Belinda Lee – British Film Actress

This very attractive young actress was born in Budleigh Salterton in Devon

Belinda Lee wanted to act from an early age and so she followed the usual path of joining a repertory company and it was while she was playing in these productions, that she was spotted by director Val Guest and cast in a film that he was making – The Runaway Bus
Whilst working on the film Val Guest introduced her to Rank’s still photographer Cornel Lucas, who was taking some glamour publicity photographs for the film. Lucas was 14 years older but that made no difference- they fell madly in love and became engaged and married quite quickly afterwards

Shortly after Belinda was cast as the love interest of Stewart Granger in ‘Footseps in the Fog’ – a film starring his wife Jean Simmons. It was a British made Cinemascope film with a strong storyline with many twists and turns and was successful. She was well up at the top of the cast list.

Belinda Lee in ‘Footsteps in the Fog’

Straight after this, she completely changed tack and was cast alongside Norman Wisdom in ‘Man of the Moment’

Following these performances her star had risen and so -in 1955 she attended the Royal Film Performance of To Catch a Thief at the Leicester Square Odeon in London . Also there were Diana Dors, Kathy Jurado, Gina Lollobrigida, Kenneth More, Anna Neagle, Arthur Rank, and Peter Ustinov.

In October 1956 she is one of the young ladies chosen to meet Queen Elizabeth II at the year’s royal command film performance. To curtsey before the Queen this year are also Marilyn Monroe, Anita Ekberg, Arlene Dahl, Brigitte Bardot, and Joan Crawford.

She was certainly promoted all around at Film Premieres, Garden Parties and events deemed to be advantageous to her career.

Then in 1957 she starred with John Gregson in the delightful ‘Miracle in Soho’

With John Gregson

One setback she had was when she suffered injuries in April of 1957 when her hair caught fire from a candle in a scene that she was filming. Luckily that didn’t seem to set her back for long.

In May of 1957, she reporesented Britain at the Cannes Film Festival along with Muriel Pavlow and Diana Dors and late that year in September, she went to the Venice film Festival.

ABOVE – Diana Dors and Belinda Lee

She then seemed to become involved with Prince Philippo Orsini whilst she had been filming in Italy and when she returned to Britain it was soon announced that her marriage was over.

One of Belinda Lee’s later films ABOVE

Belinda then flew to Africa for ‘Nor the Moon by Night’ but midway into the film she came back to Rome.

With Michael Craig in ‘Nor The Moon by Night’
Again With Michael Craig in ‘Nor The Moon by Night’

In January 1958 she took a drug overdose but luckily survived and went back to Africa to finish the film. Throughout 1959 she and Orsini are together but by mid 1960 Belinda seems to have dumped him.

A year later she headed to Hollywood and it is there near San Bernardino that she was killed in a car crash – March 1961

Belinda Lee quite rightly holds up very much as a major star of the early fifties – but the things seemed to go wrong for her sadly.

Certainly a beautiful British actress

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