Diane Cilento, 78, dies in Australia

Oscar-nominated Australian actress Diane Cilento, actor Sean Connery’s former wife, passed away in Northern Australia on Thursday, one day after her 78th birthday, officials said Friday.

Cilento, who starred in dozens of films, stage productions and television shows, reportedly died due to complications resulting from a long-lasting illness, said Queensland state Premier Anna Bligh. Cilento was being treated at Cairns Base Hospital in Queensland, Australia before her passing.

Cilento rose to fame in the 50s and 60s starring alongside such industry greats as Paul Newman and Charlton Heston. In 1963, she received an Academy Award nomination for her role as Molly Seagrim in the 1963 film Tom Jones.

Her status as a celebrity rose further upon marrying Connery, her second husband after Andrea Volpe, in 1962. Nearly a decade after their divorce in 1973, Cilento went on to marry playwright Anthony Shaffer in 1985.

“While she was originally known as a glamorous international film star, her work in later years in the far north showed her commitment to the arts,” Bligh said in a statement. “I know that Ms. Cilento will be sorely missed by many in the industry.”

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Source: Associated Press