We seem to be doing a season on Diane Cilento on this Blog – since my visit to her wonderful Theatre – The Karnak Playhouse Nr Mossman in Queensland, Australia a week or two ago.
Here she is on the front of The Picture Post of 27 February 1954.
Still her story – and rise to fame – like other young actors of the time was interesting and creates a fascinating story.
In the Picture Post article it states :-
The girl who made the critics rummage among their stocks of superlatives ( and who won a five year contract with Sir Alexander Korda.) for playing a Hollywood Starlet in The Big Knife, does not wear her personality on her sleeve. The big blue eyes and long blonde hair are deceptive. So are a purring drowsiness of manner, and repeated assurances that her talent is not extraordinary. Her own explanation of the film contract is “they haven’t got any blondes with long hair”. We don’t believe it. Nor do we believe that Diane, the daughter of the Australian Physician Sir Raphael Cilento, and sister of three other doctors, chose the stage ” to relieve the monotony in my family”
After a childhood in Australia, Diane went to America to study ballet. She then claims she was too lazy for ballet so turned to acting because drama was being taught in the same building on another floor. Her talent led her in a short time to tour various regional Theatres in America, before arriving in England and quickly being cast in a number of films. She also played Juliet at the Manchester Library Theatre.
Diane Cilento in England