Veteran actress Carol Lynley, known for her work across many decades in commercials, movies, and television, has passed away. As a performer, Lynley had been active since the mid '50s, acting and modeling for over five decades by the end of her career. Perhaps her most well-known role is that of The Poseidon Adventure, which saw her performing the Oscar-winning song "The Morning After." Reportedly, Lynley died on Tuesday at her Pacific Palisades, California home following a heart attack. She was 77 years old.
Born in 1942, Lynley's given name is Carole Ann Jones. For theatrical purposes, she used the stage name Carolyn Lee when she began child modeling in the 1950's. Upon her transition into acting, she learned the name Carolyn Lee had already been registered by another child actress, so Lynley simply combined the two names in a creative new way to come up with her new name. As Carol Lynley, the actress was soon impressing audiences both on Broadway and in Hollywood. By 1959, she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer - Female following her performance as a pregnant teenager seeking abortion in the controversial drama movie Blue Denim.
Over the next several decades, Lynley would appear in dozens of acting roles in both movies and on television. Along with Blue Denim, some of her notable movie credits include The Poseidon Adventure, Return to Peyton Place, Under the Yum Yum Tree, The Pleasure Seekers, and The Cardinal. Lynley kept very busy on the small screen as well, and could be seen in shows like Charlie's Angels, Hawaii Five-O, Kojack, Night Gallery, and The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. She also starred in the pilot television movies for Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Fantasy Island. For the horror fans out there, Lynley's later career credits include spots in horror movies like Dark Tower, Spirits, and Howling VI: The Freaks.
Lynley's final acting role would come in 2006 when she appeared in the short film Vic. The directorial debut of Sylvester Stallone's late son Sage, drama follows Clu Gulager as a "down-on-his-luck" actor named Vic hoping for a Hollywood comeback. Also appearing alongside Lynley and Gulager are Miriam Byrd-Nethery, John LaZar, and John Phillip Law. After premiering at the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films, the movie later earned Stallone a "Best New Filmmaker" award when it was shown at the Boston Film Festival. Coincidentally for her final role, Lynley plays the part of Carrie Lee in the short - another variation of her famous stage name.
Lynley is survived by her daughter, short film director Jill Selsman. Jill's father, Michael Selsman, is the only man Lynley ever married, with the two divorcing in 1964 after four years of marriage. The actress was later romantically linked to broadcaster David Frost and famous singer Frank Sinatra as well. At this painful time, our thoughts our with Selsman and the rest of Lynley's family and loved ones. Certainly, Lynley's amazing career will preserve her memory forever, and may she rest in peace. This news comes to us from The Hollywood Reporter.