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Thread: Diana Dors

  1. #1
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    Diana was born in 1931 , she left home at an early age and was appearing in films as early as 1947 when she was still only 16.

    She got a contract with Rank and joined the Rank Charm School.

    At age 20 she became the youngest owner of rolls royce in the UK.

    Being promoted as England's answer to Marilyn Monroe, she appeared in Hollywood movies but by the early 60s she was back in Britain.

    Age was catching up with Diana and by the time she was in her early 30s the big film roles were drying up so she turned her attention to TV.







    She appeared in many TV productions including the prestigious Armchair Theatre .

    The 'Queenies Castle' TV series came along in 1970

    In 1981 she appeared in Adam Ant's 'Prince Charming ' video and of course, she stole the show.



    I did nt really pay much attention to Diana, but then I read her books which were racy and full of Celeb gossip written in an novel A to Z style.

    I must have read her autobiography also and maybe a biography or two.

    I began to find her more and more fascinating, she was a big personality who, with her endless parties, held court for the celeb and showbiz world.



    Diana lived her adult life in films and TV .... a life led in the full glare of the media.

    With her glamorous blonde image of the late 50s and her subsequent TV roles, Diana became a British Institution.

    Shes even on cover of the Beatles Sgt Pepper album.... how much more famous can you get ?









    Its so sad that she died at the young age of 52

    If she had nt died so young, I feel she would have gone on to do lots more writing and television.

    She died in 1984 of ovarian cancer.





    Before she died she apparantly salted away over $ 2 million in banks across europe.

    She gave her son Mark, a code that would reveal the whereabouts of the money.

    Her widower Alan Lake had the key to the code but, tragically he committed suicide 5 months after Diana died.

    So the money has still not yet been found.













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    Diana was educated at a local private school and when she was nine she wrote in a school essay, 'I am going to be a film star, with a swimming pool and a cream telephone.'



    At age thirteen, pretending to be seventeen, she entered a beauty contest and came third, and during the Second World War she entertained troops at camp concerts.

    At fifteen Diana Fluck enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, where she was spotted in a production and put into films, making her debut in a thriller, The Shop at Sly Corner, in 1946.



    After other parts she was offered a ten-year contract by the Rank Organization and she joined the Rank Charm School, which had been set up to discover and groom British stars. She changed her surname to Dors, after her maternal grandmother.



    Her performances in such films as Good Time Girl (1948), Dance Hall (1950), and the popular Huggett series, where she showed a flair for comedy, introduced an earthier strain into a genteel middle-class cinema. But her screen career failed to develop and the Rank contract lapsed in 1950.



    The publicity machine, however, was already starting to take over. With her long, platinum blonde hair, full lips, sensational figure, and colourful private life, she was projected as the British answer to Marilyn Monroe; and for the rest of her life her professional achievements came a very poor second to her status as a celebrity.



    The early publicity stunts were masterminded by Dors's first husband, Dennis Hamilton (1924-1959), whom she married in 1951. Born Dennis Hamlington Gittings, he was the son of Stanley Gittings, manager of a public house in Luton.



    A Svengali figure, ruthless and domineering, he fed the gossip columns with a stream of Dors stories, many of them fabricated. The couple took off for Hollywood. Diana Dors continued to appear in films, most of them forgettable. An exception was Yield to the Night (1956), loosely based on the Ruth Ellis case, in which Dors eschewed her usual glamour roles to play a condemned murderess.



    It showed her potential as a serious actress, though the public found the switch from blonde bombshell difficult to take. Her marriage foundered, and ended, in the now customary blaze of publicity, in 1957.

    Dennis Hamilton died in 1959 of syphylis and in the same year she married in New York an American comedian, Dickie Dawson. They had two sons, Mark and Gary.



    In 1960 she was paid £35,000 for her memoirs by the News of the World. Lurid by the standards of the time, the series ran for twelve weeks. The archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Geoffrey Fisher, denounced her as a wayward hussy.

    By now the film parts were getting smaller. Dors put on weight and the erstwhile sex symbol gave way to a middle-aged mother figure.



    She had to return to England in 1966 to support her family, for she was sole breadwinner. She played Prince Charming in pantomime and did a cabaret act in the northern clubs. Her private life continued to make the headlines. Her marriage to Dawson ended after eight years and she lost custody of her two sons.



    On 23 November 1968 she married an actor, Alan Lake (1940-1984), son of Cyril Foster Lake, glaze maker. They had a son, Jason. In 1967 she was declared bankrupt, owing the Inland Revenue £48,413 in tax. She admitted to being hopeless with money. In October 1970 Lake was sent to prison for eighteen months for his part in a public house brawl.



    Dors's acting career enjoyed a brief revival when she played a brassy widow in Three Months Gone at the Royal Court Theatre in London (1970) and there was a strong part in Jerzy Skolimowski's film, Deep End (1970).

    But a television comedy series written for her by the distinguished team of Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, Queenie's Castle (1970), proved disappointing. Her Jocasta in Sophocles' Oedipus at the Chichester Festival in 1974 was a brave, but isolated, stab at the classics.



    In 1974 Diana Dors came close to death from meningitis and she underwent operations for cancer in 1982 and 1983. Resilient and cheerful in the face of such adversity, she produced further instalments of her memoirs as well as an autobiography, ran an agony column in a Sunday newspaper, and, by now over 15 stone, did a slimming series for breakfast television.



    A celebrity to the very end, she died of cancer in hospital at Windsor, Berkshire, on 4 May 1984 and was buried on 11 May in Sunningdale.

    Her death was widely and genuinely mourned. Vulgar she may have been but there was admiration for her courage and tenacity. Alan Lake never got over his grief and he killed himself on 10 October 1984, the sixteenth anniversary of their first meeting.



    Diana Dors was a potent early example of a media-created celebrity, who became famous more for what she was than for what she did. She was able to exploit a growing openness about sexuality, not least in the press, and she embodied, albeit in an extreme form, the ordinary person's aspiration for a better life as the nation moved from post-war austerity to 1950s affluence.

    Although she flaunted the trappings of her wealth, the mink coats, the Rolls-Royces, and the luxury homes, she never lost the common touch and, despite condemnation from the puritan establishment, the public stayed with her.

  3. #3
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    I have to say Diana Dors was a bueatiful curvey woman who diserved more in fame than she got one of Englands Greats i have to say, she could act sexy, old and haggard and down right trodden but she was the 1 actress that i rate as the best.

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    hi

    i dont mean to sound shallow but what an amazing looking women.





    coonsanders

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    catch her in Danger Route with Richard Johnson, fabulous performance. She was a superb actress.

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    I saw a programme where cryptologists failed to crack Dors bank account codes, now i'm not aware but the last time i checked Dors was not a mathematical genius- how complex is this code? - it took a whole team to break enigma?- how did Dors do it?

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    maybe there really was nt a crock of gold salted away

    maybe it was rumour.



    Diana cant have been such a big earner towards

    the end of her life and living expenses and

    medical bills must have been very high.



    Was it in 1961 ? that Diana had 2 or 3 weeks of

    articles and pics in the News of the World ...feeding the public

    lots of racy 'show biz 'tales

    (In a perfect world articles like that should be on line somewhere )



    Diana got paid a ton of money for that series of revellations

    .....the equivalent of a pools win at the time !)



    The early 60s was probably the start of celebs getting paid ridiculous sums of money for nothing...ie articles, photos, or opening some poxy supermarket.



    But then, over in America Cary Grant could give

    an interview to a magazine and get a brand new Rolls Royce in payment for his efforts.



    The world's been going mad for a long, long time.



    Footballers in the Prem League getting �100,000+ per week for running round a football field for 90 mins is just the latest twist in the tale.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK Brief Encounter's Avatar
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    There's a Diana Dors book out in the autumn - to register your interest go here:

    Shop Dors

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    I've seen her in Carry on Screaming, playing Harry H Corbett's uptight nagging wife, very amusing!

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    Quote Originally Posted by CastleAnthrax

    I've seen her in Carry on Screaming, playing Harry H Corbett's uptight nagging wife, very amusing!
    The film in which DD played the nagging wife was From Beyond the Grave and the husband was Ian Bannen.Actually, she may have played this part several times but I think this is the one you're thinking of, Anthrax.

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    Very good in the Prince Charming video, for Adam Ant.

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    Senior Member Country: England cornershop15's Avatar
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    A brilliant picture of the (very) much-missed Diana, around the time she was making Queenie's Castle



    ... which I'll be getting the complete series DVD of, at long last, from Amazon very soon. All being well.

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    Senior Member Country: England Tonch's Avatar
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    Diana was brilliant in this, better known here as "Nurse Will Make It Better" (from "Thriller"):

    A very charismatic and much underrated actress.

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    Senior Member Country: Scotland Gerald Lovell's Avatar
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    I also thought she was super as the villainous Mrs. Wickens in "The Amazing Mr. Blunden".

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    Senior Member Country: Ireland Edward G's Avatar
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    Things are certainly getting hot around here!


    Quote Originally Posted by goldenmeadow View Post

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    It is so good to see so many of Diana's films available on DVD now. I searched for many years to find copies on VHS and am really pleased to have so many now. There is one British Film which she appeared in called "My Sister and I" which starred Sally Ann Howes and Martita Hunt. Has anyone seen this or does anyone have a copy?42.jpg

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    Senior Member Country: England Westengland's Avatar
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    To follow on from my mention about Diana Dors on the Yeovil Gaumont thread, here's how the Somerset County Herald reported Ms Dors's visit to the Gaumont Palace in Taunton, Somerset in August 1948:


    Diana Dors' Mother Came From Somerset

    Miss Diana Dors, 17-years-old British film "starlet" made a personal appearance on the stage of the Gaumont Palace at Taunton on Tuesday evening. She was given a warm reception by the large audience.

    Miss Dors has Somerset connections, her mother being born at Priddy, near Wells. She was discovered by the J. Arthur Rank Organisation when she won an examination at the London School of Music and Drama. She has had parts in several films, including Charlotte (the slut) in "Oliver Twist". She has her first big part in "A Boy, A Girl and a Bike" which will be released soon.

    Mayoral Welcome

    The Mayor and Mayoress, Mr and Mrs Howard Southwood, the Assistant Chief Constable of Somerset, Mr. J. A. Taylor and Mrs Taylor, and Councillor S. H. Payne were among those who welcomed Miss Dors when she arrived at the Gaumont. She was presented with a bouquet by Shirley Tuck of the Gaumont Junior Club.

    The "starlet" was accompanied on to the stage by the Gaumont manager, Mr. Martin J. Newman, and introduced by Mr. Chris Hewett, of the Rank Organisation, The life story of Miss Dors was told by "stills" shown on the screen.

    Miss Dors told a Somerset County Herald reporter that one of her ambitions was to play opposite John Mills.


    Somerset County Herald, Saturday, 28 August 1948, p6, c6, #5,095
    Last edited by Westengland; 14-10-14 at 10:01 PM.

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    just finished reading Kenneth Griffiths rather eccentric autobiographt.he recalls working with her in her first film.he went to talk to her to reassure her only to find her completely self assured and ready to start filming.

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    Senior Member Country: Spain Rowdon's Avatar
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    I've just seen Yield to the Night and have to say that I was impressed by Dors. I mean, I know how important she is and iconic and she was a constant TV presence in my younger days, but what actual films does anyone on here recommend? I'm tempted by the Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary and My Wife's Lodger twofer, but I'm really shooting in the dark. Any recommendations?

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