Diana Dors was an English actress, born Diana Mary Fluck at the the Haven Nursing Home in Swindon, Wiltshire on October 23, 1931. Having excelled in her elocution studies, after lying about her age, at 14 she was offered a place to study at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), becoming the college's youngest ever student. She lodged at the Earls Court YWCA, and supplemented her £2 per week allowance, most of which was spent on her lodgings, by posing for the London Camera Club for one guinea (£1.05) an hour. Signed to the Gordon Harbord Agency, in her first term she won a bronze medal, awarded by Peter Ustinov, and in her second won a silver with honours.
Diana first came to public notice as a ‘blonde bombshell’ of the Monroe style, as promoted by her first husband, Dennis Hamilton, mostly via sex film-comedies and risqué modelling.
Diana first came to public notice as a ‘blonde bombshell’ of the Monroe style, as promoted by her first husband, Dennis Hamilton, mostly via sex film-comedies and risqué modelling. When it turned out that Hamilton had been defrauding her for his own benefit, she had little choice but to play up to her established image, and she made tabloid headlines with the adult parties reportedly held at her house. Later she showed a genuine talent for TV and cabaret, and gained new popularity as a regular chat-show guest.
Dors died on May 4, 1984 at age 52 from a recurrence of ovarian cancer, first diagnosed two years before. Having converted to Catholicism in spring 1973 a funeral service was held at the Sacred Heart Church in Sunningdale on 11 May 1984, conducted by Father Theodore Fontanari. She was buried in Sunningdale Catholic Cemetery.
After her death, her husband, Alan Lake, burned all of Dors's remaining clothes and fell into a depression. On 10 October 1984 Lake did a telephone interview with Daily Express journalist Jean Rook. He then walked into their son's bedroom, and committed suicide by firing a shotgun into his mouth. He was 43. This was five months after her death from cancer, and sixteen years to the day since they had first met.
Her home for the previous 20 years, Orchard Manor, was sold by the solicitors. The house's contents were bulk-sold by Sotheby's, who sold her jewellery collection in an auction. After solicitors' bills, outstanding tax payments, death duties, and other distributions, the combined estate of Dors and Lake left little for the upkeep of their son (age 14), who was subsequently made a ward of court to his half-brother Gary Dawson in Los Angeles.
Dors apparently hid away what she claimed to be over £2 million in banks across Europe. In 1982, she gave her son Mark Dawson a sheet of paper, on which she told him was a code that would reveal the whereabouts of the money. Alan Lake supposedly had the key that would crack the code, but as he had committed suicide, Dawson was left with an apparently unsolvable code.
Dawson sought out computer forensic specialists Inforenz, who recognized the encryption as the Vigenère cipher. Inforenz then used their own cryptanalysis software to suggest a ten-letter decryption key, DMARYFLUCK (short for Diana Mary Fluck, Dors' real name). Although Inforenz was then able to decode the entire message and link it to a bank statement found in some of Lake's papers, the location of the money is still unknown.
Some have speculated that there may have been a second sheet of paper, whose information might have led to the discovery of the money. Channel 4 made a television program about the mystery, and created a website (now removed) where users could learn more and help solve the mystery.
Dors passed away on May 4, 1984.
- Dancing with Crime (1947)
- Holiday Camp (1947)
- The Shop at Sly Corner (1947) (also known as Code of Scotland Yard)
- Penny and the Pownall Case (1948)
- My Sister and I (1948)
- Here Come the Huggetts (1948)
- The Calendar (1948)
- Oliver Twist (1948)
- Good-Time Girl (1948)
- Vote for Huggett (1949)
- It's Not Cricket (1949)
- A Boy, a Girl and a Bike (1949)
- Diamond City (1949)
- Dance Hall (1950)
- Worm's Eye View (1951)
- Lady Godiva Rides Again (1951)
- The Last Page (1952; released in the U.S. as Man Bait)
- My Wife's Lodger (1952)
- The Great Game (1953)
- Is Your Honeymoon Really Necessary? (1953)
- The Saint's Return (1953)
- It's a Grand Life (1953)
- The Weak and the Wicked (1954)
- Value for Money (1955)
- Miss Tulip Stays the Night (1955)
- An Alligator Named Daisy (1955)
- A Kid for Two Farthings (1955)
- As Long as They're Happy (1955)
- Yield to the Night (1956)
- The Unholy Wife (1957)
- The Long Haul (1957)
- Tread Softly Stranger (1958)
- The Love Specialist (1958) (original title:La ragazza del palio)
- Passport to Shame (1958)
- I Married a Woman (1958)
- Scent of Mystery (1960) (also known as Holiday in Spain)
- On the Double (1961)
- The Big Bankroll (1961)
- Mrs. Gibbons' Boys (1962)
- Encontra a Mallorca (1962)
- West 11 (1963)
- The Counterfeit Constable (1964)
- The Sandwich Man (1966)
- Berserk! (1967)
- Danger Route (1967)
- Baby Love (1968)
- Hammerhead (1968)
- Deep End (1970)
- There's a Girl in My Soup (1970)
- Hannie Caulder (1971)
- The Pied Piper (1972)
- Nothing But the Night (1973)
- Every Afternoon (1972) (also known as Swedish Wildcats)
- The Amazing Mr. Blunden (1972)
- Steptoe and Son Ride Again (1973)
- Theatre of Blood (1973)
- From Beyond the Grave (1973)
- Craze (1974)
- Three for All (1975)
- The Amorous Milkman (1975)
- Bedtime with Rosie (1975)
- What the Swedish Butler Saw (1975) (also known as A Man with a Maid and Champagnegalopp)
- Adventures of a Taxi Driver (1976)
- Keep It Up Downstairs (1976)
- Adventures of a Private Eye (1977)
- Confessions from the David Galaxy Affair (1979)
- Steaming (1984)
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