Dianne Foster

Dianne Foster (born Olga Helen Laruska; October 31, 1928 – July 27, 2019) was a Canadian actress of Ukrainian descent.[1]

Dianne Foster
Dianne Foster in The Last Hurrah (1958)
Olga Helen Laruska

(1928-10-31)October 31, 1928
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
DiedJuly 27, 2019(2019-07-27) (aged 90)
OccupationActress; painter, musician
Years active1951–1966
Spouse(s)Andrew Allan (1951-?) (divorced)
Joel Murcott (1954-1959) (divorced) 2 children
Dr. Harold Rowe DDS (1961-1994) (his death) 1 child

Early life

Foster was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.[2] She began her career at the age of 13 in a stage adaptation of James Barrie's What Every Woman Knows.[3] In London in 1951, she appeared on stage in Agatha Christie's The Hollow and Orson Welles's Othello.[4]

At 14 she began a radio career,[3] subsequently moved to Toronto, and became one of Canada's top radio stars, working with Andrew Allan, drama supervisor for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on productions such as Stage '49.[5] She appeared on Radio Luxembourg in a broadcast of The Lives of Harry Lime.[4]


In March 1952, her husband returned to Canada while she stayed in London, England, to honor her five-year contract with a British film company.[6] In 1953, she co-starred alongside Charlton Heston and Lizabeth Scott in the middling Bad for Each Other.[7] In 1954, she was signed by Columbia Pictures and relocated to Hollywood, where her first appearance proper that year was with Mickey Rooney in Drive a Crooked Road.[8] In 1955, Foster appeared on the cover of Picturegoer and co-starred in two films, Glenn Ford's The Violent Men and Burt Lancaster's The Kentuckian.[9][10]

Although her film career continued, it was not on the same upward trajectory as before. In 1957 she co-starred in the biopic Monkey on My Back about boxer Barney Ross, Night Passage with James Stewart and The Brothers Rico with Richard Conte.[11] In 1958, she starred with Alan Ladd in The Deep Six, and that same year she appeared alongside Jack Hawkins in Gideon of Scotland Yard before her last really big picture, The Last Hurrah.[1] It featured an all-star cast that included Spencer Tracy, Pat O'Brien, and Basil Rathbone, and was nominated for a BAFTA award.[12][13] In 1963, she made her last film appearance, in the Dean Martin vehicle Who's Been Sleeping in My Bed?.[14]


In 1960, Foster was the title guest star in the episode "Lawyer in Petticoats" on the short-lived NBC western series Overland Trail starring William Bendix and Doug McClure.[15] Foster also appeared in 1960 in three other NBC westerns Bonanza (as Joyce Edwards in "The Mill"), Wagon Train (as Leslie Ivers in "Trial for Murder: Part 2"), and Riverboat (as Marian Templeton in "Path of the Eagle").[16] Also in 1960 she appeared in Have Gun Will Travel Series 4, Episode 20.[17]

There was a three-year absence before she next returned to the big screen in King of the Roaring 20's - The Story of Arnold Rothstein.[18] Gunsmoke season 7 episode 23 "Reprisal" Cornelia.[19] Foster continued to appear in television programs, such as the Wild Wild West episode "The Night of the Lord of Limbo," CBS's The Lloyd Bridges Show (1962–1963) and the ABC medical drama Breaking Point (1963–1964) and in The Fugitive. She guest starred in the ABC drama Going My Way, starring Gene Kelly. She made four guest appearances on Perry Mason between 1962 and 1965, and appeared in the "Caesar's Wife" episode of The Big Valley in 1966.[18][20]

Personal life and later years

In 1951, Foster married Andrew Allan, a drama supervisor for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, in London.[4] In 1954, she married Joel A. Murcott, a Hollywood radio-television scriptwriter, in Owensboro, Kentucky.[21] On February 14, 1956, she gave birth to twins: a son, Jason, and a daughter, Jodi.[22] That same year she also filed for divorce from Murcott. She asked for custody and $1 in token alimony. The couple reconciled, but it proved to be temporary as they separated twice more[21] before finally divorcing in 1959. After her divorce from Murcott she married Dr. Harold Rowe, a Van Nuys dentist. On November 14, 1963, her son, Dustin Louis Rowe, was born in Los Angeles.[9] Foster died in July 2019 at the age of 90.[23]

Selected filmography


  1. "Dianne Foster".
  2. "(editor's note)". Screenland. 58 (8): 17. June 1954. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  3. Lait, George (January 30, 1956). "There's No Easy Way to Stardom". Independent Press-Telegram. California, Long Beach. p. 89. Retrieved November 4, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  4. Narraway, Muriel (January 4, 1952). "Another Bright Star". The Lethbridge Herald. Canada, Lethbridge, Alberta. Canadian Press. p. 8. Retrieved November 4, 2016 via Newspapers.com.
  5. Letter, Mickey Macdonald, Edmonton AB to Alice Frick, Toronto ON, 1949.04.29 in Marguerite (Clifton) Macdonald fonds, City of Edmonton Archives (MS 609)
  6. McFarlane, Brian (16 May 2016). "The Encyclopedia of British Film: Fourth edition". Oxford University Press via Google Books.
  7. "Bad for Each Other (1954) - Irving Rapper - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  8. "Drive a Crooked Road (1954)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  9. "Dianne Foster - The Private Life and Times of Dianne Foster. Dianne Foster Pictures". www.glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com.
  10. "Search Results Page". www.afi.com.
  11. "Complete Filmography Dianne Foster". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  12. "The Last Hurrah (1958) - John Ford - Review - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  13. "BAFTA Awards Search - BAFTA Awards". awards.bafta.org.
  14. Erickson, Hal. "Dianne Foster Biography". AllMovie. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  15. "Overland Trail". TVGuide.com.
  16. "Bonanza: The Mill (1960) - John Rich - Synopsis, Characteristics, Moods, Themes and Related - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  17. "Have Gun Will Travel 4x20 Shadow of a Man". YouTube. July 7, 2017. Retrieved August 18, 2017.
  18. "Dianne Foster - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  19. TV.com. "Gunsmoke: Reprisal". TV.com.
  20. "The Big Valley". TVGuide.com.
  21. "Dianne Foster Files Third Divorce Suit". St. Petersburg Independent. Associated Press. May 27, 1959. p. 2-A. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  22. "Mother of Twins". The Sandusky Register. United Press. February 16, 1956. p. 2. Retrieved August 18, 2017 via Newspapers.com.
  23. SAG-AFTRA Fall 2019
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