Diane Clare

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Diane Clare
Diane Olga Claire Georgine Dirsztay

(1938-07-08)8 July 1938
London, England
Died21 June 2013(2013-06-21) (aged 74)
Years active1958–1968
Spouse(s)Barry England (1967–2009; his death)
ChildrenKate (born 1969) Christopher (born 1971)

Diane Clare (born Diane Dirsztay; 8 July 1938 – 21 June 2013) was an English film and television actress.[1][2]


She started acting at a very young age playing uncredited baby parts in films such as The Ghosts of Berkeley Square and The Silver Fleet, and for a time was one of the most highly paid babies in British films.[3]

At the age of three, Clare was too old to continue playing babies so her career went on standstill. "I'd been longing to play in pictures from the time I was dropped all those years ago because I'd become too old to play baby parts",[4] she told an interviewer in the late 1950s, after her comeback with roles in The Reluctant Debutante and Ice Cold in Alex. She received excellent reviews from playing in the latter film, and one journalist wrote: "I forecast that Miss Diane Clare is going to be one of the big names among actresses in the future."[3]

She appeared in many horror films during the 1960s such as Hammer Horror's Plague of the Zombies during her career. In 1965 she had a small part as Julie (the girl at the food counter) in the "Death at Bargain Prices" episode of The Avengers. In 1967, she was screentested for the role of Tara King in The Avengers, but she did not get the part.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Diane Dirsztay was born on 8 July 1938 in Wandsworth, London. She lied about her age so she could study at R.A.D.A. After her film comeback in 1958, Clare attributed it to a 'lucky' black beret which she always wore to auditions. "It brings me luck," she told one journalist after appearing in Ice Cold in Alex, "I wore it when I went to the audition for Anna Massey's part [in The Reluctant Debutante], and again when I went to Elstree Studios for my film test." Clare retired from acting when she married the novelist and playwright Barry England (born 1932 – died 2009) in 1967; the couple had two children, Kate (born 1969) and Christopher (born 1971).[6] Her hobbies included dancing, riding, swimming and going to the cinema.[3]


Diane Clare died on 21 June 2013, age 74, from undisclosed causes.[5]


Feature films
Year Title Role Notes
1958 Indiscreet Young Woman minor role, Uncredited
Ice Cold in Alex Sister Denise Norton
The Reluctant Debutante Clarissa Claremont
1960 Let's Get Married Glad
1961 The Green Helmet Pamela
'Out of the Shadow Mary Johnson Starring role
The Naked Edge Betty
Whistle Down the Wind Miss Lodge
Lunch Hour Sheila minor role, Uncredited
1962 Mrs. Gibbons' Boys minor role, Uncredited
Go to Blazes 'Girl lover'
The L-Shaped Room Nurse
1963 The Double Selena Osmonde
Tamahine minor role, Uncredited
The Haunting Carrie Fredricks
1964 Witchcraft Amy Whitlock
1966 The Plague of the Zombies Sylvia Forbes Starring role
The Wrong Box Mercy
The Trygon Factor Clare O'Connor
1967 The Vulture Trudy Lutens Starring role
1968 The Hand of Night Chantal Starring role, (final film role)


  1. ^ "Diane Clare profile". Ftvdb.bfi.org.uk. 16 April 2009. Archived from the original on 5 October 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  2. ^ "Diane Clare dies aged 74". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 27 June 2013.
  3. ^ a b c [1], Names to watch: Diane Clare.
  4. ^ [2], Diane Clare Devotees.
  5. ^ a b Diane Clare on IMDb
  6. ^ Diane Clare obituary at thetimes.co.uk (PAYWALL NOTE: subscription required for access to whole article)

External links[edit]