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Ugly Custody Fight Over 6-year-old Star of “Gigot”

Dec. 13, 1962 - A 6-year-old child actress (lower left) learned the harsh realities of life today when she was taken from her divorced mother and turned over to her father in a violent scene at Los Angeles International Airport. Diane Gardner, a little girl who appeared in Jackie Gleason’s film “Gigot,” was knocked down in a scuffle over her custody. The fight in the waiting room of American Airlines occurred just after her mother, Mrs. Barbara Gardner, and her adopted father, Roy E. Gardner, were served with papers ordering that the child be handed over to her biological father, David Wayland. After the struggle, Mr. Wayland, took her to his home. He said he had not known where she was and hadn’t seen her in two years until he saw “Gigot,” made in Paris. An order, issued by Superior Judge Roger A. Pfaff, required that the tiny actress be brought into court Dec. 21 for a hearing in the custody dispute. The Waylands were divorced in May 1959. Under terms of the settlement, the custody of the child was given to her mother with a provision that she not take the child away from Southern California.


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