but it didn't keep
Concluding Diana Dors' life story
The difference between Diana Dors and the Girls She Left Behind Her was plain to see in her home town, Swindon. She got married and got thinner and more shapely; they got married, many of them, but did not, like Diana, go on a diet.
SHE found that her ex-
cellent statistics, which she took care to display, brought her a fortune and fun, Cadillacs and con-
But it didn't bring her popu- larity back home in Swindon,
about 50 miles from London.
There are some ladies who
profess to be a little shocked by her, especially the old schoolmates from Selwood, that so-select school in Bath Road.
Diana Mary, the beautiful five-year-old daughter of Bert and Winnie Fluck, wore an eyeshade over one blue eye when she started at Selwood House.
It gave the fiery child a sense of drama, it is said in Swindon.
A slight cast in one eye is now corrected, though still half-hidden under the peeka- boo blond hair-do.
But Diana, mother's darling girl, favorite pet of Auntie Katharine from Cardiff, and beloved of Grandma Payne (from whom Diana was later to take the maiden name of
Dors), had a Temper.
She sometimes banged doors or stamped her little feet.
DIANA'S HUSBAND, Dennis Hamilton, former manufacturer of water softeners, former cinema commissionaire, former sales promoter, now Diana's manager and the brains of her "act." He has gone into training for Hollywood, now looks harder,
tougher, a more than adequate protector.
It led to the drama where- by six years later she left the narrow, three-story, grey stone house which housed the school, the Misses Cockey, and the 40 paying pupils.
It is a mixed school, in- cludes tuition in French and algebra, tennis and drawing, plain and fancy needlework, and physical culture.
The usual extras of piano- forte at two guineas, elocution at a guinea, and dancing at
30/- also mention instruction in percussion band at a mere six shillings.
The gentle, white-haired and very charming ladies, the Misses Ruth and Daisy Cockey, principals of the school, would, of course, never
use a word so crude as "ex-
There was a slight argu-
ment—but nonetheless Mrs.
Fluck, now a tall, stout lady,
collected her cherished Diana.
They stalked up the garden path and, heads high, passed through the gate and into Bath Road. They left a rather shaken class behind them.
Yet there was no doubt, however indelicate the phrase
that Diana had been asked to
Miss Daisy paled and shud- dered as I wrenched the veil from the past to disclose this painful scene.
"Oh, please, please," said Miss Daisy Cockey, "we do not like publicity; this has al- ways been such a NICE school, hasn't it, Ruth?
"Our mother ran a very ex- clusive school in Frome, and then we took over and came here about 1890.
"There are three rear-ad- mirals in our family and one long-dead uncle, a Bromwich connection, carried Nelson in his arms when he fell ill with malaria during one of the
I looked round the tiny par-
lor on the first floor of the schoolhouse, with its portraits and its pretty china.
Not a sight of Miss Dors not a gleam of that ash-blond hair, not even a camera-snap.
"You see, we do not NEED or like that kind of publicity," said Miss Daisy. "We think Diana an extremely clever girl, oh, extremely brilliant even.
"But we also think she has spoiled herself . . .
Her formative years
DIANA'S COSSIE was worn to get wet when she was seven, but even then the knew it was the right thing to wear before the cameraman.
"You know the sort of thing
. . . portraits in the papers that are, well, so difficult for us to describe—so revealing, shall we say? Why, her own mother used to encourage it . . . "
A pause. The clock chimed and upstairs there was the sound of children assembling
in the classroom.
"We do not want publicity, oh, dear, no," Miss Daisy
"We are rather surprised to hear that Diana remembered us. The first mention was when she told a Canadian newspaper about the essay she wrote in class at this school.
"Our brother sent it to us from Canada. Quite a sur- prise for us.
"We have never seen her on the films, Ruth and I, but I know that our elocution teacher, Miss Leason, who taught Diana here, went back- stage at a play in Brighton and told Diana that films had spoiled her style.
"Such a pity. We are very particular here about elocu- tion. Diana had a splendic training-"
But at last it had to corni out. Miss Daisy confessed:
"The trouble happened over Miss Knight, who taught French. Diana told her mother that teacher had said 'Oh hell' in front of her. Not a very terrible thing to say, I think.
"Well, Mrs. Fluck came here and said that Diana had com- plained about this bad lan- guage spoken in front of her.
"Miss Knight denied it ab- solutely. There was an argu-
ment and we had to ask Mrs.
Fluck to withdraw her daugt-
ter from the school."
The sequel came a little later when Diana, unhappy at her new school, which was partly "commercial," wanted
to come back.
"We were very sorry, but we said we did not want her
Though the Misses Cockey ("the pupils call us Miss Daisy and Miss Ruth because
seems warmer") have no por- traits of film-star Dors, they had a large collection of photo- graphs of school pantomimes.
"Diana was splendid in all
of these," said Miss Ruth. "We had no doubt but that would go very far."
In the opinion of the Misses Cockey, Diana Fluck was al-
THE SHAPE of things to come. Di at 12 prepared to slay them at Wes- ton-super-Mare in her midriff model. It was striped in blue and white, and she'd just learned to set her hair.
ways a pretty, delightful little girl in spite of her "self-will."
Yet there is nothing sour or prejudiced about the Misses Ruth and Daisy Cockey, who have all the old-world sweet-
ness and charm of figures out
"We want to be quite fair to Diana, our old pupil," said Ruth, "and we know that there is some criticism and prejudice
against her in the town, but we think, Daisy and I, that
it is simply jealousy and noth- ing else. "People will always envy those who have gone so much
further than they could ever
do." The Misses Cockey—reared in another world with other
manners and other ways, where girls showed not an
An instinct which
ankle, let alone a bosom — agreed with me that Diana Dors had shown not only her talent but also her courage.
Why is Diana Dors—the for- mer Diana Mary Fluck—im- portant?
Is it because she has proved
that any ambitious schoolgirl
can do what she's done with- out money, prestige or influ- ence? That you can get to the top with the loving affection and help of simple parents? They least of all expected
that within five to seven years
their little girl would own— among other things:
. A Rolls-Royce, a Cadillac, and a £6500 car with gold
dashboard and door handles.
. Several homes, property, shops, and businesses, includ- ing a brand-new home at Maidenhead, with white pent- house on top of the marble swimming-pool, 4½ acres of lawns and orchards, two ten- nis courts, fives and squash
. A £3500 mink coat, some diamonds, and a mink bikini.
HER SCHOOL UNIFORM was her pride before she was sent down from exclusive Selwood House. She wore it promenading (above) at Weston on a day too cold for swimming. With her is her Mum (carrying umbrella) and two friends. A Selwood
teacher who taught Diana elocution says films have spoiled her style.
SHE WANTED to be Miss Venus at 14, but she came only third in the competi- tion held at Weston. Results might have been different if she'd decided at that stage to blond the brown hair she
inherited from her Mum.
. And earnings that some- times run to £1000 a week,
Nine years ago the teenager
from Swindon had hair less fair and an income to match.
She was given work by the J. Arthur Rank Organisation
at £15 a week.
Seven years after this Rank was offering her a £33,000 contract—and being turned down. Later they did agree—
on HER terms.
It has not been easy for a young girl of no experience, special talent, or beauty to amass a fortune quickly.
But if diamonds are a girl's best friend, Diana has not only plenty of good friends but has made it respectable
to have them.
It was hard work. In ten years (and she is not 25 until October) Diana boasts of
THE BATHING SUIT that never got wet. It cost 50 guineas, is turquoise nylon shot with silver and embroidered in crystal and sequins. When Di promenaded in it at the Cannes Film Festival in May, police were called so that she could get across the street from her hotel to the beach.
having made more pictures than Garbo and Dietrich in their whole careers.
She began with nothing.
The Rank Organisation picked her for their Charm School. When that fizzled out, they dropped her.
Little Miss Fluck was on her own again, starting heart- breakingly almost from scratch. Some girls might have given up.
Then along came a Holly-
wood offer at £400 a week and it looked like a lifeline. Diana, fairly stunned at her own cheek, turned it down. She didn't want the dumb blond parts they offered.
But then, Diana has never been short on cheek.
She was young, blond, and healthy. She could afford to
It was superb cheek, a mag- nificent gamble. And it worked. For when Holly-
wood's third offer came a few
weeks ago it was a different kind of money . . . £27,900 for one picture, plus £250-a- week expenses for a ten weeks' job.
Perhaps absurd, gallant, cheeky little Miss Fluck had above all one infallible instinct which spelled Success.
She picked first the right parents, the loyal, loving
Albert and Winnie Fluck. And
then she picked the right hus- band, Dennis Hamilton.
Five years ago they met, married within three weeks, bought a Rolls and a superb house at Esher. Dennis became her manager and the brain behind her act.
Diana worked and worked. There were setbacks. Den-
nis matched his young bride in cheek, shared her own dis- like of dignity.
Back in Swindon, anxious Mum and Auntie held their breath. Once it was a near thing.
A scandal flared, and faded. Diana, husband, and friend were charged with breaking into a friend's house at Black- pool and stealing liquor.
It all turned out to be a
joke, but it got the wrong kind of publicity.
Yet nothing could stop
them now. There was the mink bikini, there was Cannes, and in the centre of it all
Diana Fluck, talking fast and wittily in a fair imitation of
an American accent.
There was "An Alligator Named Daisy," "A Kid For Two Farthings." Diana had
But the beautiful Mrs. Wini- fred Mary Fluck, who died in April, 1955, aged 65, had not lived long enough to see Diana rise to the peak of her
success . . . "Yield To The
Night," the praise of the critics and the applause of Hollywood.