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Carol Lynley

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Also Known As: Carole Ann Jones, Carolyn Lee Died:
Born: February 13, 1942 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: New York City, New York, USA Profession: actor, model

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

A blonde, ethereal, eternal ingenue, Carol Lynley has been acting since she was a teenager and is perhaps best recalled as the mother whose son is kidnapped in Otto Preminger's dreary "Bunny Lake is Missing" (1965), and as the pop singer who survives "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972).Lynley was a mere 16 when she made her film debut in Disney's "The Light in the Forest" (1958), in which she played a teen sympathetic to a young man raised in the wild. A former teen model, she learned competence in acting on the job and played another teen role, a young woman who becomes pregnant in "Blue Denim" (1959). She grew into young adult roles quickly and although not yet 20, played Allison MacKenzie, a young author about to have her first book published, in the sequel "Return to Peyton Place" (1961). She went on to appear as the girlfriend Richard Beymer dumps for "exotic dancer" Joanne Woodward in "The Stripper" and the young woman who draws Jack Lemmon's attention in "Under the Yum Yum Tree" (both 1963). Also that year, Lynley gave one of her best performances under Otto Preminger's direction in "The Cardinal". After appearing in one of the two 1963 biopics of 1930s bombshell Jean Harlow (the Lynley version...

A blonde, ethereal, eternal ingenue, Carol Lynley has been acting since she was a teenager and is perhaps best recalled as the mother whose son is kidnapped in Otto Preminger's dreary "Bunny Lake is Missing" (1965), and as the pop singer who survives "The Poseidon Adventure" (1972).

Lynley was a mere 16 when she made her film debut in Disney's "The Light in the Forest" (1958), in which she played a teen sympathetic to a young man raised in the wild. A former teen model, she learned competence in acting on the job and played another teen role, a young woman who becomes pregnant in "Blue Denim" (1959). She grew into young adult roles quickly and although not yet 20, played Allison MacKenzie, a young author about to have her first book published, in the sequel "Return to Peyton Place" (1961). She went on to appear as the girlfriend Richard Beymer dumps for "exotic dancer" Joanne Woodward in "The Stripper" and the young woman who draws Jack Lemmon's attention in "Under the Yum Yum Tree" (both 1963). Also that year, Lynley gave one of her best performances under Otto Preminger's direction in "The Cardinal". After appearing in one of the two 1963 biopics of 1930s bombshell Jean Harlow (the Lynley version was originally filmed for television, shot as a kinescope and then transferred to film), Lynley reteamed with Preminger for "Bunny Lake Is Missing". But the mood in the US was changing, along with its tastes in leading ladies, and Lynley made her next two films in Britain; "The Shattered Room" (1967) and the spy thriller "Danger Route" (1968). She returned to the States and found herself cast in ensemble pieces or secondary roles. Lynley was among the ensemble of the horror spoof "The Maltese Bippy" (1969) and gave way to the younger Kim Darby as leading lady opposite Glen Campbell in "Norwood" (1970). Perhaps the highest grossing film with which Lynley was associated came in 1972, "The Poseidon Adventure", in which she essayed a surprisingly fragile band singer who survives the ordeal primarily thanks to Red Buttons, who falls instantly in love with her. From the early 70s on, though, Lynley's feature film roles developed breathing room between them, and the budgets and quality of the productions dipped considerably. By 1991, she was in the horror sequel "The Howling VI: The Freaks" and was a nun to Erik Estrada's priest in the low budget "Spirits" (1992).

The small screen has provided some work, as has the stage. Lynley was a 14-year old teen model when she made her TV debut in an episode of "The Goodyear Playhouse" in 1956, and she continued to work in the medium throughout the next 30 years, although not necessarily with frequency. Her one regular series, "The Immortal" (ABC, 1970-71), found her in the recurring role of fiancee to the race car driving hero (Christopher George). Lynley began in TV-movies with "Shadow on the Land" (NBC, 1968), and many of her longforms were of the woman-in-terror or woman-in-jeopardy variety, such as "Weekend of Terror" (ABC, 1970), "The Night Stalker" (ABC, 1972) and "Death Stalk" (NBC, 1974). She appeared on the 1977 two-hour pilot for "Fantasy Island" (ABC) and also hosted the short-lived "The Fashion Report" (syndicated, 1987).

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
2.
 Spirits (1992) Sister Jillian
3.
 Howling VI - The Freaks (1991) Miss Eddington
4.
 Dark Tower (1989) Tilly Ambrose
5.
 Blackout (1988) Mother
6.
 Vigilante (1983) Da Fletcher
7.
 Balboa (1982) Erin Blakely
8.
 Cat and the Canary, The (1979) Annabelle West
9.
10.
 Beasts Are On The Streets, The (1978) Dr Claire Mccauley
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

1952:
Worked as a child model
1954:
Broadway debut in "The Anniversary Waltz"
1956:
Began work in TV with episode of "Goodyear Playhouse"
1957:
Appeared on Broadway in "The Potting Shed"
1958:
Feature acting debut, "Light in the Forest"
1959:
Had starring role in "Blue Denim"
1965:
Played "Harlow" in one of two film versions released that year
1965:
Had one of her best screen roles in Otto Preminger's "Bunny Lake Is Missing"
1968:
Made TV-movie debut, "Shadow on the Land" (NBC)
:
Had first regular series with "The Immortal" (ABC)
1972:
Was one of the survivors of "The Poseiden Adventure"
1974:
Last NYC stage appearance for more than a decade, replaced Sandy Dennis in "Absurd Person Singular"
1977:
Guested in TV-movie pilot of "Fantasy Island"
1990:
Returned to NYC stage to appear in off-Broadway production of "The Seagull"
1992:
Played nun in "Spirits" with Erik Estrada
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Lynley posed for a PLAYBOY photo spread in 1965.

"I'm in transition. I'm playing middle-aged parts, which is a good idea! . . . Eventually, I want to make the next transition to where I'm playing snowy-haired old ladies, my Helen Hayes period." --Carol Lynley in PEOPLE, November 28, 1994

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Michael Selsman. Press agent; later literary agent, producer. Married in 1960; divorced in 1964.
companion:
David Frost. Had 18-year off-again, on-again relationship with Lynley.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Cyril Jones.
mother:
Frances Fuller Felch.
daughter:
Jill Selsman. Writer. Once worked for <i>Interview</i>; born in 1962; father, Michael Selsman.

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