Upon the release of Passport to Fame: The Diana Dors Story, author Huw Prall shares the top 10 things that you should know about Diana:
“I’m the kind of girl that things naturally happen to. When they don’t I give them a push”
In the world of entertainment there’s never been anyone quite like Diana Dors – and because the climate in which she grew and flourished has long gone, Diana remains unique.
At the age of seven she wrote an essay at school titled “What I would like to be when I grow up”. There were no ifs in her young mind she was going to be a film star and have a cream telephone and a swimming pool. The cream telephone was her idea of ultimate luxury having seen one or two in American films.
In January 1946 at the age of 14, she became the youngest ever student to study at the prestigious London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
She appeared in her first film “The Shop at Sly Corner” whilst still a student following being “discovered” by a casting director who examined her for her Silver Medal in Acting, which he awarded her with Honours, as well as offering her a screen test.
Dennis Hamilton was a practical joker, and a man with a sense of danger about him. Diana’s meeting with him in 1951 was to change her life and after only five weeks of meeting they were to marry at Caxton Hall in July 1951.
At the Venice Film Festival in 1955, Diana achieved worldwide publicity when she floated down the Grand Canal wearing a Mink bikini.
Following a television appearance with Hollywood comedian Bob Hope she was offered a contract with RKO Radio Pictures and left for the USA on 20 June 1956.
Diana was a talented singer and cabaret artist working extensively in this field in both the UK and overseas. Her album “Swingin’ Dors” was released in 1960 on the Pye Label. It has been re-released on several occasions most recently in 2014 for Record Store Day. Since its initial release, it has sold about a million copies.
Diana worked with Hollywood legend Joan Crawford in 1966 on the film “Berserk”, set in the world of a circus where a series of grizzly murders were taking place. Joan and Diana got on well together and in 1974 when Diana was gravely ill in hospital with meningitis, Joan rang from the USA to enquire how she was and sent her get well wishes.
In May 1983 it was announced that Diana would be joining TVam. In October 1983 she would be celebrating her 52nd Birthday. For some time she had wanted to lose weight and the plan was that she would shed 521bs in weight, one pound for each year of her life. The weekly “Diet with Diana Dors” slot was phenomenally successful and boosted TVam’s ratings.
Diana was a successful writer. As well as writing pieces for various national newspapers and magazines, she was also the author of five books including her “A – Z of Men”!!
“Men come in all shapes, sizes, colours and creeds! They can be infuriating, argumentative, stubborn, unfaithful, egotistical, power-hungry, aggressive, selfish, noisy, restless, pompous, boring, unreasonable, irritating, sullen, unpunctual, greedy, lazy, cheeky, but – somehow – IRRESISTIBLE!” – Diana Dors (1980)
Passport to Fame: The Diana Dors story is out now and is available from bookguild.co.uk, Amazon and from all good bookshops.