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Australian Biography Series - Diane Cilento (Study Guide)

SKU: SG1476


    Diane Cilento achieved international acclaim as a stage and screen actor in the 1950s and 60s. A graduate of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, she won a Critics Choice Award for her theatre role in Tiger at the Gates in 1956 and an Academy Award nomination for Tom Jones in 1963. That was also the year her celebrity reached its height, with her husband Sean Connery as James Bond attracting feverish attention the world over. It was far removed from her days growing up in Queensland as one of six children to Lady Phyllis and Sir Raphael Cilento, both eminent doctors. But not necessarily surprising. Diane had been a rebellious child. Expelled from her school in Australia, she went to New York with her father, where she  secretly spent her days at the museum and the movies instead of in the classroom, and where she discovered acting. Young Diane was impetuous, passionate, dramatic. Her early life was marked by intense peaks of emotion: her elopement  with a romantic Italian at the age of 23, a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt, and twice fleeing marriages without warning. Diane talks about balance. She had a happy marriage, spiritual contentment and a magnificent Queensland property where she ran a theatre amidst the rainforest. It’s a place she has reached after turning her back on stardom in the 1970s and beginning a journey of self discovery. In a very candid interview, Diane talks about what she has learnt from her roles: as an actor, as wife and mother, and as someone seeking spiritual fulfilment.


    Australian Biography: Diane Cilento will have interest and relevance for students at upper secondary and tertiary levels. Curriculum links include English, Drama, Media Studies, Society and Culture, Personal Development, Philosophy and Studies of Religion.

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