What is it about Diane Franklin? Her curly brown hair and that adorable smile made a huge impression on nearly every single dude in the 80’s. The first time I caught this adorably hot actress was in the cult classic THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN (1982). In the film, she is at times sweet as hell whiles the next she was a massive bitch. She was the ultimate teenage boy fantasy with a heavy dose of reality thrown in. Have you ever tried to be a gentleman in high school to a pretty girl you had a crush on only to have your heart ripped out and stomped on? That was what Franklin’s character Karen did to the loveable (?) loser Gary (played by Lawrence Monoson) and yet we still developed our own crush on her.
That same year we saw even more of the lovely actress – who wasn’t too shy about nudity I might add – in AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION. This highly fictionalized prequel/sequel to THE AMITYVILLE HORROR is based on the book “Murder in Amityville” about Ronald DeFeo who murdered his entire family years before the Lutz family suffered though “28 Days of Terror”. Some may consider this flick a bit tasteless bearing in mind the tragic real life event on which it was based. Don’t hold this against Franklin though, she adds a little life to her character, a teen girl who has a much too creepy relationship with her older on-screen brother (played by Jack Magner who’s only other feature was a small role in STEPHEN KING’S FIRESTARTER with Drew Barrymore). Both Magner and Franklin worked very nicely together which made it all the more disturbing. Strange thing is, after all these years this bizarre little movie holds up better than I’d have guessed.
For fans of 80's cinema, you can't do much better than Ms. Franklin. A few of her other film credits include the John Cusack teen classic BETTER OFF DEAD in 1985 - she was the gorgeous French exchange student - as well as the uber-cool comedy HOW I GOT INTO COLLEGE in 1989. Do I need to even remind you of BILL AND TED'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE? Of course not! She was there as "Princess Joanna" and what a fair maiden she was. There was something so sweet about her that comedy seemed to be a good fit. She has a real sparkle every time she is on screen and as great as Amanda Wyss happened to be (Ms. Wyss is pretty amazing!) you could easily see why Cusack fell for her while dodging paperboys.
Thankfully, AMITYVILLE wasn't her only stop into our beloved genre. The actress also appeared in an episode of the short-lived "Freddy's Nightmares" in 1988. She was featured in a made for TV slasher flick called "Deadly Lessons" back in 1983 - yes, once upon a time they made a bunch of horror TV movies and it was awesome. Then there was "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" in 1989. However, her horror background wasn't entirely made for television as she also appeared in the low budget comedy/horror/sci-fi flick TERRORVISION in 1986. While this particular film didn't necessarily make a connection to my circuitry, Franklin offered a ton of spunk and a little punk alongside horror icon Mary Woronov and Chad Allen.
NOW: Diane Franklin has long since settled down with husband Ray DeLaurentis and she is currently giving full support to her daughter Olivia [DeLaurentis] and her budding film career. Diane has produced and starred in a handful of shorts directed and starring Olivia including HUMANIZED and MY BETTER HALF among others. The actress has written a book which she talks about in this interview with ESPNRadio at the Chiller Convention in New Jersey. It’s a fun chat and definitely worth watching. The book in question has the totally tubular title “Diane Franklin: The Excellent Adventures of the Last American, French-Exchange Babe of the 80s” and you can order it here! Diane Franklin was crazy adorable and I’m happy to say that she is just as sexy as ever as you can see by checking out her Facebook and IMDB page! I highly recommend if you’ve not heard of this 80’s teen dream, that you take a trip back in time and I promise you it will be a Most Excellent Adventure!