After appearing in several commercials and beauty pageants, she made her film acting debut in the 1960 movie Beyond the Time Barrier.
After ending her acting career in the mid 1960s, she worked as a cinematic body double and stunt performer.
Born Darlene Perfect in Chicago, Illinois, she changed her last name to Tompkins, her stepfather's surname, when she was five years old. Before ending in divorce, her marriage produced two sons.
She and Angela Lansbury were both in the cast of Blue Hawaii.