Diane Cliento, the flaxen-haired Australian actress best known for starring in the 1963 hit "Tom Jones," (a role which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress) has died at age 78 after a long battle with illness.
The star was born into a medical family in Mooloolaba, Queensland, in 1933, but picked up and moved to London to train at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London in the 1950s. Her talent and stunning looks added up to success, and she quickly began to land work both on stage and in film.
In 1963, she married Sean Connery and gave birth to their son, Jason, before the couple split about a decade later. Then, in 1985 she married writer Anthony Schaffer, who penned "The Wicker Man," a film in which Cliento also appeared, The Hollywood Reporter recounts.
Friend and playwright Michael Gow was with the cinema legend at a dinner party just last weekend. "She was a performer to the end, and she put on a great display for all the guests at that dinner," he mused.
Cliento died at Cairns Base Hospital in Queensland, Australia, late on Thursday.