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Diana Claire Millay (born June 7, 1935) is an American actress. She is best known for her work in television, having guest starred in close to one hundred prime time shows, both live and filmed, and for playing continuing roles on two daytime soap operas, Dark Shadows and The Secret Storm.

Diana Millay
Diama Millay 1960
Millay in 1960.
Diana Claire Millay

(1935-06-07) June 7, 1935 (age 84)
Rye, New York, United States
Years active1955–1971
Spouse(s)Geoffrey Jones (1966–1968) (divorced) 1 child


Millay was born in Rye, New York[1] and started her career as a model, first as a child for the Montgomery Ward catalogue, and later as a top Conover model for John Robert Powers.

Every year during high school summer vacation, she appeared in summer stock productions, playing leading or featured roles in classic stage plays such as Our Hearts Were Young and Gay, The Girl on the Via Flaminia, Come Back, Little Sheba, Time of the Cuckoo, The Seven Year Itch,[2] Ladies in Retirement, Bell, Book and Candle, Time Out for Ginger, Picnic, The Little Foxes, Tobacco Road, Life With Father and many more. In total, she appeared in seven seasons of summer stock. In 1957, Broadway came calling and she starred opposite Sam Levene and Ellen Burstyn in Fair Game.[3] Her subsequent Broadway appearances include Drink to Me Only[4] opposite Tom Poston, Roger the Sixth opposite Alan Alda, The Glass Rooster opposite Michael Allinson and Boeing Boeing[4] opposite Ian Carmichael. In addition, she spent a year touring the United States and Canada opposite Eddie Bracken in The Seven Year Itch.

Millay's first film role was in the 1957 United Artists movie Street of Sinners, opposite George Montgomery.[5]

Her television debut came on an episode of the anthology series Star Tonight.[6] After that, one of Millay's early roles on television was being the timekeeper on Masquerade Party in 1956.[7] She began her extensive television career when she guest starred on Star Tonight in an episode entitled "Taste". She continued to appear in other "live" productions such as Robert Montgomery Presents, Kraft Television Theatre, Studio One, U.S. Steel Hour, Omnibus, Pond's Theatre, Philco Television Playhouse, Playhouse 90, and many others. She made three guest appearances on the CBS courtroom drama series Perry Mason, starring Raymond Burr. In 1961 she played Debra Bradford in "The Case of the Resolute Reformer," and title character and defendant Sue Ellen Frazer in "The Case of the Unwelcome Bride." In 1963 she played murder victim Eula Johnson in "The Case of the Bouncing Boomerang."

Her filmed television credits include guest star roles on most of the major shows that were running during the late 1950s and throughout the 1960s, including Stagecoach West, Father Knows Best, My Three Sons, The Americans, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Virginian, Arrest and Trial, 77 Sunset Strip, Rawhide, Tales of Wells Fargo, Wagon Train, Laramie, Route 66, Hawaiian Eye, The Rifleman, Thriller, Maverick (in the episode "Dodge City or Bust" with Jack Kelly), The Life and Legend of Wyatt Earp, Dobie Gillis, The Westerner, Perry Mason, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. Millay made three television pilots for prospective new television series, Slezak and Son, Boston Terrier, and Las Vegas Beat.

In 1962 she was chosen as "Miss Emmy" because of her extensive list of appearances on primetime TV shows.[8]

After completing Paramount's Tarzan and the Great River opposite Mike Henry and Jan Murray that was shot in Brazil,[9][10] executive producer Dan Curtis offered her the contract role of "Laura Collins" on his ABC-TV daytime series, the cult classic Dark Shadows in November 1966.[11] She went on to appear in sixty-two episodes,[12] and became the show's first supernatural character, playing an immortal phoenix-woman who is burned in a fire and reborn to spend another century on Earth. After her present day incarnation was again consumed in a fire, she returned during the flashback story which took place in the 19th century, as yet another reincarnation of "Laura Collins". She appeared in a feature film inspired by the series, MGM's 1971 Night of Dark Shadows opposite David Selby.[10][13]

In 1970 Millay was offered another daytime role, this time as "Kitty Styles" on the CBS soap The Secret Storm. Her run on this show gave her the opportunity to work once again with former Dark Shadows alumni Robert Costello, who was a producer on both shows and Joel Crothers who played "Joe Haskell" on Dark Shadows and "Ken Stevens" on The Secret Storm.

Her interests changed from acting to writing and she has published several books, including I'd Rather Eat Than Act,[14] The Power of Halloween and How to Create Good Luck.

Personal lifeEdit

She was married to Broadway producer Geoffrey Jones, but they separated shortly after the birth of their son, Kiley Christopher, born on Diana's birthday, June 7, 1967. She currently lives in New York.


  1. ^ "Diana Claire Millay, Actress, Betrothed to Geoffrey Jones". The New York Times. August 5, 1966. p. 27. Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  2. ^ "Casino Theater Opening Tonight; Henry Morgan Stars In '7 Year Itch'". Newport Daily News. Rhode Island, Newport. June 25, 1956. p. 9. Retrieved March 19, 2018 – via  
  3. ^ "Diana Millay entry, Glamour Girls of the Silver Screen". Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  4. ^ a b "Dana Millay". Internet Broadway Database. The Broadway League. Archived from the original on 20 March 2018. Retrieved 20 March 2018.
  5. ^ Hamrick, Craig (2004). 'About Diana,' introduction to 'I'd Rather Eat Than Act'. p. xi. ISBN 978-0-595-32608-2.
  6. ^ Stern, Harold (June 25, 1961). "Rising Young TV Actress Is Rough on Hollywood". Hartford Courant. Connecticut, Hartford. p. 130. Retrieved March 19, 2018 – via  
  7. ^ Wilson, Earl (March 8, 1956). "That's Earl For Today". The Evening Standard. Pennsylvania, Uniontown. p. 3. Retrieved December 26, 2016 – via  
  8. ^ "Diana Will Be Miss Emmy". St. Petersburg Times. 1962-05-13. Retrieved 2010-01-23.
  9. ^ Bowker (1983). "Variety"'s Film Reviews: 1964-1967 Volume 11. R. R. Bowker. ISBN 978-0-8352-2790-2.
  10. ^ a b Halliwell, Leslie; John Walker; Ruth Halliwell (2007). John Walker (ed.). Halliwell's Film, DVD & Video Guide 2007 (21 ed.). HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-723470-7.
  11. ^ "entry". Retrieved 2010-01-24.
  12. ^ Hamrick, Craig (2003). Barnabas & Company: The Cast of the TV Classic Dark Shadows. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-595-29029-1.
  13. ^ Willis, John. Screen world 1972, Volume 23.
  14. ^ Millay, Diana (2004). I'd Rather Eat Than Act. ISBN 978-0-595-32608-2.

External linksEdit