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Born as Diana Mary Fluck on October 23, 1931 in Swindon, Wiltshire, she was part of a well-to-do family. Privately educated, young Diana was accepted to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts by the age of 14. In her likeness to Monroe – whose real name was Norma Jeane Mortenson – Diana also changed her name to Dors, the maiden name of her grandmother.
Propelled into the limelight, Diana Dors made a name for herself in show business starring in the film Oliver Twist (1948).
Becoming a household name in the 1940s, her numerous marriages and love affairs made it into the headlines.
Her first marriage, to Dennis Hamilton, caught press attention when Dors proclaimed he stole money from her at gunpoint.
This then compelled Dors to tell the tabloids about his steamy sex parties in order to reap £35,000.
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In turn, the Archbishop of Canterbury denounced her as a “wayward hussy”, but fans would appreciate what Dors had to offer to the art of film.
Best known for As Long As They’re Happy (1955), The Long Haul (1957), and The Amazing Mr Blunden (1972), her role in Streaming (1985) was released posthumously.
Dors died suddenly at the age of 52 on May 4, 1984, due to ovarian cancer.
Macmillan Cancer Support cautions ovarian cancer can cause “symptoms that are similar to common non-cancerous conditions”.
Symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- A long-lasting bloated or swollen stomach
- Feeling full quickly when you eat
- Loss of appetite
- Pain in the lower tummy area
- Back pain
- Peeing (passing urine) more often than usual
- Needing to pee urgently (feeling like you cannot hold on).
Anybody experiencing signs of ovarian cancer are advised to book a doctor’s appointment.
As with most types of cancer, the sooner a diagnosis is made, the better the outlook is likely to be.
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Macmillan Cancer Support notes: “Doctors do not know what causes cancer to start in the ovary.
“But there are some risk factors that may increase the chances of it developing.”
Modifiable lifestyle factors include being overweight and smoking.
Up to 15 percent of cases are attributed to an inherited mutation called the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene.
The charity says: “If you have a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, your risk of developing ovarian cancer is up to 65 percent higher. With BRCA2, it is up to 35 percent higher.”
All families from all ethnic backgrounds can be affected by the gene mutation linked to cancer.
However, families from an Ashkenazi Jewish background have a particularly high risk of having BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.
People over the age of 65 are also at higher risk of developing ovarian cancer.
Diana Does: Britain’s Blonde Bombshell features on Channel 5, Friday, February 3 at 10pm.
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