England’s Marilyn Monroe
She was born Diana Fluck. Not the best name for a girl who wanted to be a movie star. As she herself said:
“They asked me to change my name. I suppose they thought that if Diana Fluck was in lights and one of the lights blew.”
Diana Dors clawed her way to stardom by starting out in forgettable ‘dumb blonde’ movies and British sitcoms. It was a 1956 British crime drama Yield to the Night that earned her some of the best reviews of her career, and acclaim at the 1956 Cannes Film Festival — and suddenly Hollywood was interested.
“I’ve played my share of drunken sluts, good time girls, and whores. Being bumped off is really no novelty for me. I’ve been shot, hanged, strangled, gassed, burned to death, and even pushed off a cliff.”
In her later years, back in England, her life was a tabloid feast of wild parties, tell-all newspaper interviews and TV talk show appearances. The story of her life became a major source of income.
In 1960, she wrote and published Swingin’ Dors, and in the 1970s, four autobiographies: For Adults Only, Behind Closed Dors, Dors by Diana, and A. to Z. of Men.
“I fell for hard-luck stories the way boys fall for girls. To make things worse I surrounded myself with gangsters, conmen and phoneys.”
Diana Dors died of cancer on May 4, 1984, at the age of 52. After that, tragedy followed tragedy.
Her third and last husband Alan Lake, with whom she shared a son, burned all of her clothes and sank into a deep depression. Five months after her death and 16 years to the day from when they first met, he put the barrel of a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. He was 43.
Their son, Jason Dors-Lake, died in 2019 from an alcohol nd opioid overdose three days after his 50th birthday.
Tread Softly Stranger (1956)