Diana Dors was the Marilyn Monroe of the UK. She was born in Swindon, Wiltshire in 1931 as Diana Mary Fluck − but her mother admitted the father could have been one of two men, and she was never quite sure which one it was. Diana was a cinema fan and her heroines were Veronica Lake, Lana Turner and Jean Harlow.
After lying about her age, she was offered a place at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) when she was 14, the college’s youngest ever student. She eked out her £2 a week allowance by posing at the London Camera Club for one guinea (£1.05 an hour). In her first term, she won a bronze medal, awarded by no less a personage than Peter Ustinov, and in her second, a silver with honours.
She hit the headlines as a blonde bombshell through sex film comedies and glamour modelling, all promoted by her first husband, Dennis Hamilton, who defrauded her monstrously. She lived up to her reputation of adult parties and was constantly front-page news. Wikipedia informs us that she left a fortune of £2 million in banks across Europe to her son Mark Dawson via a secret code in the possession of her third husband, Alan Lake. But he committed suicide and the code was never found. The whereabouts of the fortune is still a mystery.
During the signing for the contract for her first film role, The Shop at Sly Corner, she changed her surname, wisely perhaps, to Dors. At the age of 16, she was signed up by the Rank Organisation and went on to a successful career with various film studios, working with many stars of the British cinema, including Richard Attenborough, and turning down work in Hollywood − and once you’ve done that, it’s difficult to make a breakthrough over there. She also appeared in a film with Ruth Ellis, another blonde bombshell mixed up with the London underworld, who ended up being the last woman to be hanged – for murdering her gangster boyfriend.
In December 1953, then, it was almost inevitable that she would be included in the very first Spick magazine, going on to make several more appearances in all the titles, including 66. So she appeared in the same magazines as her second cousin from Scotland, the equally gorgeous blonde Janette Goodman.
Diana was an almost permanent fixture on the front pages of the tabloid press. For being, at 20, the youngest registered owner of a Rolls Royce in the UK, for her 3D nude and semi-nude photos, for her various much-publicised divorces, and for her wild, sex parties − and because her first husband stole so much money from their company that Diana was left deeply in debt.
On 4 May 1984, aged 52, Diana Dors died from ovarian cancer. She had turned to Catholicism in 1973 and was buried in Sunningdale Catholic Cemetery.
Personal details - Born 23 October 1931, died 4 May 1984 36-24-36 5ft 5in (1.66 cm)
Appearances - 11, debut Spick 1 (December 1953)
Spick - 1, 2, 20
Span - 10, 17, 18
Beautiful Britons - 1, 4, 30
66 - 3, 29