Her first foray into showbusiness was at the age of 11 when she became a singer on a BBC Radio programme broadcast from Leeds.Three years later she was a full time singer at the city's Mecca Locarno and a year later she was performing at the Tottenham Court Road ballroom in London.She then became a resident singer with big bands such as Cyril Stapleton and Stanley Black.
In the 1954 film "Betrayed" she dubbed the singing voice of Lana Turner.The song was called "Johnny Come Home" and this was also released as a single under her own name.This would not be the last time that Diana's singing voice would be used in the same way in a film,the 1962 James Bond film "Dr No" featured Diana singing "Underneath the Mango Tree" during the now iconic scene of Ursula Andress on the beach.At the time Diana was married to the film's composer Monty Norman.The marriage was dissolved after 20 years and Diana remarried in 1980 to Marc Miller.
Diana's acting career started when she starred in the musical "Make Me An Offer" in 1959 at the Theatre Royal,Stratford East,and she also starred in the television adaptation.Over the years Diana starred in many films including The Millionairess,The Family Way,Charlie Bubbles,Spring and Port Wine,The Twleve Chairs,The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer and The Best Pair of Legs in the Business.
The first sitcom starring Diana was the first series of A Little Big Business.Her most famous role came after she was spotted by producer William G Stewart while playing Connie Eversleigh,the mother of pupil Sharon in the London Weekend Television comedy "Please Sir!".
On the 2nd of February 1971 Thames Television's Bless This House appeared on the screen and the part of Jean Abbott was to become Diana's most famous role.Running for 65 episodes between 1971 and 1976 and spawning a feature film in 1972 it followed the exploits of the Abbott family,headed by the legendary Sid James.The on-screen chemistry between the two leads was superb and was a hit immediately with the viewing public and the series was regularly in top 10 of the viewing figures charts.
Various TV and stage roles came Diana's way in the years following Bless This House including A Raging Calm (TV),Dickens of London (TV),Triangle (TV),Juliet Bravo (TV),Not Now Darling (Savoy Theatre),Gigi (Lyric Theatre),High and Dry (TV),Richard III (RSC,Stratford),One Foot In The Grave (TV),Eastenders (TV),Rose and Maloney (TV).
Diana also did a lot of work for various charities including being patron for National Lupus UK which supports sufferers of systemic and discoid lupus and she was also president of The Shakespeare Hospice.Below are links to both charities,please give them your support.
Thank you Diana for all the laughs you have given us over the years in Bless This House,may you rest in peace.