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Overview (3)

Date of Birth 19 February 1920Lincoln, Kansas, USA
Date of Death 11 October 2006West Hollywood, California, USA
Birth NameFauntella Crowe

Mini Bio (1)

If you were around in the early days of television then you were undoubtedly familiar with the Princess Leia Organa of her time, Dian Fauntelle. Those were the days when shows like "Space Patrol," "Tom Corbet: Space Cadet," "Captain Video" and Rocky Jones - Space Ranger" first transported television viewers to far, far away places. Of the above, it would be hard to find a critic who didn't agree that "Space Ranger" was the best produced, with the greatest production values, due in large part to its having been shot on 35mm film with feature film production values. Dian Fauntelle appeared in the series as Queen Yarra.

Raised on a farm in Kansas and graduating from a high school in Battle Creek, Michigan, where she did a lot of Civic Theater work, Dian suddenly found herself performing with the Barrymores.

When the Barrymores prepared a production for Broadway, they often stopped off in Battle Creek and performed whatever play it was that they were doing for the renowned critic, George B. Dolliver, who in turn would critique it. The Barrymores would not leave Battle Creek until they had made and fleshed out the changes suggested by Dolliver. For her participation in these out of town rehearsals, Dian Fauntelle received very favorable write-ups from Dolliver.

Dian paid her dues in various so-called legit plays, occasionally playing as many as four different characters in one play, utilizing wig and costume changes and doing three shows a day on weekends. Finally tiring of the travel, she decided to move to Hollywood in order to study with Josephine Dillon, who had taught Clark Gable acting.

Dian arrived in Hollywood after Clark Gable had married and divorced Josephine, after she had taught him how to act and he had started to get more work. But despite her desire to learn the craft, all Dian heard from Josephine was how much she hated President Roosevelt and Clark Gable. Dian finally decided the money she was paying Josephine Dillon could be better spent.

Because of her talent, model figure, and blond, bombshell beauty Dian didn't have any trouble landing work. She did several plays at the popular Rainbow Theater, on Cahuenga Boulevard, before landing her first picture, "Two Blonds and a Redhead" (1947). "Two Blonds" was an eye-opener for Diane. During rushes she saw how exaggerated her expressions appeared, the direct result of projecting for the stage. If she were to survive in this medium called motion pictures, she would need to develop two distinct styles of acting; one for the stage, and another for the screen.

She learned fast and her performance as Mrs. Swenstrom in "Charlie Chan On the Docks of New Orleans" (1948), although brief, was good enough to land her a role in Ida Lupino's morality film, "Not Wanted (1949)," in which Dian played the hardened prison gal.

But it was Roland Reed, producer of such TV classics as "My Little Margie," "Rocky Jones - Space Ranger," and "Waterfront," who changed her life forever. They went together 25 years during which period she appeared in many of his productions.

Dian played Charlie Ferrel's secretary on 80 episodes of "My Little Margie." It was during this period that Duke Goldstone, a film and TV director-producer-editor came to work for Roland Reed Productions, where he produced and directed corporate and military projects.

In 1965, Roland Reed, Dian Fauntelle and Duke Goldstone formed RFG Associates, Inc. to produce military, corporate and educational films for clients including among others, the DoD, Westinghouse, National Electrical Contractors and the American Gas Assn.

When Roland Reed died on 15 July, 1972, Dian Fauntelle and Duke Goldstone continued the business with Goldstone as president and Dian as secretary-treasurer. The company was active until 1996.

In the 1970s, RFG Associates, Inc. partnered in several projects with Cinema Arts Productions, Inc., whose president was writer, producer, director Dennis F. Stevens. One such project was the highly successful feature "The Harrad Experiment" (1973) and its sequel, "Harrad Summer" (1974). Another was a jazz TV series entitled "Ad Lib" (1981), later distributed to the Black Entertainment Network.

Dian Fauntelle was the casting director for the "Ad Lib" series and helped director Stevens assemble such notable jazz artists as (alphabetically) Willy Bobo, Conte & Pete Canoli, Papa John Creach, Scatman Crothers, Jon Hendricks, Linda Hopkins, Freddie Hubbard, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr., Freda Payne, Kenny Rankin, and Jimmy Witherspoon. To act as host for the TV-series, she landed her good friend, composer Phil Moore.

RFG also partnered with Cinema Arts in the production and distribution of a rock & roll TV show similar to "Ad Lib." This was "The Rocky Road Show" (1981), which featured such artists as Missing Persons, Romeo Void, Bus Boys, and Tower of Power. Dian was largely responsible for the show's existence by obtaining a commitment for worldwide distribution from the Armed Forces Radio & Television Service (AFRTS).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Melbi Lee Stevens

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