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Stars that died 2010

Monday, April 29, 2013

Diane Cilento, Australian actress (Tom Jones, The Wicker Man), died from cancer she was 76.

Diane Cilento [1] was an Australian theatre and film actress and author

(5 October 1933 – 6 October 2011)


Early life and education

Cilento's parents, Sir Raphael Cilento[3] and Lady Phyllis Cilento,[4] were both distinguished medical practitioners.[2]
At an early age she decided to follow a career as an actress and, after a period living with her father in New York, Cilento won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) and moved to England in the early 1950s.[5]


After graduation, Cilento found work on stage almost immediately and was signed to a five-year contract by Sir Alex Korda. Her first leading role in a movie was in Passage Home (1955), opposite fellow Australian Peter Finch.[6]
She soon secured roles in British films and worked steadily until the end of the decade. In 1956, Cilento was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for Helen of Troy in Jean Giraudoux's Tiger at the Gates.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Tom Jones in 1963[7] and appeared in The Third Secret the following year, but she allowed her film career to decline following her marriage to actor Sean Connery, the second of her three husbands, to whom she was married from 1962 to 1973. They had one son, the actor Jason Connery.
In Connery's James Bond film You Only Live Twice, she doubled for her husband's co-star Mie Hama in a diving scene because Hama was indisposed.[8]
She starred with Charlton Heston in the 1965 film The Agony and the Ecstasy, and with Paul Newman in the 1967 western film Hombre.
In 1985, Cilento married Anthony Shaffer, 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. During the 1970s, she studied Sufism under the British spiritual teacher John G. Bennett.[9]
Cilento continued working as an actress, both in films and in television and, in the 1980s, settled in Mossman, north of Cairns, where she built her own outdoor theatre, named "Karnak", in the rainforest. The venture allowed her to participate in experimental drama.[citation needed]
In 2006, Cilento released her autobiography, My Nine Lives.[10]
In 2001, she was awarded the Centenary Medal, for "distinguished service to the arts, especially theatre".[11]


Diane Cilento died of cancer[12] at Cairns Base Hospital on 6 October 2011, the day after her 78th birthday.[13] She is survived by both her children.[12]



  • 1968: Manipulator
  • 1972: Hybrid
  • 2006: My Nine Lives

Personal life


Diane Cilento was the fifth of six children, four of whom became medical practitioners, and the other, Margaret, was an artist.[5]
Husbands and children

Husband Children
1956–1960 Andrea Volpe Giovanna (Gigi) (10 December 1957–)[14]
1962–1973[15] Sean Connery (1930–) Jason Connery (11 January 1963–)[16]
1985–2001 Anthony Shaffer
In 1975, Shaffer made his home in Queensland with Cilento. They married in 1985.
Cilento was Shaffer's third wife; he had two daughters from a previous marriage.[17][18]

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