Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Oscar-nominated star Cilento dies

Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento has died at the age of 78
Diane Cilento had a son with Sean Connery after marrying him in 1962

Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento, who was once married to James Bond star Sean Connery, has died in northern Australia at the age of 78.

Cilento, a veteran of dozens of films, television shows and stage productions, died on Thursday night, Queensland state premier Anna Bligh said.

No cause of death was given.

Cilento appeared in dozens of films - including The Admirable Crichton, The Agony And The Ecstasy and The Wicker Man - as well as television shows and stage productions.

The Queensland-born actress rose to fame in the 1950s and 1960s, starring alongside screen legends such as Charlton Heston and Paul Newman, and in 1956, she was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Helen of Troy in the play Tiger At The Gates.

She received an Academy Award nomination in 1963 for best supporting actress for her work in the movie Tom Jones, alongside Albert Finney and Susannah York.

Her celebrity grew after she married Connery - her second husband - in 1962. The two had a son before divorcing 11 years later. She went on to wed her third husband, playwright Anthony Shaffer, in 1985.

She and Shaffer eventually settled in tropical northern Queensland, where she built a popular outdoor theatre in the rainforest.

"While she was originally known as a glamorous international film star, her work in later years in the far north showed her commitment to the arts," Ms Bligh said in a statement. "I know that Ms Cilento will be sorely missed by many in the industry."

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