Lesley-Anne Down is a British actress, singer, and former model. She first garnered attention in 1973 when she cast as Georgina Worsley in ITV’s drama ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’. She received further popularity for her roles in the movies ‘A Little Night Music’, ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’, ‘Nomads’ and ‘Sphinx’. Born and raised in South West London, Down began modelling when she was a teenager. She won several beauty pageants and received the title ‘Britain's most beautiful teenager’ at the age of 15. She hit the big screen in 1969 with a supporting role in the drama film ‘The Smashing Bird I Used to Know’. Since then, the talented actress has been acting in movies as well as television programs. When not filming, Down prefers to spend her time with her two kids and pets. She is a huge fan of Victorian kids’ books which she has been collecting since the age of 15. On a personal note, she has been married thrice. She is currently married to cinematographer Don E. Fauntleroy.
Childhood & Early Life
Lesley-Anne Down was born on March 17, 1954, in Wandsworth, South West London, England.
At the age of ten, she started modelling and left school when she was 12. At the age of 15, she got the title ‘Britain's most beautiful teenager’.
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Lesley-Anne Down made her feature film debut in the year 1969 when she was given a role in the British drama movie ‘The Smashing Bird I Used to Know’.
She then appeared in other British films including ‘All the Right Noises,’ ‘Countess Dracula’ and ‘Assault,’ and also guest-starred in the TV series ‘Out of the Unknown,’ ‘Six Dates with Barker’ and ‘Public Eye’ in the ensuing years.
From 1973 to 1975, the actress played Georgina Worsley in the drama series ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’. After the show ended, she was cast as Olga Bariosova in ‘The Pink Panther Strikes Again’, an American British comedy flick also starring Peter Sellers and Herbert Lom.
In 1977, Down starred opposite Elizabeth Taylor in the film adaptation of the musical ‘A Little Night Music’. The following year, she did the movies ‘The Betsy’ and ‘The First Great Train Robbery’.
She played Margaret Sellinger in Peter Hyams’ Anglo-American wartime romantic flick, ‘Hanover Street’ in 1979. In the ensuing years, the actress featured in several films including ‘Rough Cut’, ‘Sphinx’, ‘Murder Is Easy’, ‘The Hunchback of Notre Dame’, ‘Nomads’ and ‘Arch of Triumph’.
She played Stephanie Rogers in the soap opera ‘Dallas’ in 1990 and featured in an episode of the 1994 drama ‘The Nanny’. That year, Down also starred as Olivia Regent in the fifth instalment in the ‘Death Wish’ movie series titled ‘Death Wish V: The Face of Death’.
She was cast in the role of Eve in ‘The Secret Agent Club’, a spy action comedy about a secret spy who steals a laser pistol and pretends that it is a toy but eventually gets in deep trouble when others find out who he stole the pistol from.
In the year 1997, the actress had a cameo role in the comedy film ‘Meet Wally Sparks’. Four years later, she appeared in the series ‘Days of Our Lives’. Soon after this, she had roles in the films ‘13th Child’ and ‘Today You Die’.
From 2003 to 2012, Down portrayed the character of Jackie Marone in the soap opera ‘The Bold and the Beautiful’. Soon after the show ended, she featured in Victor Salva’s horror ‘Dark House’.
In 1985, Lesley-Anne Down was cast as Madeline Fabray LaMotte in the miniseries ‘North and South’. The series was a huge success, and Down’s role garnered appreciation and earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination. She later reprised the role in the second instalment ‘North and South, Book II’ which met with similar success.
From 1997 to 1999, the actress played Olivia Blake in ‘Sunset Beach’, a soap opera which followed the lives of people living in Sunset Beach, an Orange County coastal area on the coast of California.
Family & Personal Life
At the age of 15, Lesley-Anne Down met actor-writer Bruce Robinson. After living with him for about ten years, she married a man named Enrique Gabriel in 1980. The couple separated a year and a half later.
The actress married director William Friedkin in 1982. They had a son, Jack, before divorcing in 1985.
While still married to Friedkin, Down began a relationship with cinematographer Don E. Fauntleroy, who was also already married. The two divorced their respective partners and got married. They have a son named George-Edward.
In 1977, she spoke about the casting couch in the industry saying that it is no myth. She stated that she was promised lots of big roles by producers in exchange for sexual favors.
In 2015, she shared her experiences of sexual harassment during the 1970s.