Carol Lynley, ‘Poseidon Adventure’ Star, Clairol Cover Girl, Dead At 77

The Golden Globe nominee started out as a teen model.

American actress and former child model Carol Lynley sitting in the back of a car, London, UK, 5th July 1968.
Dove / Daily Express / Getty Images

The Golden Globe nominee started out as a teen model.

Carol Lynley, the actress best known for her role in the blockbuster 1970s movie The Poseidon Adventure, has died at age 77. Lynley passed away at her Pacific Palisades home after suffering a heart attack in her sleep, a source told People.

Lynley first started out as a teen model who appeared on the cover of Life magazine as well as print ads for Clairol and the toothpaste brand Pepsodent.

In 1959, she co-starred in the controversial film Blue Denim as a teen who seeks out an illegal abortion. Lynley received a Golden Globe nomination for most promising female newcomer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

By the mid-1960s, she posed for Playboy and landed a coveted role playing Jean Harlow in a biopic about the blonde bombshell. Lynley later shot to fame in the 1972 blockbuster The Poseidon Adventure (1972), where her voice was dubbed for the Oscar-winning performance of “The Morning After.”

Lynley’s other movie roles included The Pleasure Seekers, Under the Yum Yum Tree, and Bunny Lake Is Missing. Her TV resume included guest spots on The Big Valley, Mannix, Fantasy Island, Kojak, and Hawaii Five-O. Lynley’s last acting role was in Sylvester Stallone’s 2006 film Vic.

Lynley’s daughter, Jill Selsman, told People that her famous mom was a super fan of the entertainment industry.

“Clearly, you can’t change death, but if there is a world beyond, she’s dancing with her great friend Fred Astaire and enjoying her new life as much as she enjoyed her previous one,” Selsman told the magazine.

In a 1972 interview with Roger Ebert, Lynley said The Poseidon Adventure, the film about an ocean liner turned over by a tidal wave, was “the most physically demanding role you can possibly imagine.”

Lynley said she had to swim underwater, climb across tiny catwalks, and walk over flames during a shoot that kept her wet “all day long.”

“They hosed us down at least 20 times a day. And there were no safety precautions for the first two weeks of shooting. I’d be up there on a catwalk, and if I slipped, it was six stories straight down through flames to a concrete floor.”

When asked why she put herself through such a grueling film role, Lynley said she actually loved the experience because she was such a fan of the movie industry.

“Everybody in town wanted it,” she said. “This is, you know, a major motion picture. And I’m such a movie buff, I just loved working on it.”

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While her acting resume made her a star, Lynley’s personal life made just as many headlines.

The blonde beauty reportedly had an 18-year affair with British broadcaster David Frost and was also once involved with Frank Sinatra.

Lynley is survived by her daughter Jill, her only child with Michael Selsman, her husband from 1960 to 1964.