Oscar-nominated actress Diane Cilento
London - Arabstoday
Text for storyThe former wife of James Bond actor Sean Connery, Oscar-nominated actress Diane Cilento, has died in Australia at the age of 78. Cilento, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best supporting actress for her performance in "Tom Jones" in 1963, died late Thursday in a hospital in the northern city of Cairns after a long illness, the AAP new agency reported.
The Australian actress was married in 1962 to Scottish-born Connery, who became a household name after starring in the first James Bond spy film "Dr. No".
The marriage lasted until 1973 and the couple had a son, actor Jason Connery.
The daughter of distinguished doctors, Cilento began acting in London as a teenager and won roles in British films in the 1950s.
She later starred with Charlton Heston in the 1965 classic "The Agony and the Ecstasy" and with Paul Newman in the 1967 western "Hombre".
Married three times, her last husband was playwright Anthony Schaffer, the author of "The Wicker Man" and the twin brother of famed English playwright Peter Schaffer who wrote "Equus". Anthony Schaffer died in 2001.
Cilento moved back to her native Queensland state in Australia in the 1980s to build and run Karnak Playhouse, a regional centre for the arts based north of Cairns.
Queensland Premier Anna Bligh said Cilento had made a valuable contribution to the arts scene.
"I know that Ms Cilento will be sorely missed by many in the industry," Bligh said. "I offer my sincere condolences to her family, friends and all those who enjoyed her important contribution to the arts."