The star 6


Early Years : War Years : Rising Star : The Star

The Star (continued)

Facing the enormous debts left by Hamilton (and the discovery of many unpaid tax demands which should have been paid for whilst Hamilton was managing her affairs), Diana accepted an offer from the News of the World newspaper for an expose on her life; and they wanted it saucy and revealing.  Diana, being her open and honest self, gave it all.  It was a 12 week serialisation, and sadly for Diana ended up looking cheap and tacky.  The journalists sensationalised Hamilton’s addiction to sex, and Diana was disappointed that her stories were embellished to sell more Sunday morning papers.

Diana Dors - News of the World headline
Diana Dors – News of the World headline

The resulting backlash was phenomenal; Diana came under some of the worst attacks she had ever experienced.  The Archbishop of Canterbury denounced Diana as a ‘wayward hussy’, campaigners for decency stated the best thing she could do for her unborn child was to have it adopted at birth, and the British public, although lapping up the scandal and sensation, condemned Diana for allowing such a story to be printed.  Various other sources jumped on the bandwagon, and more sensational stories followed from so called friends and ex-boyfriends.

Her first child, Mark Richard Dawson was born in February 1960 in the same clinic Dennis has died in the year before. Diana quickly became a working mother, and within a few short months was back in the US headlining a show at The Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas.  To coincide with the success of Diana’s cabaret act and The Diana Dors Show on TV, an album deal with Columbia PYE was arranged.  Accompanied by conductor and arranger Wally Scott, Diana sang a series of tracks, most already well established in her cabaret act.  SwinginDors was released in 1960, with the innovative design of the high gloss gate-fold sleeve showing Diana in an already famously expensive gown designed for her cabaret appearances, and the vinyl in scintillating red to match her now famous pout!

Diana and Dickie with baby Mark
Diana and Dickie with baby Mark
1960 Swinin' Dors album cover
1960 Swinin’ Dors

The 60’s were a difficult time for Diana as she juggled motherhood and her career.  In 1962 her second son Gary Dawson was born, yet she still performed at the many cabaret engagements that kept the money coming in.  There were only a few notable film appearances during this period, and Diana mostly concentrated on television work and cabaret, although even these were beginning to dry up as her fame dwindled. By the end of the decade she had split and divorced from Richard Dawson, (as he then liked to be known), their sons remaining with Dawson in their house in Beverly Hills.