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About Diane Bay

Karen's birth daughter Diane is an artist and writer

Diane Bay has worked as an artist and graphic designer for many years, but it wasn’t until 2012, after Illinois unsealed its adoption records, that she discovered where that creativity may have come from.

She knew she was adopted, but never dreamed that both her birth parents were accomplished film artists. After the joyous discovery of her birth mother, the 70s-era Hollywood star Karen Black, painful news followed: Karen was fighting terminal cancer. The year of that discovery, Diane not only found both parents (her father, Robert Benedetti, is an Emmy award-winning producer) and extended family who welcomed her and with whom she bonded, she also discovered another talent. Needing to express the bittersweet, roller-coaster mixture of delight, profound loss and renewal, she wrote her experiences. She had excelled in creative writing in college and now pursued the craft with diligence.

Since her life-changing reunion with her birth families, Diane has completed her memoir, Finding Karen Black. The book tells the story of growing up without a clear identity, and of her deep desire to find her roots, a narrative to which many adoptees can relate, no matter how loving their adoptive home. Her book is also the story of Karen Black’s last year, a look back at her life and work in film, and a glimpse at her legacy. 

After finding her birth parents, Diane Bay has found a new creative outlet in oil painting. She loves working en Plein Air, capturing the rural nostalgic countryside of the Mid-South. During the weeks Diane spent caring for Karen, she soaked up her birth mothers joie de vivre, her rich and enthusiastic love of life’s moments even in the face of her own mortality. Diane’s goal is to imbue her artwork with this energetic spirit.

Her art is represented by The PAPA Gallery in western Kentucky, where she now lives with her husband, a retired fire fighter, who is a recreational fishing guide on Kentucky Lake. They have three sons and four grandchildren. You may view Diane's paintings on her artist website,