Australian Actress Diane Cilento Dies Age 78

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Oscar-nominated actress, Diane Cilento has passed away at the age of 78 at her home in Australia. Cilento, a well respected star of stage and screen, rose to fame in the 1950s and 60s with roles in films such as The Agony and the Ecstacy alongside Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison. She received an Oscar nomination in 1963 for her supporting role in British period drama, Tom Jones.

Her celebrity grew from her marriage to Sean Connery, which lasted from 1962 to 1973. However Cilneto’s most remembered role soon followed in cult-classic, The Wicker Man, which was written by her second husband, playwright Anthony Schaffer. Here, Cilento got the chance to show off her vocals as librarian, Miss Rose.

Cilento soon retreated from cinema, returning to her native Australia and setting up the open-air theatre, The Karnak Playhouse in South Queensland. She received one of the state’s highest honors – the Queensland Greats Award in 2001 and released her autobiography, My Nine Lives in 2006.