Carole Lesley

Maureen Rippingale (27 May 1935 – 28 February 1974), known professionally as Carole Lesley, was a British actress who had a short but significant career as a "blonde bombshell".[1]

Carole Lesley
Actress Carole Lesley.jpg
Born(1935-05-27)27 May 1935
Chelmsford, Essex, England
Died28 February 1974(1974-02-28) (aged 38)
New Barnet, London, England

Lesley was born in Chelmsford, Essex, but ran away from home at the age of 16, "aiming to become a star".[2]

She starred in several films in the late 1950s and early 1960s,[1] including the 1957 film Woman in a Dressing Gown, which won the 1958 Golden Globe Award for Best English-Language Foreign Film.[3] She also appeared in No Trees in the Street, These Dangerous Years, Doctor in Love, Operation Bullshine and What a Whopper, and played Helen of Troy in a television play.[4][5]

However, Associated decided to end her contract, which devastated her and she disappeared from the public eye. She subsequently lived in a semi-detached house overlooking New Barnet station in north London, but by 1973 was described as "a deeply depressed, once beautiful woman, still haunted by a glamorous past".[5]

She was found dead by her husband Michael Dalling in their New Barnet home on 28 February 1974.[6] At her inquest it was determined that she had died of a drug overdose and that she had "killed herself".[7]


Film and television
Year Title Role Notes
1947 The Silver Darlings Una (child)
1949 Trottie True Clare (child)
1954 The Embezzler Tea Shop Waitress
1956 Yakity Yak TV series
1957 The Good Companions Film Star
1957 Woman in a Dressing Gown Hilda
1957 These Dangerous Years Dinah Brown
1959 No Trees in the Street Lova
1959 Operation Bullshine Pvt. Marge White
1960 Doctor in Love Kitten Strudwick
1960 ITV Play of the Week Helen of Troy Episode: "Tiger at the Gates"
1961 Three on a Spree Susan
1961 What a Whopper Charlotte 'Charlie' Pinner
1962 The Pot Carriers Wendy


  1. ^ a b "Carole Lesley".
  2. ^ "Who'd be a movie star? They are little more than pampered, tethered goats". 20 January 2012 – via The Guardian.
  3. ^ "Woman in a Dressing Gown".
  4. ^ "Carole Lesley - Movies and Filmography - AllMovie".
  5. ^ a b "Carole Lesley and the Illusion of Glamour".
  6. ^ "'Doctor in Love' actress found dead". Birmingham Daily Post (35970). 2 March 1974. p. 44. Retrieved 23 April 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.
  7. ^ "Tragedy of ex-film girl". Daily Mirror (21826). 22 March 1974. p. 13. Retrieved 23 April 2020 – via British Newspaper Archive.

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