The child of professional dancers, Kim Darby began her career studying dance with her father, as well as Nico Charisse. At fourteen, she was granted special admission to Tony Barr’s acting workshop at Desilu Studios on the Paramount Pictures lot. He wrote later that it was her remarkable openness, honesty, emotional readiness and focus that convinced him to bring her into his adult class. These traits have become the signature of her work in a career that has now spanned a period of more than forty years.
As a teenager, she earned her first acting roles in episodes of television shows, including Mr. Novak (1963), Dr. Kildare (1961), The Eleventh Hour (1962), Star Trek: The Original Series (1966) and The Fugitive (1963). Her reputation continued to grow with more work in film and television.
She was twenty-one when producer Hal B. Wallis saw her in an episode of Run for Your Life (1965) and decided to offer her the coveted role of “Mattie Ross”, opposite John Wayne’s “Rooster Cogburn”, in True Grit (1969). The classic western earned Wayne his only Oscar and made Kim Darby a film star.
Ms. Darby went on to star in a variety of productions, receiving a Golden Globe nomination for her work in Generation (1969), and an Emmy Nomination for her role in Rich Man, Poor Man (1976). Her feature films include The Strawberry Statement (1970), The Grissom Gang (1971), Better Off Dead… (1985) and Mockingbird Don’t Sing (2001); television movies include The Story of Pretty Boy Floyd (1974), Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (1973) and Enola Gay: The Men, the Mission, the Atomic Bomb (1980).
Still acting, since 1990, she has also been teaching her craft and is asked to give seminars at universities and film schools throughout the country. Her own training and lifelong experience over the last four decades has provided her with a rich perspective as well as a diverse collection of skills which she enjoys sharing with enthusiastic students.
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