The star 4


Early Years : War Years : Rising Star : The Star

The Star (continued)

Dennis declared that he would make Diana the female Errol Flynn. He said, “I’ll see to it that you receive more publicity than you have ever had.” Although the stunt had worked, there was still now work, and again in the dead of night, loading their few possessions into the car, they moved house, this time to Esher, which delighted Diana to be nearer London. Diana spirits were dashed again on the discovery that again she was pregnant. The question of keeping the baby never entered Dennis’ head. He was going to make her a star and he didn’t want anything to get in the way. After the abortion, Diana became depressed. Then a proposal of work came in, a live television series with terry Thomas called How do you View? Diana enjoyed the trips to London, and came over very well on the show, although some television viewers complained about the daringly dressed ‘Cuddles’ as she was called. Her fee paid off some of the bills, which had accumulated.

Diana was one of the very first celebrities to actually court the British press.  Her first husband and manager Dennis Hamilton believed any publicity either good or bad could only benefit the ambitious starlet.  One stunt was to set up the company Diana Dors Ltd and announce Diana as the youngest owner of a Rolls Royce.

However it was a Rolls Royce Dennis had bought in Diana’s name on hire purchase, as Diana then at 19 had not even learnt to drive. Once again he put together his smoothest and fastest talking act, the result was their old car as a deposit and a promise to pay the rest by instalments. Dennis made it known to everyone that Diana was the youngest registered owner of a Rolls Royce.

Photo of Diana and Dennis at home
Diana and Dennis

Diana landed a part in Rendezvous, the review would open in Brighton before moving on to the Comedy Theatre in London. The Rolls had worked a treat, seeing her pull up outside the theatre, Dennis had managed to get her fee raised from £25 to £40 per week. In one of the sketches, Diana had to translate the nursery rhyme Little Miss Muffett into eighteen different dialects from the blarney or Ireland to the excitability of France. Dennis fought with the shows producer to get better billing for Diana and to the annoyance of her and the producer, even insisted on completely changing one of her numbers. The revised version became a show stopper in a production that otherwise was mercilessly panned by the critics. In London, it closed after five days, enough time however, for Diana to make a tremendous impact.

Laurence Olivier was one of the many who came backstage to congratulate Diana and immediately asked if she was interested in a part in the film The Beggars Opera. Dennis however had other ideas and encouraged her to go for the money and a season in Blackpool.

A cabaret season soon followed, which started badly in Glasgow but had much improved by the time she reached Swindon, her home town. Now with a more professional show behind her and the confidence gained over the tour she knocked them dead!

Diana posing nude for Roye's 3D magazine
Diana posing for Roye’s 3D magazine
Cover of Roye's Diana Dors in 3D
Roye’s Diana Dors in 3D

 Dennis jumping on the 3D bandwagon, the latest craze, worked out a series of poses for Diana amid exotic backgrounds. The pictures were published in a book form and was called Diana Dors in 3D. It came complete with a pair of red and green spectacles for viewing. The British sex-symbol was born

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