Actress Diane Cilento dies

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Actress Diane Cilento dies

Postby sledge » Wed Oct 12, 2011 8:22 am

Actress and Queensland arts identity Diane Cilento has died after a long illness at the age of 79.

Born in Mooloolaba to an esteemed medical family, she decided to become an actress at a young age and graduated from London's Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

She went on to win international acclaim as an actress during the 1950s and 1960s.

She starred on stage and film, winning a Critics Choice Award for her theatre role in Tiger at the Gates in 1956 and earning an Oscar nomination in 1963 for her role as Molly in Tom Jones.

Cilento starred with Charlton Heston in the 1965 classic The Agony and the Ecstasy and with Paul Newman in the 1967 western film Hombre.

In 1962 she gained celebrity status as the wife of James Bond actor Sean Connery. It was her second marriage.

She had a son, Jason, with Connery before divorcing from the actor in 1973.

In 1985 she married for a third time, tying the knot with Anthony Shaffer (1926-2001) a playwright who wrote the script of The Wicker Man.

She met him when she appeared in the film in 1973, and he joined her when she returned to Queensland in 1975.

In the 1980s she moved to Mossman, north of Cairns in far north Queensland, and established the outdoor theatre, the Karnak Playhouse.

She died in the Cairns Base Hospital last night.

'Great Australian'

John Kotzas from the Queensland Performing Arts Centre says she will be remembered as a great Australian.

"[She was] someone who grew up in Brisbane and achieved all sorts of artistic heights from the world Shakespeare company starring in films alongside Paul Newman," he said.

"[She] married one of the great playwrights the world has seen - Anthony Shaffer - and accomplished many, many things in terms of her artistic career."

Doug Ryan from Tourism Port Douglas says Cilento has been an inspiration to far north Queensland artists.

"I'll always remember her as that dynamic lady who some of the days she got on the stage in the middle of one of her productions and basically told the actors that they weren't doing the right thing in front of the audience," Mr Ryan said.

"That's how I remember her as a vibrant person - a bit a perfectionist - but just an amazing lady."

Performer to the end

A friend of the late actress says she was a performer to the end.

Playwright and neighbour Michael Gow says he was with Cilento at a dinner party last weekend.

"She was a performer to the end, and she put on a great display for all the guests at that dinner," he said.

"She kept us all hugely entertained until the day before yesterday, when she just couldn't manage anymore and we took her to hospital."

R.I.P Diane didn't know she was married to James Bond(Sean Connery) :idea:
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