|Born||2 April 1932|
Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
|Died||6 October 2011 (aged 79)|
Cairns, Queensland, Australia
(m. 1956; div. 1962)
(m. 1962; div. 1973)
(m. 1985; died 2001)
|Children||2; including Jason Connery|
|Relatives||Margaret Cilento (sister)|
Diane Cilento (2 April 1932 – 6 October 2011) was an Australian actress and author. She is best known for her film roles in Tom Jones (1963), which earned her an Academy Award nomination, Hombre (1967) and The Wicker Man (1973). She also received a Tony Award nomination for her performance as Helen of Troy in the play Tiger at the Gates.
Cilento was born in Mooloolaba, Queensland, the daughter of Phyllis (née McGlew) and Raphael Cilento, both distinguished medical practitioners in Queensland. She was the fifth of six children; four of her siblings became medical practitioners, while her sister Margaret was an artist. Cilento's paternal great-grandfather was Italian. Her maternal grandfather was merchant and exporter Charles Thomas McGlew.
At an early age she decided to follow a career as an actress and, after being expelled from school in Australia, was schooled in New York while living with her father. She later won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and moved to Britain in the early 1950s.
After graduation, Cilento found work on stage almost immediately and was signed to a five-year contract by Sir Alexander Korda. Her first leading role in a film was in the British film Passage Home (1955), opposite fellow Australian Peter Finch.
She soon secured roles in British films and worked steadily until the end of the decade. In 1956, she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Supporting or Featured Actress (Dramatic) for Helen of Troy in Jean Giraudoux's Tiger at the Gates. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Tom Jones in 1963 and appeared in The Third Secret the following year.
She starred with Charlton Heston in the 1965 film The Agony and the Ecstasy, and with Paul Newman in the 1967 western film Hombre, and The Wicker Man (1973).
Cilento continued working as an actress, in films and television. In the 1980s, she settled in Mossman, north of Cairns, where she built her own outdoor theatre, named "Karnak", in the tropical rainforest. The venture allowed her to participate in experimental drama.
In 2001, she was awarded the Centenary Medal for "distinguished service to the arts, especially theatre".
In 1956, Cilento married Andrea Volpe, an Italian aristocrat. She gave birth to their daughter Giovanna in 1957. Cilento and Volpe divorced in 1962.
In 1962, Cilento married actor Sean Connery. They had a son, Jason (born 1963), before divorcing in 1973. In her autobiography My Nine Lives, Cilento alleged that Connery was emotionally and physically abusive during their marriage.
In 1985, Cilento married playwright Anthony Shaffer, whom she met in 1972, while working on the film The Wicker Man. They remained together until his death in 2001.
Cilento died of cancer at Cairns Base Hospital on 6 October 2011. A collection of items from her estate was donated to the Queensland University of Technology and is housed in the library.
|1951||Captain Horatio Hornblower||Maria Hornblower (voice)||Uncredited|
|1952||Wings of Danger||Jeannette|
|1953||All Hallowe'en||Harriet||Short film|
|1953||Meet Mr. Lucifer||Woman on the street||Uncredited|
|1954||The Angel Who Pawned Her Harp||The Angel|
|1954||The Passing Stranger||Jill|
|1955||Passage Home||Ruth Elton|
|1955||The Woman for Joe||Mary|
|1957||The Admirable Crichton||Tweeny|
|1957||The Truth About Women||Ambrosine Viney|
|1959||Jet Storm||Angelica Como|
|1960||The Full Treatment||Denise Colby|
|1961||The Naked Edge||Mrs. Heath|
|1962||I Thank a Fool||Liane Dane|
|1963||Tom Jones||Molly Seagrim||Nominated — Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress|
Nominated — Laurel Award for Top Female Supporting Performance (4th place)
|1964||The Third Secret||Anne Tanner|
|1964||Rattle of a Simple Man||Cyrenne|
|1965||Once Upon a Tractor||Geraldine||Short film|
|1965||The Agony and the Ecstasy||Contessina de'Medici|
|1973||Hitler: The Last Ten Days||Hanna Reitsch|
|1973||The Wicker Man||Miss Rose|
|1975||The Tiger Lily||Charlotte Brain|
|1982||Duet for Four||Margot Mason|
|1985||The Boy Who Had Everything||Mother|
|1951||A Tomb with a View||Amy Heron||Television film|
|1955||The Alcoa Hour||Small Servant||Episode: "The Small Servant"|
|1956||The Taming of the Shrew||Bianca||Television film|
|1957–1961||ITV Television Playhouse||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1958||Television World Theatre||Nina Leeds Evans||Episodes: "Strange Interlude: Part 1 & 2"|
|1959–1964||ITV Play of the Week||Various roles||2 episodes|
|1959||Sunday Night Theatre||Anne||Episode: "The Concert"|
|1960||Armchair Theatre||Sadie Thompson||Episode: "Rain"|
|1961||Vanity Fair||Becky Sharp||Episode: "Part 1"|
|1963||Espionage||Lina||Episode: "Festival of Pawns"|
|1965||Blackmail||Euphrasia Jones||Episode: "Cut Yourself a Slice of Throat"|
|1966||Court Martial||Episode: "La Belle France"|
|1967||Thirty-Minute Theatre||Penelope||Episode: "Another Moon Called Earth"|
|1967||Dial M for Murder||Margo Wendice||Television film|
|1968||Late Night Horror||Lady Sannox||Episode: "The Kiss of Blood"|
|1969||ITV Sunday Night Theatre: Rogues' Gallery||Lady Sarah Bellasize||Regular role, 6 episodes|
|1972||The Persuaders!||Kate Sinclair||Episode: "The Kiss of Blood"|
|1973||Thriller||Clara||Episode: "Spell of Evil"|
|1975||Affairs of the Heart||Elizabeth Damerel||Episode: "Elizabeth"|
|1978||Tycoon||Diana Clark||Regular role, 13 episodes|
|1980||Big Toys||Mag||Television film|
|1983||For the Term of His Natural Life||Lady Elinor Devine||Recurring role, 2 episodes|
|1993–1994||Halfway Across the Galaxy and Turn Left||Authoritax / Principa||Recurring role, 6 episodes|
|1955||Tiger at the Gates||Helen||Helen Hayes Theatre||Theatre World Award|
Nominated — Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play
|1959||Heartbreak House||Ellie Dunn||Billy Rose Theatre|
|1960||The Good Soup||Marie-Paule II||Plymouth Theatre|
Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=766906