FAMOUS ENOUGH: A HOLLYWOOD MEMOIR (paperback)
Diane McBain and I first met on a life-changing USO tour visiting our troops in Vietnam in 1966. We shared the horrors of war meeting our very grateful servicemen in the field and in hospitals. Although our tour of duty would end after two weeks, our friendship would endure for nearly half a century. As well as I know Diane, I was still surprised by the many challenges she faced throughout her life, and her willingness to adapt to life’s adversities. She is a woman with strong beliefs and the ability to survive and thrive. She played the fame game with compassion and a quiet elegance. This is a book about the real Hollywood, the story of an actress who saw it from the top and from the bottom, told with truth, humility and lots of humor. I couldn’t put the book down. — Tippi Hedren
"Best known to SC readers for American-International flicks like MARY JANE and THE MINI-SKIRT MOB, Diane McBain had a more tumultous life than most Hollywood actresses, and this frank yet rambly 444-page cautionary autobiography contains plenty of personal anecdotes, dishes a bit of dirt and is also heavy on the kvetching. McBain and co-author Michaud begin this memoir on a sobering note, with Diane's brutal rape on Christmas Eve of 1982 and later religious epiphany. Then it's onto her stormy childhood and rise to (temporary) stardom, with this 18-year beauty-pageant-winner landing a seven-year contract at Warner Brothers in 1959. Unfortunately, after a string of mediocre features (not to mention, losing her virginity in 1960 to married ICE PALACE co-star Richard Burton), she became a free agent and her career took a downward spiral. Gossip rags portrayed McBain as a cold, snobbish flirt, she was date-raped in Vegas, then blackmailed, there was excessive drinking, seeing married men, nude photos, a rocky marriage and, after her acting gigs dried up, taking a bookkeeping job for a porn-magazine publisher in order to pay the rent. Meanwhile, some of the most interesting portions involve Diane's USO visits to wartime South Vietnam. No question, McBain has suffered through horrendous tragedies, but her often snotty attitude (e.g. calling her AIP drive-in gigs "the beginning of the end of my career in motion pictures") might turn off longtime fans, while Diane's need to continually discuss her spiritual journey quickly becomes tiresome. On the whole, it's a nicely written work, steeped in the harsh realities of show business, yet only fitfully compelling."
- Shock Cinema