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Darby as a guest-star on Marcus Welby, M.D. and Owen Marshall, Counsellor at Law in 1974
July 8, 1947 |
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Early life and film career
Darby was born Deborah Zerby in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of professional dancers Inga (Wiere) and Jon Zerby. Her mother was from Budapest. Her mother's siblings were performers named the Wiere Brothers.
Darby began acting at age fifteen and has appeared in many films and television shows. Her first appearance was as a dancer in the 1963 film Bye Bye Birdie. Among her best known roles are True Grit, in which she played a fourteen-year-old when she was twenty-one years of age; Gunsmoke (1967 episodes "The Lure" and "Vengeance"); The One and Only (1978); Better Off Dead (1985); and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995).
Her television roles included two appearances on the NBC series Mr. Novak, starring James Franciscus; she was cast as Julie Dean in "To Lodge and Dislodge" (1963) and as Judy Wheeler in "The Silent Dissuaders" (1965). Darby also appeared about this time on The Eleventh Hour, The Fugitive, The Donna Reed Show, Ironside, and in the first season of Star Trek as the title character in "Miri".
Darby was cast in the 1965 episode "'Tis Better Have Loved and Lost" of the NBC sitcom The John Forsythe Show. She was cast as "Angel" in the classic two-part Gunsmoke episode "Vengeance." She appeared in the 1967 episode "Faire Ladies of France" of the NBC western series The Road West starring Barry Sullivan. She was cast in a 1967 Bonanza episode A Sure Thing as Trudy Loughlin, guest starring Tom Tully as Burt Loughlin, her father. She was cast in the 1972 movie The People, which also starred William Shatner, reuniting them from their Star Trek appearance. She also played the unhinged Virginia Caulderwood in the first television miniseries, Rich Man, Poor Man with Nick Nolte, Peter Strauss, and Susan Blakely in 1976.
Darby also had the central role of Sally Farnham in the 1973 made-for-TV horror film Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. Her subsequent television roles included guest appearances on Crazy Like a Fox, The Love Boat, The Streets of San Francisco, Riptide, and Becker.
In the late 1980s, she began to teach acting in the Los Angeles area and has been an instructor in the Extension Program at the University of California since 1992. Darby also appeared as a female convict in a 1999 episode of The X-Files, "Sein und Zeit," who falsely confesses to the murder of her son who disappeared under mysterious circumstances related to a current occurrence being investigated by Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. She continues to make guest appearances on television and to make occasional films.
- Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
- Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965)
- "Hang Down Your Head and Laugh" (1966), episode of Run for Your Life
- "Joshua's Kingdom" (1966), episode of The Fugitive
- "Miri" (1966), episode of Star Trek
- Ironside (1967), television pilot film for the NBC series of the same name
- The Karate Killers (1967)
- Flesh and Blood (1968)
- True Grit (1969)
- Generation (1969)
- The Strawberry Statement (1970)
- Norwood (1970)
- The Grissom Gang (1971)
- A Glimpse of Tiger (1971, abandoned)
- The Streets of San Francisco (1972), made-for-TV pilot for the TV series
- The People The People (1972)
- "Dark Vengeance" (1973), episode of the TV series Circle of Fear
- Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (1973, TV)
- The One and Only (1978)
- Better Off Dead (1985)
- Teen Wolf Too (1987)
- Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)
- News Break (2000)
- Mockingbird Don't Sing (2001)
- You Are So Going to Hell! (2004)
- Dead Letters (2007)
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