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Diana Hyland (January 25, 1936 – March 27, 1977)[1] was an American stage, film and television actress.

Diana Hyland
Diana Hyland Peyton Place 1968.jpg
Hyland as Susan Winter in Peyton Place, 1968
Born Diana Gentner
(1936-01-25)January 25, 1936
Cleveland Heights, Ohio, U.S.
Died March 27, 1977(1977-03-27) (aged 41)
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Cause of death Breast Cancer
Occupation Actress
Years active 1955–1977
Spouse(s) Joe Goodson (1969–1975; divorced); 1 child
Awards Emmy Award for Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Drama Special
1977 The Boy in the Plastic Bubble; awarded posthumously


Early yearsEdit

Hyland was born Diana Gentner (or Diane Gentner, according to some sources) in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. She was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Gentner.[2]


She made her acting debut in 1955 at age 19 in an episode of Robert Montgomery Presents. Over the next decade she appeared often in guest and supporting roles in various television series, including Naked City, The Eleventh Hour, The Fugitive, The Invaders and The Twilight Zone as well as cast in the feature film The Chase (1966) with Marlon Brando, Jane Fonda, and Robert Redford.

In 1959, she originated the role on Broadway of Heavenly Finley in Tennessee Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth,[3] appearing with Geraldine Page and Paul Newman. In 1966, she co-starred in the movie Smoky in which she played Julie Richards, owner of the Rockin' R Ranch, who falls in love with Clint Barkeley (Fess Parker), owner of Smokey, a black stallion turned cutting horse. The same year she appeared in an episode of the TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. titled "The Candidate's Wife Affair". From 1958 to 1963, Hyland was a regular on the NBC soap opera Young Doctor Malone, playing Gig Houseman, wife of the younger Dr. Malone.

Hyland's debut in a feature film was in One Man's Way (1963).[4] She had a continuing role as Susan Winter in the prime-time soap opera Peyton Place[5]:829 from 1968 to 1969. She appeared in the 1976 television movie The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, for which she won a posthumous Emmy Award.[4] The following year, she co-starred with Dick Van Patten in the series Eight Is Enough,[5] but appeared in only four episodes before her death.

Personal lifeEdit

Hyland dated actor Joe Goodson briefly before they were married on April 24, 1969. Their son Zachary Goodson was born in 1973. They divorced in 1975.

She began a romantic relationship with actor John Travolta, 18 years her junior, in 1976 after meeting him on the set of The Boy in the Plastic Bubble.[6]


Hyland was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1977, and underwent a mastectomy.[7] However, the cancer spread and her health deteriorated. Hyland and Travolta remained together until her death, in Travolta's arms, on March 27, 1977 in Los Angeles.[6] After Hyland's death, her son was placed in Goodson's custody.


Year Title Role Notes
1963 One Man's Way Ruth Stafford Peale
1965 Hercules and the Princess of Troy Princess Diana
1966 Chase, TheThe Chase Elizabeth Rogers
1966 Smoky Julie Richards
1968 Jigsaw Sarah
Year Title Role Notes
1955 Robert Montgomery Presents Judy Episode: "Second Chance"
1956 Star Tonight Louise Episode: "Two Windows"
Episode: "Will Power"
1960 Play of the Week Mabel Episode: "Climate of Eden"
1961 Play of the Week Episode: "No Exit/The Indifferent Lover"
Episode: "A Cool Wind Over the Living"
1961–1962 Young Doctor Malone Gig Houseman Malone TV series
1962 Defenders, TheThe Defenders Mary DiFalco Robinson Episode: "The Unwanted"
1962 United States Steel Hour, TheThe United States Steel Hour Episode: "Wanted: Someone Innocent"
1962 Alcoa Premiere Liza Laurents Episode: "The Voice of Charlie Pont"
1962 Sam Benedict Donna Heistand Episode: "The Bird of Warning"
1963 Ben Casey Greta Bauer Episode: "Rigadoon for Three Pianos"
1963 Stoney Burke Eileen Fowler Episode: "To Catch the Kaiser"
1963 The DuPont Show of the Week Ellen Graham Episode: "The Shark"
1963 Naked City Vivian North Episode: "Stop the Parade! A Baby Is Crying!"
1963 Wagon Train Kitty Pryer Episode: "The Kitty Pryer Story"
1963 Dr. Kildare Dr. Lilith McGraw Episode: "Love Is a Sad Song"
1963 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Janet Nelson Episode: "To Catch a Butterfly"
1964 Alfred Hitchcock Presents Grace Renford Episode: "Beyond the Sea of Death"
1964 Twilight Zone Anne Henderson Episode: "Spur of the Moment"
1964 Eleventh Hour, TheThe Eleventh Hour Madelyn Marner Episode: "A Full Moon Every Night"
1964 Kraft Suspense Theatre Laura DeLinda Stevenson / Laura Murdoch Episode: "The Sweet Taste of Vengeance"
1964 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Carol Hollister Episode: "When the Bough Breaks"
1965 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Stella Savano Episode: "Set Fire to a Straw Man"
1965 Dr. Kildare Marguerite Williams Episode: "Please Let My Baby Live"
1965 Burke's Law Celeste Martel Episode: "Run for the Money"
1965 Nurses, TheThe Nurses Dr. Mai Lind Episode: "The April Thaw of Doctor Mai"
1965 Hercules and the Princess of Troy Princess Diana TV movie
1965 Convoy Lt. Katya Katrovich Episode: "Katya"
1965 Wackiest Ship in the Army, TheThe Wackiest Ship in the Army Margaret Cochran Episode: "The Sisters"
Episode: "I'm Dreaming of a Wide Isthmus"
1965 Run for Your Life Ellen Henderson Episode: "The Girl Next Door Is a Spy"
1966 Run for Your Life Diana Hays Episode: "I Am the Late Diana Hays"
1966 Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre Mrs. Collier Episode: "Guilty or Not Guilty"
1966 Scalplock Marta Grenier TV movie
1966 Man Called Shenandoah, AA Man Called Shenandoah Nancy Pruitt Episode: "An Unfamiliar Tune"
1966 Iron Horse Marta Grenier TV movie
1966 I Spy Marisa Terizcu Episode: "So Coldly Sweet"
1966 Green Hornet, TheThe Green Hornet Attorney Claudia Bromley Episode: "Give 'Em Enough Rope"
1966 Twelve O'Clock High Heidi Voss Episode: "Practice to Deceive"
1966 Man from U.N.C.L.E., TheThe Man from U.N.C.L.E. Mara
Miranda Bryant / Irina
Episode: "The Nowhere Affair"
Episode: "The Candidate's Wife Affair"
1966 Felony Squad Cloris Harte Episode: "Killer with a Badge"
1966 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Penny Episode: "The Devil's Disciples"
1967 Fugitive, TheThe Fugitive Alison Priestley Episode: "Dossier on a Diplomat"
1967 F.B.I., TheThe F.B.I. Marie-Louise Karn
Virginia Lamberth
Episode: "The Hostage"
Episode: "Overload"
1967 Tarzan Diana Russell Episode: "The Fanatics"
1967 Invaders, TheThe Invaders Sherri Vikor
Ellie Markham
3 episodes
1968 Judd, for the Defense Jessie Tree Episode: "Fall of a Skylark: Part 1 - The Trial"
Episode: "Fall of a Skylark: Part 2 - The Appeal"
1968–1969 Peyton Place Susan Winter 56 episodes
1969 Name of the Game, TheThe Name of the Game Lisa Adrian Episode: "The Perfect Image"
1970 Ritual of Evil Leila Barton TV movie
1970 Bracken's World Mary Draper Episode: "The Mary Tree"
1971 Ironside Hrûska Pazoureck Episode: "From Hrûska, with Love"
1971 Interns, TheThe Interns Writer Episode: "Casualty"
1971 Marcus Welby, M.D. Cynthia Crowley Episode: "Cynthia"
1971 Alias Smith and Jones Clara Philips Episode: "Return to Devil's Hole"
1971 Dan August Phyllis Hendricks Episode: "Days of Rage"
1971 Medical Center Susan Episode: "Suspected"
1971 F.B.I., TheThe F.B.I. Joanne Kenster Episode: "The Stalking Horse"
1972 F.B.I, TheThe F.B.I Pat Laner Episode: "Arrangement with Terror"
1972 Banyon Julia Egan Episode: "The Graveyard Vote"
1973 Search Anjeanette Marie Shanahan Episode: "Let Us Prey"
1973 Gunsmoke Dallas Fair Episode: "Shadler"
1973 Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law Lita Coleman Episode: "Final Semester"
1973 ABC Afternoon Playbreak, TheThe ABC Afternoon Playbreak Episode: "The Things I Never Said"
1974 Hawkins Jennifer Pearson Episode: "Candidate for Murder"
1974 Medical Center Pat Londean Episode: "Three-Cornered Cage"
1975 Marcus Welby, M.D. Janet Trent Episode: "Dark Fury: Part 1"
Episode: "Dark Fury: Part 2"
1975 Harry O Sandra Dawes Episode: "The Confetti People"
1975 Mannix Janice Graham Episode: "A Ransom for Yesterday"
1975 S.W.A.T. Joanna Bishop Episode: "Kill S.W.A.T."
1975 Cannon Nedra Cameron Episode: "The Melted Man"
1976 Kojak Cleo Donatello Episode: "A Grave Too Soon"
1976 Barnaby Jones Nora Bradford Episode: "Deadly Reunion"
1976 Boy in the Plastic Bubble, TheThe Boy in the Plastic Bubble Mickey Lubitch TV movie
1977 Happy Days Adrianna Prescott Episode: "Fonzie's Old Lady"
1977 Eight Is Enough Joan Bradford 4 episodes


  1. ^ Wilson, Scott (2016). Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed. McFarland. p. 365. ISBN 9781476625997. Retrieved 10 November 2017. 
  2. ^ "Hyland dies of cancer". The San Bernardino County Sun. California, San Bernardino. Associated Press. March 29, 1977. p. 2. Retrieved November 9, 2017 – via   
  3. ^ "Diana Hyland". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 10 November 2017. Retrieved 10 November 2017. 
  4. ^ a b Rubin, Steven (2017). Twilight Zone Encyclopedia. Chicago Review Press. ISBN 9781613738917. Retrieved 10 November 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Terrace, Vincent (2011). Encyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010 (2nd ed.). Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers. pp. 300–301. ISBN 978-0-7864-6477-7. 
  6. ^ a b Thompson, Douglas (2009-01-03). "'For John Travolta, protecting Jett was everything. He had to be in control. That's why he flew his own plane' says biographer". Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  7. ^ Smilgis, Martha (1977-08-13). "Life After Loss". People. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 

External linksEdit