Mara Lane

The Americans called her “the British Marilyn Monroe”, the Italians called her “the British Gina Lollobrigida” and the French called her “the British Martine Carol”. In fact, she was born in Vienna where her English father, John Bolton, worked for an American oil firm (see also sister Jackie Lane). She trained for the Viennese ballet but the family moved to New York, no doubt recalled to head office by her father’s company. She spent many years in the States and, like her younger sister Jocelyn (Jackie Lane), attended High School in New York state.

She sailed from New York in the Queen Elizabeth, arriving in Southampton on 9 March 1948 and finally moved there two years later. She was studying dress design when she was spotted in a restaurant by a talent scout. Before long, she was beginning to make a name for herself but, despite critical acclaim in the British film Innocents in Paris, she was struggling to get more roles and came to the realisation that she was getting nowhere fast. So she decided to cross the pond again and try her luck there. Not a bad decision – she was quickly signed up by Howard Hughes and made her first film in the US in 1954, the Technicolor movie Susan Slept Here, along with Debbie Reynolds and Dick Powell.

On 15 August 1961, she married San Antonio oilman William Dugger at a civil ceremony in London.

Personal details  -  Born 1 August 1930   35-23-36

Appearances  -  6, debut Span 2 (October 1954)

Spick  -  45(bc), 169

Span  -  2, 35(bc)

Beautiful Britons  -  22 (bc)

66  -  21