Diane Linkletter Biography

(Art Linkletter's Daughter)

Birthday: October 31, 1948 (Scorpio)

Born In: Los Angeles County, California, United States

Diane Linkletter was an American TV personality and the daughter of radio and TV personality Arthur Gordon Kelly, better known as “Art” Linkletter. The youngest child of her parents, Diane had always dreamt of becoming an actor. Unfortunately, little did she know that her life would end at a young age. Diane was just 20 when she jumped off her apartment window and died. What initially looked like a suicide was later reported as an act carried out under the influence of drugs. However, her autopsy reports declined any possibility of her being drugged just before her death. Her father never believed in any of those reports. Till the end of his life, he claimed that Diane’s act was triggered by drugs. Her death hit Art so hard that he eventually became a prominent anti-drug campaigner. Diane’s death was highly publicized and has been the subject of a few projects, including one of her father’s records. She had a short-lived career, with a handful of TV appearances. Diane had a short-lived marriage, too, while still being a minor.
Quick Facts

Died At Age: 20


Spouse/Ex-: Grant Conroy (m. 1965–1965)

father: Art Linkletter

mother: Lois Foerster

siblings: Dawn Linkletter, Jack Linkletter, Robert Linkletter, Sharon Linkletter

Died Young Family Members

Died on: October 4, 1969

place of death: West Hollywood, California, United States

: Jumped Out Of A Window

U.S. State: California

Cause of Death: Suicide

Childhood & Early Life
Diane Linkletter was born on October 31, 1948, in California. Her father, Art Linkletter, was a popular radio and TV personality. He was also one of the few celebrities of his time to have had a long marriage that lasted up to 75 years. He got married to Lois Foerster, Diane’s mother, on November 25, 1935. Diane had four older siblings, namely, Arthur Jack, Dawn, Robert, and Sharon.
Diane wanted to become an actor since she was 8. However, in spite of having the privilege of a known surname, she eventually realized that entering the entertainment industry was not as easy as it seemed.
Diane had a short-lived acting career and a handful of TV credits to her name. Having participated in summer stock theater, she was featured in the 'Kodak'-sponsored 1959 'ABC' TV movie 'Disneyland '59.' A documentary on the massive expansion of 'Disneyland,' the film marked Diane’s first acting project.
Years later, in 1968, Diane made her second TV appearance in an episode of the long-running 'NBC' weekly show 'The Red Skelton Hour' (original title: 'The Red Skelton Show'). She was featured on the show as the daughter of the character ‘Muggsy.’
The same year, Diane joined her father in touring various military centers all over Europe to perform for the families of servicemen. Diane’s last appearance was as the co-host of a 1969 episode of the 'ABC' and 'CBS' radio and daytime variety/talk show 'The Linkletter Show' (original title: 'House Party').
Personal Life
Diane was just 17 when she married a 19-year-old boy named Grant Conroy. The marriage was short-lived, and they ended up annulling the marital bond eventually. Since the families of both the parties wanted the marriage to be a secret, the process of annulment was not publicized.
Death & Aftermath
On October 4, 1969, at around 9 am, Diane committed suicide by jumping off the window of her sixth-floor West Hollywood apartment. She lived at 610 'Shoreham Towers,' at 8785 Shoreham Drive, just off Sunset Boulevard. After she jumped off, Diane was immediately taken to 'Hollywood Receiving Hospital' and then to 'County/USC Medical Center,' where she was declared dead.
Diane’s father refused to accept the medical reports that mentioned the cause of death as cerebral bruises and a huge skull fracture. According to him, Diane had died because of an LSD overdose and was not in the right state of mind when she had jumped. However, no trace of LSD was found in her body during the autopsy.
Art, sticking to his claims, said that his daughter’s suicidal action was triggered by a “flashback” caused due to an LSD dose taken about 6 months before her death. Other reports revealed that the previous day, Diane had called a helpline number. The operator on the other side later confirmed that Diane did sound drugged. Her former husband, Conroy, also confirmed Diane’s drug addiction, which had begun at the age of 14. It was said that she had even contemplated suicide a few times before.
The night before her death, Diane was out with her boyfriend, Bob Reitman. Back at her apartment, she had dialed another boyfriend, Edward Durston, and had asked him to come over to her apartment. Edward was the last person to see Diane alive. He later stated that on his arrival to her apartment, they had both talked for a while, after which Diane had become agitated. Edward had taken her inside to calm her down and had then called Diane’s brother Robert for help. However, Diane has ended her life before Robert could reach her apartment.
The day after Diane’s death, Art held a press conference and referred to the incident as a murder by LSD manufacturers and dealers. However, after examining Diane’s toxicology reports and Edward’s statements, the police concluded that it was a suicide due to depression.
Hit hard by Diane's death, Art eventually became a prominent anti-drug advocator. In 1970, the father–daughter (posthumously) duo was felicitated with a 'Grammy Award' in the ‘Best Spoken Word Recording’ category, for their record ‘We Love You, Call Collect.’ The record was released just a few weeks after Diane’s death and also featured Diane’s confutation titled 'Dear Mom and Dad.' All the royalties earned from the sales were donated to various anti-drug campaigns.
The day after Diane’s death, director John Waters made a short titled 'The Diane Linkletter Story.' The nine-minute film was a fictional representation of the course of events leading to Diane’s mysterious death. Her character was played by actor Harris Glenn Milstead, better known as “Divine.” The film did not release in theaters but had home-video releases throughout the 1980s and the 1990s.
Diane’s death has been mentioned in other literary and film works, too, such as in author David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel 'The Pale King' and the record titled ‘Kids Die the Darndest Ways.’ The book 'Diane Linkletter: A Princess Wrongly Accused' authored by Tom Bleecker was about Diane and her untimely death.


Grammy Awards
1970 Best Spoken Word Recording Winner

See the events in life of Diane Linkletter in Chronological Order

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