Characters: Laura Murdoch Collins 1897, Laura
Collins Night of Dark Shadows (pictured)
The estranged wife of Roger Collins, Laura arrives at Collinsport
seeking to reclaim her son David. However, Laura's apparently
serene, beautiful visage, masks a darker past. Having suffered
a mental breakdown following the collapse of her marriage,
she has spent time in a mental institution and has been left
with an obsessive compulsion to reclaim David, convinced that
he holds the key to the stability she seeks. However,
her interest in him may be guided by darker forces, which
lurk in the flames of her mysterious mythical phoenix she
is seemingly in thrall to...
Millay was born in
Ry, New York, where she spent most of her childhood. Her birthday
is 7 June. As a child, Diana proved herself to be a
capable actress, essaying more than 40 roles in live television
shows in New York during her teen years. At this time
she was also a teenage cover girl and model, featured in numerous
In the years that
followed, Diana appeared in five Broadway theatre productions
and a national tour throughout the United States and Canada.
Moving to California in the 1950s, Diana appeared in over
100 filmed television shows, including Bonanza, Dobie Gillis,
Father Knows Best, Gunsmoke, The Man from UNCLE, Maverick,
My Three Sons, Perry Mason, Rawhide, Rifleman, Route 66, Thriller
and The Virginian. On the big screen, Diana's roles
include parts in Street of Sinners and the cult classic
Tarzan and the Great River.
It was while pregnant
with her son in 1966 that Diana found herself cast in the
role of Laura Collins in Dark Shadows, which proved
fortuitous, since her condition prevented her from working
elsewhere. Her role on the show was a hit, though her
impending maternity precluded her storyline being extended.
Although asked to portray other roles on the show, Diana declined,
fearing that it would deplete the character of Laura.
In 1969, Laura returned to Dark Shadows with Diana
at the helm. Her other daytime work included a sustained
role on the soap opera The Secret Storm.
During the 1980s,
Diana moved away from acting to work as an entrepreneur specialising
in real estate and art sales, amongst other things.
In 1996, Diana indulged her life-long passion for cookery
when she penned a cookbook, titled I'd Rather Eat Than
Act, which she followed with an audio book, Eating
for Good Luck and The Power of Halloween in 2003
She has also written a biographical work, One Hilarious
Marriage, which currently remains unpublished. Diana
currently maintains a personal website, located at dianamillay.com.