Mermaid Queen Has Died

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 9th, 2008

Famed model Diane Webber, whose image influenced a pre-Disney generation of Mermaid admirers, has died.

Marguerite Diane Empey, also known as Diane Webber, passed away recently. Webber was an American model and actress; since the late 1950s, she symbolized what a real mermaid would look like.

Webber was born on July 27, 1932, in Los Angeles, California, the daughter of Marguerite (née Andrus) and screen writer Arthur Guy Empey.

Under the name Marguerite Empey she was Playboy magazine’s “Playmate of the Month” in May 1955 and in February 1956, the latter of which, according to Wikipedia, “includes an underwater photo which clearly shows her pubic hair — a Playboy first.” The photos for her 1956 appearance were taken by campy softcore director Russ Meyer.

Marguerite Empey worked as a chorus girl and took formal ballet training. In 1961, she married Joe Webber. She later took an interest in nudism, appearing in numerous nudist magazines. Her classic beauty was quite apparent and tasteful.

Webber died on August 19, 2008, in Los Angeles at the age of 76.

The Trial of Billy Jack (1974) …. Belly-Dance instructor
The Witchmaker (1969) …. The Nautch of Tangier
Sinthia, the Devil’s Doll (1968) …. The Housewife
The Swinger (1966) (uncredited) …. Model #12
Mermaids of Tiburon (1962) …. Mermaid Queen

Notable TV guest appearances
“Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” playing “Mermaid” in episode: “The Mermaid” (episode # 3.19) 29 January 1967
“Alfred Hitchcock Presents” playing “The Other Woman” in episode: “The Pearl Necklace” (episode # 6.29) 2 May 1961
“Peter Gunn” playing “Midge” in episode: “Scuba” (episode # 1.21) 16 February 1959.

For more on Mermaids, Mermen, and Merbeings at Cryptomundo, see here.

Boing Boing’s David Pescovitz posts that about this obit, and adds his own link to a YouTube screening of Mermaids of Tiburon.


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Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

2 Responses to “Mermaid Queen Has Died”

  1. DWA responds:

    Implausible, schmimplausible.

    If I find that cryptid, my life will be complete.


  2. knightstar responds:

    I was in love with Diane Webber since the first time I saw her in a nudist magazine back in the sixties. I’ve since collected hundreds of pictures of her.
    She had a zest for life and possessed uncommon beauty. Her love for nudism in all its aspects and her love for life in general is evident in her ever-present smile, visible in nearly every photograph.
    Goodbye, Diane–goodbye–I’ll always remember you fondly.


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