Born on August 27, 1955 in Savannah, Georgia, actress Diana Scarwid left Georgia in 1973, moving to New York to study at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and the National Shakespeare Conservatory. After some off-Broadway work, Scarwid went to Los Angeles, where she quickly found television work on such shows as Starsky and Hutch and Police Woman. In 1977 she was cast three made-for-TV films, including A Woman Accused (1977; with Chad Everett and Barbara Hershey) and The Possessed (1977; with James Farentino and Harrison Ford). Her career continued gathering steam in the late 1970s, with more made-for-TV films and her first theatrically released films, which were Pretty Baby (1978; with Brooke Shields and Keith Carradine) and Honeysuckle Rose (1980; with Willie Nelson and Amy Irving). Receiving good notices throughout her career, she was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Inside Moves (1980; with John Savage), but the film was not a box office success. Accolades aside, Scarwid is best known for two of her 1980s films: Mommie Dearest (1981; with Faye Dunaway) and Psycho III (1986; with Anthony Perkins and Jeff Fahey).

the films of diana scarwid

Inside Moves (1980)

Diana Scarwid

As Louise in Inside Moves. Scarwid was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in this film

Mommie Dearest (1981)

Diana Scarwid and Faye DunawayDiana Scarwid and Faye Dunaway

From Paramount's campy biopic Mommie Dearest, the film version of Christina Crawford's memoir. This is the film that Scarwid is best known for and is probably the highest earning film of her career. LEFT: Scarwid turns in an intense performance as Christina Crawford, with Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford. RIGHT: Scene from the end of the film

Thou Shalt Not Kill (1982)

Gary Graham, Jacky Hoppus, and Diana Scarwid

With Gary Graham and Jacky Hoppus in the NBC made-for-television drama Thou Shalt Not Kill

Strange Invaders (1983)

Kenneth Tobey, Diana Scarwid, Lulu Sylbert, and Paul Le MatKenneth Tobey and Diana Scarwid

Released by Orion, Strange Invaders is an homage to 1950s science fiction films. LEFT: Pictured are Kenneth Tobey, Diana Scarwid, Lulu Sylbert, and Paul Le Mat. RIGHT: With Kenneth Tobey, who starred in such 1950s sci-fi flicks as The Thing from Another World, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and It Came from Beneath the Sea

Rumble Fish (1983)

Diana ScarwidMatt Dillon and Diana Scarwid

LEFT: As Cassandra in the excellent Francis Ford Coppola drama Rumble Fish, based on the novel by S.E. Hinton. RIGHT: With Matt Dillon

The Ladies Club (1986)

Arliss Howard and Diana Scarwid

With Arliss Howard in the little-seen New Line drama The Ladies Club

Extremities (1986)

Diana Scarwid

Scarwid, as Terry, needs a drink to cope with her roommate's abduction of a would-be rapist in the thriller Extremities

Psycho III (1986)

Diana ScarwidJeff Fahey and Diana ScarwidAnthony Perkins and Diana Scarwid

From the horror thriller Psycho III, directed by Anthony Perkins. LEFT: Scarwid as Maureen. CENTER: With Jeff Fahey. RIGHT: With Anthony Perkins

Night of the Hunter (1991)

Diana Scarwid

From the ABC made-for-television film Night of the Hunter, a remake of the 1956 theatrical release starring Robert Mitchum. Scarwid portrays Willa Harper

A Guy Thing (2003)

Diana Scarwid and James Brolin

With James Brolin in the MGM comedy A Guy Thing

diana scarwid today

While the 1980s proved to be the zenith of Diana Scarwid's career, her output actually increased in the 1990s with theatrical releases and made-for-TV films, including Night of the Hunter (1991; with Richard Chamberlain), Truman (1995; with Gary Sinise and Richard Dysart), and Bastard Out of Carolina (1996; with Jennifer Jason Leigh). She received an Emmy nomination for the role of Bess Truman in Truman. Moving into television, in 2004 she was cast in Fox's critically acclaimed comedy/drama Wonderfalls, but the series was canceled after 13 episodes. She also had a recurring role on ABC's well-received comedy/drama Pushing Daisies (2007–2009). After nearly 40 years of films, television, and theatrical performances, Scarwid's career has slowed in the past few years, but film and television viewers are almost certain to see more of her excellent work in the future. On a personal note, Diana Scarwid married Dr. Eric Scheinbart on her 23rd birthday, in 1978. The couple, whose son and daughter were born in the 1980s, parted company in the mid 1990s.

diana scarwid dvds available from


Another Happy Day (2011) with Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church, and George Kennedy
Backyard Wedding (2010) with Markie Post and Frances Fisher
Tribute (2009) with Brittany Murphy and Tippi Hedren
Dream Boy (2008) with Stephan Bender and Rooney Mara
Local Color (2006) with Ray Liotta, Charles Durning, Samantha Mathis, and Ron Perlman
Valley of the Heart's Delight (2006) with Gabriel Mann, Pete Postlethwaite, and Emily Harrison
Red Thread (2005) with Eamon Sheehan
The Clearing (2004) with Robert Redford, Helen Mirren, and Willem Dafoe
Party Monster (2003) with Seth Green, Macaulay Culkin, Chloë Sevigny, Marilyn Manson, Dylan McDermott, Wilmer Valderrama, and Natasha Lyonne
A Guy Thing (2003) with Jason Lee, Julia Stiles, Selma Blair, James Brolin, Julie Hagerty, and Thomas Lennon
The Angel Doll (2002) with Pat Hingle and Keith Carradine
Path to War (2002) with Michael Gambon, Donald Sutherland, Alec Baldwin, Felicity Huffman, Frederic Forrest, Philip Baker Hall, and Tom Skerritt
What Lies Beneath (2000) with Michelle Pfeiffer and Harrison Ford
Dirty Pictures (2000) with James Woods and Craig T. Nelson
Down Will Come Baby (1999) with Meredith Baxter, Tom Amandes, and Evan Rachel Wood
Before He Wakes (1998) with Jaclyn Smith and Hope Lange
Ruby Bridges (1998) with Penelope Ann Miller, Kevin Pollak, and Michael Beach
The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue (1996) with Robert Urich
Critical Choices (1996) with Betty Buckley, Pamela Reed, Dean McDermott, and Brian Kerwin
If These Walls Could Talk (1996) with Cher, Sissy Spacek, Demi Moore, Shirley Knight, Catherine Keener, Jason London, CCH Pounder, Joanna Gleason, Anne Heche, Jada Pinkett Smith, Eileen Brennan, and Craig T. Nelson
Bastard Out of Carolina (1996) with Jennifer Jason Leigh, Glenne Headly, Lyle Lovett, Dermot Mulroney, Christina Ricci, and Grace Zabriskie
Gold Diggers: The Secret of Bear Mountain (1995) with Christina Ricci, Anna Chlumsky, Brian Kerwin, and David Keith
Truman (1995) with Gary Sinise, Richard Dysart, and Tony Goldwyn
The Neon Bible (1995) with Jacob Tierney, Drake Bell, Gena Rowlands, and Denis Leary
The Cure (1995) with Brad Renfro and Annabella Sciorra
J.F.K.: Reckless Youth (1993) with Patrick Dempsey
Labor of Love: The Arlette Schweitzer Story (1993) with Ann Jillian
Night of the Hunter (1991) with Richard Chamberlain and Burgess Meredith
Brenda Starr (1989) with Brooke Shields, Timothy Dalton, Tony Peck, Jeffrey Tambor, Charles Durning, Eddie Albert, Henry Gibson, and Ed Nelson
After the Promise (1987) with Mark Harmon
Heat (1986) with Burt Reynolds, Peter MacNicol, Howard Hesseman, and Deborah Rush
Extremities (1986) with Farrah Fawcett, Alfre Woodard, and Eddie Velez
Psycho III (1986) with Anthony Perkins, Jeff Fahey, and Roberta Maxwell
The Ladies Club (1986) with Karen Austin, Bruce Davison, and Arliss Howard
A Bunny's Tale (1985) with Kirstie Alley, Cotter Smith, Deborah Van Valkenburgh, Joanna Kerns, Delta Burke, and Mary Woronov
Silkwood (1983) with Meryl Streep, Kurt Russell, Cher, Craig T. Nelson, Fred Ward, and Ron Silver
Rumble Fish (1983) with Matt Dillon, Mickey Rourke, Diane Lane, Dennis Hopper, Vincent Spano, Nicolas Cage, Chris Penn, Laurence Fishburne, and William Smith
Strange Invaders (1983) with Paul Le Mat, Nancy Allen, Michael Lerner, Louise Fletcher, Wallace Shawn, Kenneth Tobey, June Lockhart, and Charles Lane
Thou Shalt Not Kill (1982) with Lee Grant, Gary Graham, Robert Culp, James Keach, and Robert Englund
Desperate Lives (1982) with Doug McKeon, Helen Hunt, William Windom, Tom Atkins, Sam Bottoms, and Diane Ladd
Mommie Dearest (1981) with Faye Dunaway, Steve Forrest, Howard Da Silva, Mara Hobel, Rutanya Alda, and Priscilla Pointer
Inside Moves (1980) with John Savage
Honeysuckle Rose (1980) with Willie Nelson, Dyan Cannon, Amy Irving, Slim Pickens, and Priscilla Pointer
Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980) with Powers Boothe, Ned Beatty, Irene Cara, Veronica Cartwright, Rosalind Cash, Brad Dourif, Diane Ladd, Ron O'Neal, and Randy Quaid
Battered (1978) with Karen Grassle, LeVar Burton, Mike Farrell, Joan Blondell, and Howard Duff
Pretty Baby (1978) with Brooke Shields, Keith Carradine, Susan Sarandon, Antonio Fargas, Barbara Steele, Gerrit Graham, and Mae Mercer
Forever (1978) with Stephanie Zimbalist and Dean Butler
Bunco (1977) with Tom Selleck, Robert Urich, Donna Mills, Marlene Clark, Will Geer, Arte Johnson, Bobby Van, and Kenneth Mars
The Possessed (1977) with James Farentino, Eugene Roche, Harrison Ford, Joan Hackett, Dinah Manoff, and P.J. Soles
A Woman Accused (1977) with Chad Everett, Barbara Hershey, Carole Cook, Howard Duff, Salome Jens, Ron Masak, Tisha Sterling, Paul Stevens, and David Wayne

Wonderfalls, 2004 Fox TV series. Scarwid portrayed Karen Tyler

Criminal Minds, episode Cradle to Grave, originally aired October 21, 2009
The Cleaner, episode Split Ends, originally aired July 21, 2009
Pushing Daisies, episode Window Dressed to Kill, originally aired May 30, 2009
Heroes, episode Chapter Ten '1961', originally aired April 13, 2009
Pushing Daisies, episode Bad Habits, originally aired October 15, 2008
Pushing Daisies, episode Circus, Circus, originally aired October 8, 2008
Pushing Daisies, episode Bzzzzzzzzz!, originally aired October 1, 2008
Cold Case, episode Spiders, originally aired February 17, 2008
Lost, episode Stranger in a Strange Land, originally aired February 21, 2007
Prison Break, episode Dead Fall, originally aired October 23, 2006
Prison Break, episode Buried, originally aired October 2, 2006
Prison Break, episode Subdivision, originally aired September 25, 2006
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, episode Head, originally aired May 18, 2004
Law & Order, episode Myth of Fingerprints, originally aired November 14, 2001
The X-Files, episode Kitsunegari, originally aired January 4, 1998
The Outer Limits, episode Trial by Fire, originally aired March 1, 1996
Hawaii Five-O, episode The Spirit Is Willie, originally aired January 25, 1979
Kingston: Confidential, episode Golden Girl, originally aired June 15, 1977
Gibbsville, episode Andrea, originally aired December 23, 1976
Starsky and Hutch, episode Nightmare, originally aired November 28, 1976
Police Woman, episode Sara Who?, originally aired October 26, 1976

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