER episode "Heal Thyself" (2008), the year that she retired from acting.
Dill was married to Kirk Douglas. They met as acting students before the Second World War. During the war, Douglas was serving in the U.S. Navy when he saw the May 3, 1943, issue of Life magazine, with a photograph of Dill on the cover. He showed the cover to his shipmates and told them that he would marry her. They married on November 2, 1943, and had two sons, Michael and Joel, before divorcing in 1951.
She married actor Bill Darrid, and they lived with her sons on the East Coast of the US until his death in 1992. In 2002, she married Donald Webster in the old Devonshire Parish Church in Bermuda.
On July 3, 2015, Douglas, a breast cancer survivor, died at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, of an undisclosed form of cancer at the age of 92.
|1943||Keeper of the Flame||Forward American Girl||Uncredited|
|1947||The Late George Apley||Sarah||Uncredited|
|1948||Let's Live Again||Terry|
|1948||The Sign of the Ram||Catherine Woolton|
|1949||House of Strangers||Elaine Monetti|
|1949||The Whistle at Eaton Falls||Ruth Adams||a.k.a. Richer Than the Earth (UK)|
|1952||Storm Over Tibet||Elaine March Simms||a.k.a. Mask of the Himalayas (USA: alternative title) a.k.a. Sturm über Tibet (West Germany)|
|1955||The Indian Fighter||Susan Rogers|
|1975||Dead Man on the Run||Meg||TV movie|
|1977||Tail Gunner Joe||Sarah||TV movie|
|1977||Alexander: The Other Side of Dawn||Clara Duncan||TV movie|
|1977||Billy: Portrait of a Street Kid||Mrs. Bedford||TV movie|
|1977||Mary White||Jane Addams||TV movie|
|1977||Another Man, Another Chance||Mary's mother|
|1978||Night Cries||Mrs. Thueson||TV movie|
|1978||A Fire in the Sky||Mrs. Rearden||TV movie|
|1981||Jaws of Satan||Evelyn Downs||a.k.a. King Cobra|
|1982||Sister, Sister||Rhoda||TV movie|
|1983||The Star Chamber||Adrian Caulfield|
|1987||Planes, Trains and Automobiles||Peg|
|1991||Cold Heaven||Mother St. Agnes|
|1992||A Town Torn Apart||Mrs. Fenn||TV movie|
aka Doc: The Dennis Littky Story
|2003||It Runs in the Family||Evelyn Gromberg|
|1950||Masterpiece Playhouse||Episode: "The Rivals"|
|1950||The Web||Episode: "Key Witness"|
|1951||Kraft Television Theatre||Episode: "Mr. Mergenthwirker's Lobblies"|
|1952||Armstrong Circle Theatre||Episode: "Mr. Bemiss Takes a Trip"|
|1953||Studio One||Episode: "Greed"|
aka Studio One Summer Theatre (summer title) a.k.a. Studio One in Hollywood (new title) a.k.a. Summer Theatre (summer title) a.k.a. Westinghouse Studio One a.k.a. Westinghouse Summer Theatre (summer title)
|1953||Robert Montgomery Presents||Episode: "Element of Risk"|
|1953||Medallion Theatre||Episode: "The Decision at Arrowsmith"|
|1953||Three Steps to Heaven||Mary Claire "Pogo" Thurmond Morgan #2|
|1953||Willys Theatre Presenting Ben Hecht's Tales of the City||Episode: "Count Bruga"|
|1955||General Electric Theater||Nora||Episode: "The Seeds of Hate"|
aka G.E. Theater (USA: informal short title)
|1956||Medic||Edith Martin||Episodes: "Reach of the Giant: Part 1", "Reach of the Giant: Part 2"|
|1956||Science Fiction Theatre||Elaine Conover / Jane Brandon||2 episodes|
|1956||West Point||Mrs. Jan Willis||Episode: "Officer's Wife"|
|1956–1957||Robert Montgomery Presents||Carla Major
|Episode: "Goodbye, Grey Flannel"|
Episode: "Wait for Me"
|1959||Armstrong Circle Theatre||Mrs. Donald Jewkes||Episode: "Miracle at Spring Hill"|
|1959||Naked City||Meg Peters / Hilda Wallace||2 episodes|
|1964||Flipper||Mrs. Granville||Episode: "The Second Time Around"|
|1965||For the People||Bernice Brandon||Episode: "The Influence of Fear"|
|1965||Ben Casey||Martha English||Episode: "War of Nerves"|
|1967||N.Y.P.D.||Mrs. Whitaker||Episode: "The Boy Witness"|
|1970–1973||Love Is a Many Splendored Thing||Lily Chernak Donnelly|
|1973||Hawkins||Clara Guilfoyle||Episode: "Die, Darling, Die"|
|1973||Kung Fu||Sister Richardson||Episode: "The Tong"|
|1974||The Streets of San Francisco||Mrs. Adele Sloane||Episode: "Chapel of the Damned"|
|1974||The Cowboys||Annie Andersen|
|Episode: "The Avenger" (1974)|
Episode: "The Deadly Conspiracy" (1975)
|1975||Barnaby Jones||Alice Parks||Episode: "The Deadly Conspiracy: Part 2"|
|1977||Lou Grant||Norma Cardell||Episode: "Hoax"|
|1979||Roots: The Next Generations||Mrs. Andy Warner||1 episode|
|1979||The Waltons||Mrs. Denman||Episodes: "The Journal", "The Violated", "The Waiting"|
|1980||Knots Landing||Dr. Charlotte Kramer||2 episodes|
|1981||Nero Wolfe||Sarah Rackham||Episode: "In the Best Families"|
|1981||CHiPs||Vera Baricza||Episode: "The Hawk and the Hunter"|
|1982||Lou Grant||Carole Fuller||Episode: "Review"|
|1982||Remington Steele||Hannah Dillon||Episode: "Tempered Steele"|
|1983||Cagney & Lacey||Blanche||Episode: "The Gang's All Here"|
|1983||Dallas||Dr. Suzanne Lacey||Episode: "The Letter"|
|1984||Scarecrow and Mrs. King||Evelyn McGuire||Episode: "I Am Not Now, nor Have I Ever Been... a Spy"|
|1986||Hardcastle and McCormick||Frances||Episode: "Hardcastle for Mayor"|
|1985–1986||The Paper Chase||Professor Tyler||17 episodes|
|1987||Beauty and the Beast||Margaret Chase||Episode: "Song of Orpheus"|
|1993||Dark Justice||Mrs. Collins||Episode: "My Dinner with Nick"|
|1993||Harts of the West||Betty||Episode: "Jake's Brother"|
|2004||The West Wing||Libby Lassiter||Episode: "The Stormy Present"|
|2007||Cold Case||Mrs. Valentine '07||Episode: "Devil Music"|
|2008||ER||Bertha Mendenhall||Episode: "Heal Thyself", (final appearance)|
- Dougan, Andy (2001). Michael Douglas: Out of the Shadows : the Unauthorised Biography. London: Robson. ISBN 978-1-86105-347-3. OCLC 48026343.
- Douglas, Diana (1999). In the Wings: A Memoir. New York: Barricade Books. ISBN 978-1-56980-151-2. OCLC 41086793.
- Parker, John (2011). Michael Douglas: Acting on Instinct. Headline. ISBN 978-0-7553-6286-8.
- Zumberge, Marianne (4 July 2015). "Diana Douglas Webster, mother of Michael Douglas, ex-wife of Kirk Douglas, dies at 92". Boston Herald. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Actress Diana Dill from Bermuda". Bernews. Archived from the original on 9 September 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- Douglas 1999, p. 17.
- Galloway, Stephen (29 November 2010). "Michael Douglas: One Hell of a Year". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 17 December 2010.
- Barnes, Mike (4 July 2015). "Actress Diana Douglas, Mother of Michael and Ex-Wife of Kirk, Dies at 92". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.
- "In the Wings: A Memoir". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Picks and Pans Review: In the Wings". People. 6 September 1999. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Film Was Family Affair For Diana Douglas". Bernews. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2015.
- "Film Was Family Affair For Diana Douglas". Bernews. 1 March 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Front Cover". Life. Time Inc: 1. 3 May 1943. ISSN 0024-3019.
- "Bermudian actress Diana Douglas back in Life". The Royal Gazette. 13 May 1993. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- "Diana Douglas Given Final Divorce Decree". Toledo Blade. Toledo, Ohio. 24 February 1951. p. 2. Retrieved 31 October 2015 – via Google News Archive.
- "Michael Douglas' Mum Weds at 79". Hello. 30 December 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
- Breen, Stephen (30 December 2002). "Rain fails to dampen Dill Douglas Darrid wedding celebration". The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- Breen, Stephen (27 December 2002). "Diana's wedding gift to Bermuda". The Royal Gazette. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
- Zumberge, Marianne (4 July 2015). "Diana Douglas Webster, Mother of Michael Douglas, Ex-Wife of Kirk Douglas, Dies at 92". Variety. Archived from the original on 4 July 2015. Retrieved 4 July 2015.