Diane McBain was a major star in the 1960s. Her performance as Pinky Pinkston in Batman and her famed friendship with heartthrob Elvis Presley made her a household name in America.
At 81 years old, the actress spent the last days of her life in a battle with cancer.
Diane McBain passed away on Wednesday, after an arduous battle with liver cancer. Her close friend and writing partner Michael Gregg Michaud confirmed the sad news to Fox News.
According to several news outlets, the veteran actress spent her last days at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, California.
“She was a wonderful person and friend,” said Michaud, who co-wrote the actress’ 2014 memoir with her titled “Famous Enough.” “I will miss her terribly.”
McBain was born in Cleveland on May 18, 1941. In 1944, her family to Glendale, California. There as a 17-year-old at Glendale High School, she was discovered by a talent scout. A year later after her 18th birthday, she signed a seven-year contract with Warner Bros.
The actress started out as a model for print ads and commercials before making her YV debut in 1959 on the Western series called “Maverick.” Later on she appeared in shows like, “The Alaskans,” “Sugarfoot,” “Lawman,” “77 Sunset Strip,” “Hawaiian Eye” and “Bourbon Street Beat.”
Her silver screen debut came in 1960, in the movie “Ice Palace,” which she starred in with Richard Burton. She beat Shirley Knight for the lead in 1961’s “Claudelle Inglish.” She then starred in 1962’s “Black Gold,” 1963’s “The Caretakers” with Joan Crawford and “Mary Mary” with Debbie Reynolds that same year.
In 1964 she turned down a minor role in “Sex and the Single Girl” because, according to her, “I was doing leads and thought this wasn’t a good idea.”
She was always open about her friendship with Elvis and remembered the musician fondly. Just earlier this year she spoke of him again saying, “I loved Elvis. He was wonderful. He was in good shape at that time. I remember him being tall, slender and so beautiful. I mean, what a beautiful man. And he had this beautiful voice. I liked him a lot. He probably had affairs with some actresses or co-stars, but not with me. I think he just liked brunettes, and I was a blonde, so he wasn’t interested in me. But we had a really nice friendship on set.”
“He was a spiritual guy, and he loved to read anything about being spiritual,” she continued. “He wasn’t so much religious, but spiritual. And I, too, was fascinated by those things. So we bonded over that. We used to exchange books on set, and it was great fun. We would have conversations all the time about being spiritual. It was a good relationship, very solid. I just thought he was so terrific,” she said about him.