Diana Dors

Pencil Portrait by Antonio Bosano.

Diana Dors Pencil Portrait
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The quality of the prints are at a much higher level compared to the image shown on the left.


A3 Pencil Print-Price £45.00-Purchase

A4 Pencil Print-Price £30.00-Purchase

*Limited edition run of 250 prints only*

All Pencil Prints are printed on the finest Bockingford Somerset Velvet 255 gsm paper.

P&P is not included in the above prices.


This portrait of Diana Dors dates from April 1961, when the actress returned home to Britain after a period of eleven months working continuously in America. She was twenty nine, and her shoulder length locks were newly shorn; a move many a woman struggles to undertake irrespective of whether she looks more attractive or not. For some strange reason, the fairer sex appears to view the transformation as a fond farewell to youth, no matter how absurd the notion.

Britain’s greatest sex symbol, Diana’s on-screen worldliness contrasted markedly with Monroe’s apparent naivity, yet unlike her American counterpart, she would live long enough to demonstrate her versatility in a range of dramatic and comedic roles. Today, more than three decades after she succumbed to ovarian cancer at the age of fifty two, Dors is largely overlooked, remembered only by those old enough to have witnessed her meteoric rise and fall. Monroe, on the other hand, who only demonstrated true potential as a dramatic actress in a brace of movies, remains the eternal icon. Where fame and legacies are concerned, shit truly happens…

In her time, she appeared as a murderess sentenced to hang, spending her last days in a condemned cell recalling events leading up to her impending execution in Yield to the night (1956), and as a warty hag in Lionel Jeffries’The Amazing Mr ­Blunden (1972), two prime examples of her varied acting credentials.

I always liked her. There was something very forthright, vivacious and engaging about her. As well as her undoubted acting talent, she had a prepossessing way about her, a self awareness that could ride out the bad times, and foster goodwill amongst so many of her showbiz peers. Even when she put on more than several pounds in weight, one was hard pushed to think of anyone else more suitable to cuddle up with on a freezing winter’s night. She was, quite simply, genuinely loved by many rather than merely admired.

Unfortunately, her achiles heel was men, a regrettable inclination to involve herself with low life opportunistic individuals, who would both exploit and sometimes physically abuse her. Even when she finally found true love in her late 30’s with her third husband, the actor Alan Lake, it was hardly a tranquil existence. Lake was an ­alcoholic who slept off his benders in ditches and other people’s front gardens. As a couple, they were loving, but highly irresponsible parents.

Under construction


Diana Dors, whose real name was Diana Fluck – yes, there’s an L in there! – was once invited back to Swindon, her birthplace, to open a fete. The vicar, apparently terrified he’d mispronounce her name, managed a faux pas of even greater proportions. Addressing the congregation, he was heard to say; ‘We have with us today Diana Dors, whom many of you here in Swindon will remember as Doris Klunt.’

The incident reportedly occurred in early 1978 when the film star was promoting her latest book, a collection of occasionally risque showbiz anecdotes called “For Adults only.” When she returned to Swindon, the visit coincided with an interview she would give to her home town newspaper. Earlier in her career, Diana had voiced hostility toward Swindon after certain locals condemned her sexy image and involvement in scandals, but by 1978 she appeared to have mellowed. The actress was also remorseful over the manner with which the controversies had affected her late parents, Bert and Mary Fluck.

“As far as I was concerned,” she said, “these were just showbusiness stunts, and showbusiness people understood that. But people in this town – my parents included – took them for real. My mother would say to me, ‘What will people think? We’ve lived in this town all these years, and your father is a respected figure. I knew it mattered to them. They had to live here – and I knew the kind of community they lived in. It hurt me that they were hurt.”

Recommended listening

Desert Island Discs (BBC Radio 4) 27/11/81


An eclectic mix of classical works – Sibellius, Ravel – and mainstream American vocalists – Tony Bennett, Peggy Lee and Johnny Mathis – intermingled with a pair of unsurprising items – her autobiography for light reading, and chocolates.

Recommended viewing

Man Bait (1952)

Yield to the night (1956)

The long haul (1957)

Tread softly stranger (1958)

Queenie's Castle (ITV series) 1970-2

The amazing Mr Blunden (1972)

The Blonde Bombshell (1998)

‘The Blonde Bombshell’ was a two-part miniseries based on the turbulent life and early death of British movie queen Diana Dors.

The warts-and-all teleplay cast a merciless light upon Dors’ troublesome relationship with her working-class family, her ofttimes futile efforts to be taken seriously as an actress and to escape the “sexpot” roles which had brought her fame, and her unhappy marriages, including her volatile union with future Family Feud emcee Richard Dawson.

Inevitably, the story came to a tragic conclusion with her death from cancer at age 52. Keeley Hawes appeared as the younger Diana, while Amanda Redman played the protagonist in the final stages of her life and career. Filmed in the digital widescreen process, ‘The Blonde Bombshell’ was seen over London Weekend Television on April 26 and 27, 1999 and was subsequently syndicated nationwide.

It’s a useful entrée to the world of Dors, but remains essentially a flawed production. Hawes bears little resemblance to the young Diana, and singularly fails to convey her seductive glamour, an ever present hallmark that shone throughout even her second rate feature films. Amanda Redman – as the older Dors – is a much better match visually, and evokes much of the star’s uproarious character. A young Rupert Graves, now better known as Inspector lestrade in the BBC Tv series “Sherlock,” is first rate in the role of Denis Hamilton, Dor’s decidely unpleasant first husband; a man who retained a dangerous fascination for women, especially the young Diana who knew him for the cad he essentially was.


Diana Dors - The official archive & website


Paul Sullivan’s tribute site to Dors, and an extremely useful resource.

Boasting numerous archived magazine covers and a timeline of her career, the site also contains a near comprehensive roundup of her film and television appearances. I was personally interested to see the photographs from the late actress’s personal archive covering her work in cabaret, a now much overlooked aspect of her career.

Historic reviews of her work would enhance the site further, but Rome wasn’t built in a day.