Carol Lynley Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (1)  | Trivia (11)  | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Born in New York City, New York, USA
Died in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California, USA  (heart attack)
Birth NameCarole Ann Jones
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Blond, blue-eyed and with an attractively feline appeal, Carol Lynley began her professional career as Carolyn Lee. She learned ballet at the age of seven, became a successful child model at the age of ten (eventually working for the Sears & Roebuck department store in New York) and got her face nationally recognised as 'the Coca-Cola Girl'.

Carol was born Carole Ann Jones in New York City, to Frances Fuller (Felch), from New England, and Cyril Roland Jones, who was an Irish immigrant. Trying to branch out into acting early on, Carol discovered that another individual by that name (born seven years earlier) was already on the books of Actors' Equity, thus Carolyn changed her moniker by fusing the 'lyn' and the 'lee' to create 'Lynley'. From the age of fifteen she appeared on Broadway, played juvenile roles in early anthology television and was featured on the cover of Life Magazine in April 1957. Her first important film roles came in decidedly wholesome fare, beginning with The Light in the Forest (1958) for Walt Disney Productions in which she played the indentured servant girl Shenandoe. It was a promising start. A New York Times reviewer praised her performance (alongside that of fellow screen newbie James MacArthur), describing both as "real charmers with more than their share of talent." Thrust into the limelight, Blue Denim (1959), Lynley reprised her earlier Broadway role as a naive girl who becomes pregnant and faces the dilemma of confronting her father or having an illegal abortion. For this role, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award as Most Promising Newcomer in 1959. That same year, she graduated with a diploma from New York's School for Young Professionals. Lynley went on to essay other ingénue roles and troubled teens before gradually shedding her wholesome image by the early 60s.

Return to Peyton Place (1961) headlined the actress as a best-selling novelist who controversially reveals the town's darkest secrets and scandals. This was followed by the bawdy (and mostly irritating) sex farce Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963), with Lynley as a virginal college student in a New York apartment block pursued by a lecherous landlord/playboy (played by Jack Lemmon). Luckily, better opportunities to prove her acting mettle turned up with a double role in The Cardinal (1963) (opposite Tom Tryon) and as the tormented mother of a kidnapped child in the superior psychological thriller Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965), directed by Otto Preminger and co-starring Laurence Olivier. Cinema magazine commented "With a face like that of a fallen angel, Carol Lynley has beauty that is often awe inspiring".

In March 1965, the former teen queen posed nude for an issue of Playboy magazine. That same year, she played the title role in a turgid biopic of 1930s Hollywood sex symbol Jean Harlow. While the quality of her films tended to decline after the mid-60s, there were still entertaining moments in B-pictures like The Shuttered Room (1967) and Once You Kiss a Stranger... (1969) (in this lurid thriller, Lynley rose above her material and was memorable in the role of a psychotic murderess). In Irwin Allen's The Poseidon Adventure (1972), she was merely one of the ill-fated passengers who ended up in Davy Jones' Locker. Still, Variety called her performance "especially effective". After 1967, television provided most of her work, including guest spots in seminal shows like Mannix (1967), The Invaders (1967), Hawaii Five-O (1968) and as co-star of the TV pilot for The Night Stalker (1972) (as Carl Kolchak's girlfriend). In her penultimate role, Lynley played a grandmother in a film titled uncannily similar to the one which had launched her career: A Light in the Forest (2003).

Carol Lynley retired from the screen in 2006. A highly capable actress who should have made a bigger splash in Hollywood, she passed away on September 3, 2019, in Pacific Palisades, California, from a heart attack at the age of 77.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: I.S.Mowis

Spouse (1)

Michael Selsman (30 December 1960 - 28 April 1964) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trivia (11)

She had an affair, off and on for 18 years, with David Frost.
"Carolyn Lee" was her modeling name -- a name that was already registered with Actors' Equity, so she changed it to use the homophone "Carol Lynley".
Her only child is a daughter with ex-husband Michael Selsman named Jill Selsman (born March 2, 1962).
She was featured on the April 22, 1957, cover of LIFE Magazine. Walt Disney saw her photo and article and decided to cast her in his release The Light in the Forest (1958). It was Carol's debut (she received an "and introducing" credit in the opening titles), but it was also her swan song for Disney's studio. Opposite James MacArthur, a Broadway actor, both gave convincing performances, receiving mixed critical reaction, mostly because of the entrenched polarized "pro" and "anti" Disney factions.
Lynley owned the boots and pendant she wears in The Poseidon Adventure (1972). She complained during production that the boots were shrinking due to constant immersion in water, making them extremely uncomfortable.
Is a huge fan of Cameron Diaz, one of her favorite films being There's Something About Mary (1998).
Although in later years she claimed to have sung "The Morning After" in The Poseidon Adventure (1972), her voice was in fact dubbed by studio singer Renée Armand.
Was close friends with actor/dancer Fred Astaire. In the late 1970s, it was much rumored (over a period of several years) in the press that they might even marry; however, in June 1980, the then 81-year old Astaire instead wed Robyn Smith, who is precisely (two years, 183 days in leap years of both her birth year of 1944 and wedding year of 1980) two and one half years younger than Carol. Carol is quoted extensively in the book "Fred Astaire: His Friends Talk" (1988), by Sarah Giles.
With her friend, entertainment reporter Nelson Aspen, Lynley appeared in several interstitial showbiz segments covering a variety of topics. For Australia's #1 morning show Sunrise (2002), she reflected on the remake of The Poseidon Adventure (1972). On TV Guide Television (1999), she discussed her long career in television, film and on Broadway. For "New with Nelson", she revealed some of her Oscar picks for that year and named her all-time favorite Oscar winner as Frank Sinatra.
Daughter of Frances Fuller (Felch), from Suffolk, Massachusetts, and Cyril Roland Jones, who was an Irish emigrant, from Kerry.
At 12 she would pose in modeling work all day the dash to the theatre to perform in 'The Anniversary Waltz'. She attracted a lot of attention om Broadway with her roles in 'The Potting Shed' and 'Blur Denim',.

Personal Quotes (1)

I've never been in a scandal. I've never been caught running naked down a highway. I've not tried to shoot anybody. Nobody's ever tried to shoot me. My child is legitimate... I've never been to Betty Ford... No porn... No drug addictions... I've outlived three of my doctors. So if you're going to write a juicy book, I've got a problem.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed