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 after 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, 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 a book-length memoir, Finding Karen Black. The book tells the story of growing up without a clear identity and 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. Diane is a member of the online writing critique community, Scribophile.

Diane Bay has continued her career as a painter. She also has done graphite portraits, mural painting, and freelance book design. Her work is represented by a 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.

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