English actress Belinda Lee (1935-1961) was a knock-out peroxide starlet who became an authentic brunette star. She was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. While playing in one of the Academy’s productions, she was spotted by director Val Guest and cast for the comedy The Runaway Bus (1954). For her role as a dumb blonde she received good notices. She was then cast as Amanda, one of the nubile and naughty schoolgirls in The Belles Of St.Trinians (1954, Frank Launder). When the Rank Organisation offered her a seven-year contract in 1954, she readily accepted. Rank typecasted her as one of their glamorous starlets and she was often seen as a second-string Diana Dors. She played a sexy bombshell to Benny Hill in Who Done It? (1956, Basil Dearden) and was served up as typical window dressing in Miracle in Soho (1957, Julian Amyes). In the swashbuckler Dangerous Exile (1957, Brian Desmond Hurst) she played a spirited young woman looking after the refugee heir to the French throne.
Belinda Lee then went to Rome to play the female lead in La Venera Di Cheronea (1958, Fernando Cerchio, Victor Tourjansky). She met Prince Filippo Orsini, and soon there were media reports about a scandalous romance. Both were married and she became quickly a major European celebrity. She returned to England for Nor The Moon By Night (1958, Ken Annakin) in which she was even allowed to suggest sexual desire. In 1959, after her divorce from Rank Studio photographer Cornel Lucas, she moved definitively to Italy. The parts she played, the colour of her hair, her publicity photographs: all were in marked contrast to her British period. She played voluptuous temptresses in lowbudget epics as Le Notti di Lucrezia Borgia (1959, Sergio Grieco) and Messalina Venere imperatrice (1960, Vittorio Cottafavi), but also gave credible dramatic performances in Francesco Rosi's immigration drama I Magliari (1959), Il Sicario (1960, Damiano Damiani) and the intense war story La lungha notte del 43 (1960, Florestano Vancini). While on holiday in California with her boyfriend, filmmaker Gualtiero Jacopetti, she suddenly died in a car accident. It all ended much too soon, she was only 26.
Source: Wikipedia, LoveGoddess.info and IMDb.
Dutch postcard by Gebr. Spanjersberg, Rotterdam. Nr. 963.