Classic Hollywood #123 – Young Diana Dors

Britain’s Answer To Marilyn Monroe – Diana Dors 1954

Lovely Diana Dors who plays her first dramatic screen role as a woman prisoner in the new Associated British-Marble Arch production, “The Weak and The Wicked” starring Glynis Johns and co-starring John Gregson, Diana Dors, and Jane Hylton with Sidney James, A.E. Matthews, Anthony Nicholls, Athene Seyler, Olive Sloane and Sybil Thorndike. Screenplay by J. Lee-Thompson and Anne Burnsby in collaboration with Joan Henry, author of “Who Idle in Gaol” from which the film is freely adapted. Directed by J. Lee-Thompson and produced by Victor Skutezky. photo: British Pathe June 5, 1954

Diana Dors was only 22-years-old during the filming of The Weak and The Willing. Yet Dors had already appeared in nearly two dozen British films; mostly uncredited bit parts. When The Weak and The Willing, was released in the United States it was re-titled Young and Willing.

Dors resemblance to Marilyn Monroe gave rise to constant comparisons, though Dors star would never rise to the magnitude of Monroe’s.

One thing Dors had in common with Monroe was an alliterative change of name.

Norma Jean Baker became Marilyn Monroe, which sounds like a movie star name. Diana Mary Fluck was thankfully rechristened Diana Dors for the silver screen.

There are many people who believe that Dors was the more talented actress. After years in Hollywood, Monroe began studying at the Actors Studio in New York to improve her craft. Dors approach to acting was just as serious. At age 14 Dors enrolled at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. At 16 casting directors thought Dors was older than she actually was and began to give her roles.

Dors remained a popular star, especially in Great Britain for three decades, making over 100 film and television appearances until her premature death from cancer at age 52 in 1984.

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