Born Carole Jones in New York City on February 13, 1942, actress Carol Lynley was raised by her grandparents after her own parents separated. Her mother worked as a waitress and somehow managed to afford ballet lessons for her daughter. She was in a talent show on television at the age of ten when a director recommended that she begin a career in modeling. After modeling for a couple of years under the name of Carolyn Lee, Lynley morphed into a child actress and was getting guest roles on popular TV programs of the 1950s, including the anthology series Goodyear Playhouse and The Alcoa Hour. As her career gained momentum, Lynley was cast in the Broadway plays The Potting Shed (1957) and Blue Denim (1958). While her first film was the Disney picture The Light in the Forest (1958; with Fess Parker, Wendell Corey, and Joanne Dru), she was spotted in the Broadway production of Blue Denim by 20th Century Fox talent scouts and was quickly cast in the film version of Blue Denim (1959; with Brandon De Wilde, Macdonald Carey, and Warren Berlinger).

Carol Lynley

1960s cheesecake photo of Carol Lynley

At age 18, Lynley married 20th Century Fox publicist Michael Selsman, and the couple welcomed a daughter in 1962. However, Lynley filed for a divorce in March 1963, citing cruelty. Now a single parent, she returned to work in films such as The Cardinal (1963; with Tom Tryon and John Saxon), Shock Treatment (1964; with Stuart Whitman and Roddy McDowall), and Beware! The Blob (1972; with Robert Walker Jr.).

the films of carol lynley

Holiday for Lovers (1959)

Gary Crosby and Carol Lynley

With love interest Gary Crosby in the 20th Century Fox comedy Holiday for Lovers

Return to Peyton Place (1961)

Carol Lynley

Lynley as Allison MacKenzie in the 20th Century Fox drama Return to Peyton Place, directed by Jose Ferrer

The Last Sunset (1961)

Carol Lynley and Kirk Douglas

From the Universal western The Last Sunset with Kirk Douglas

Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963)

Jack Lemmon, Edie Adams, Carol Lynley, and Dean Jones

With Jack Lemmon, Edie Adams, and Dean Jones in the Columbia comedy Under the Yum Yum Tree

Shock Treatment (1964)

Carol LynleyStuart Whitman and Carol Lynley

From the drama Shock Treatment. LEFT: Lynley as Cynthia, a mental ward patient. RIGHT: With Stuart Whitman

Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965)

Martita Hunt and Carol LynleyCarol Lynley and Laurence OlivierKeir Dullea and Carol Lynley

From the Columbia mystery Bunny Lake Is Missing. LEFT: With Martita Hunt. CENTER: With Laurence Olivier. RIGHT: Keir Dullea portrays Lynley's brother

Harlow (1965)

Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Carol Lynley

With Efrem Zimbalist Jr. in Harlow, a film which was shot in an eight-day schedule. Some confuse this film with a film of the same name starring Carroll Baker, also released in 1965

Danger Route (1967)

Richard Johnson and Carol Lynley

With Richard Johnson in the thriller Danger Route

The Maltese Bippy (1969)

Carol Lynley and Dick Martin

From the MGM comedy The Maltese Bippy with Dick Martin

Once You Kiss a Stranger (1969)

Carol Lynley and Paul Burke

From the Warner Bros. thriller Once You Kiss a Stranger with Paul Burke

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

Jack Albertson, Ernest Borgnine, Roddy McDowall, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Stella Stevens, Arthur O'Connell, Shelley Winters, Gene Hackman, and Pamela Sue Martin

From the 20th Century Fox thriller The Poseidon Adventure. Pictured are Jack Albertson, Ernest Borgnine, Roddy McDowall, Red Buttons, Carol Lynley, Stella Stevens, Arthur O'Connell, Shelley Winters, Gene Hackman, and Pamela Sue Martin

The Four Deuces (1976)

Carol Lynley and Jack Palance

With Jack Palance in the action comedy The Four Deuces

later years

Lynley continued making films and appearing on television regularly through the 1980s, raising her daughter as a single parent. Although she had well-publicized relationships with David Frost and actor Glenn Ford, she remained single after her divorce. Her acting career wound down in the 1990s. Sadly, Carol Lynley passed away in her sleep on September 7, 2019, at age 77. She is survived by her daughter, Jill.

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Vic (2006) with Clu Gulager, Gregory Sierra, John Phillip Law, and Peter Mark Richman
A Light in the Forest (2002) with Lindsay Wagner and Edward Albert
Drowning on Dry Land (1999) with Barbara Hershey and John Doe
Neon Signs (1996) with William Smith and Barbara McNair
Howling VI: The Freaks (1991) with Antonio Fargas
Spirits (1990) with Erik Estrada, Robert Quarry, and Brinke Stevens
Blackout (1988) with Gail O'Grady and Joanna Miles
Dark Tower (1987) with Michael Moriarty, Jenny Agutter, Theodore Bikel, Kevin McCarthy, and Anne Lockhart
Balboa (1986) with Tony Curtis, Chuck Connors, Sonny Bono, Cassandra Peterson, Martine Beswick, and Steve Kanaly
Vigilante (1983) with Robert Forster, Fred Williamson, and Woody Strode
Best of Friends (1981) with Peter Graves and Alex Cord
Willow B: Women in Prison (1980) with Sally Kirkland, Elizabeth Hartman, Liz Torres, Susan Tyrrell, Lynne Moody, and Ruth Roman
The Shape of Things to Come (1979) with Jack Palance, Barry Morse, and John Ireland
The Cat and the Canary (1978) with Honor Blackman, Michael Callan, Wendy Hiller, and Olivia Hussey
The Beasts Are on the Streets (1978) with Billy Green Bush, Philip Michael Thomas, Anna Lee, and Bill Thurman
Cops and Robin (1978) with Ernest Borgnine, Michael Shannon, John Amos, and Peggy Converse
Having Babies II (1977) with Tony Bill, Cliff Gorman, Lee Meriwether, Paula Prentiss, Nicholas Pryor, Wayne Rogers, Susan Sullivan, and Robbie Rist
Bad Georgia Road (1977) with Royal Dano, Gary Lockwood, and Mary Woronov
Fantasy Island (1977) with Ricardo Montalban, Bill Bixby, Sandra Dee, Peter Lawford, Hugh O'Brian, Eleanor Parker, Victoria Principal, Dick Sargent, and Tina Sinatra
The Washington Affair (1977) with Barry Sullivan and Tom Selleck
Flood! (1976) with Robert Culp, Martin Milner, Barbara Hershey, Richard Basehart, Roddy McDowall, Cameron Mitchell, Teresa Wright, Francine York, Whit Bissell, Leif Garrett, and Ann Doran
The Four Deuces (1976) with Jack Palance, Warren Berlinger, Adam Roarke, and Martin Kove
Death Stalk (1975) with Vince Edwards, Anjanette Comer, Vic Morrow, Neville Brand, Norman Fell, and Larry Wilcox
The Elevator (1974) with James Farentino, Roddy McDowall, Craig Stevens, Don Stroud, Teresa Wright, Myrna Loy, and Barry Livingston
Cotter (1973) with Don Murray, Rip Torn, Sherry Jackson, R.G. Armstrong, Michael Forest, Christopher Knight, and Ford Rainey
The Poseidon Adventure (1972) with Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Red Buttons, Roddy McDowall, Stella Stevens, Shelley Winters, Jack Albertson, and Pamela Sue Martin
Beware! The Blob (1972) with Robert Walker Jr., Gwynne Gilford, Marlene Clark, Gerrit Graham, Cindy Williams, Rockne Tarkington, Shelley Berman, Godfrey Cambridge, and Dick Van Patten
The Night Stalker (1972) with Darren McGavin, Simon Oakland, Ralph Meeker, Claude Akins, Elisha Cook Jr., and Larry Linville
Crosscurrent (1971) with Robert Hooks, Jeremy Slate, Robert Wagner, Simon Oakland, John Randolph, Jose Ferrer, and Mario Van Peebles
Weekend of Terror (1970) with Robert Conrad, Lee Majors, Lois Nettleton, Jane Wyatt, Kevin Hagen, Tod Andrews, Ann Doran, and Gregory Sierra
Norwood (1970) with Glen Campbell, Kim Darby, Joe Namath, Pat Hingle, Tisha Sterling, Dom DeLuise, and Meredith MacRae
Once You Kiss a Stranger (1969) with Paul Burke, Martha Hyer, Peter Lind Hayes, Philip Carey, Stephen McNally, and Whit Bissell
The Immortal (1969) with Christopher George, Jessica Walter, Barry Sullivan, and Ralph Bellamy
The Maltese Bippy (1969) with Dan Rowan, Dick Martin, Julie Newmar, Mildred Natwick, Fritz Weaver, Robert Reed, Dana Elcar, Leon Askin, and Alan Oppenheimer
The Smugglers (1968) with Shirley Booth, Charles Drake, Gayle Hunnicutt, John Indrisano, Kurt Kasznar, and Michael J. Pollard
Shadow on the Land (1968) with Jackie Cooper, John Forsythe, Gene Hackman, Janice Rule, and Myron Healey
Danger Route (1967) with Richard Johnson, Barbara Bouchet, Sylvia Syms, Diana Dors, and Sam Wanamaker
The Shuttered Room (1967) with Gig Young, Oliver Reed, and Flora Robson
Bunny Lake Is Missing (1965) with Laurence Olivier and Keir Dullea
Harlow (1965) with Efrem Zimbalist Jr., Ginger Rogers, Barry Sullivan, Lloyd Bochner, Hermione Baddeley, Audrey Totter, and Michael Dante
The Pleasure Seekers (1964) with Ann-Margret, Anthony Franciosa, Gardner McKay, Pamela Tiffin, Gene Tierney, and Brian Keith
Shock Treatment (1964) with Stuart Whitman, Roddy McDowall, Lauren Bacall, and Ossie Davis
The Cardinal (1963) with Tom Tryon, Dorothy Gish, Bill Hayes, Cecil Kellaway, John Saxon, John Huston, and Robert Morse
Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) with Jack Lemmon, Dean Jones, Edie Adams, Imogene Coca, Paul Lynde, and Robert Lansing
The Stripper (1963) with Joanne Woodward, Richard Beymer, Claire Trevor, Louis Nye, Gypsy Rose Lee, and Michael J. Pollard
The Last Sunset (1961) with Rock Hudson, Kirk Douglas, Dorothy Malone, Joseph Cotten, Neville Brand, and Regis Toomey
Return to Peyton Place (1961) with Jeff Chandler, Eleanor Parker, Mary Astor, Robert Sterling, Luciana Paluzzi, Brett Halsey, and Tuesday Weld
Hound-Dog Man (1959) with Fabian, Stuart Whitman, Arthur O'Connell, Dodie Stevens, Royal Dano, Claude Akins, Edgar Buchanan, and Jane Darwell
Blue Denim (1959) with Brandon De Wilde, Macdonald Carey, Warren Berlinger, and Roberta Shore
Holiday for Lovers (1959) with Clifton Webb, Jane Wyman, Jill St. John, Paul Henreid, and Gary Crosby
The Light in the Forest (1958) with Fess Parker, Wendell Corey, Joanne Dru, James MacArthur, Jessica Tandy, and Rafael Campos

Monsters, episode Stressed Environment, originally aired September 30, 1990
Night Heat, episode Grace, originally aired August 11, 1987
Fox Mystery Theater, episode In Possession, originally aired January 12, 1985
Finder of Lost Loves, episode Forgotten Melodies, originally aired December 22, 1984
Tales of the Unexpected, episode The Gift of Beauty, originally aired June 30, 1984
Fantasy Island, episode Lost and Found/Dick Turpin's Last Ride, originally aired April 7, 1984
Hotel, episode Faith, Hope & Charity, originally aired November 23, 1983
The Fall Guy, episode Pleasure Isle, originally aired October 5, 1983
Fantasy Island, episode The Angel's Triangle/Natchez Bound, originally aired November 6, 1982
Baker's Dozen, episode I Was Told You Were a Racetrack, originally aired April 21, 1982
Fantasy Island, episode King Arthur in Mr. Roarke's Court/Shadow Games, originally aired January 23, 1982
Hart to Hart, episode Hartland Express, originally aired November 3, 1981
Fantasy Island, episode Cyrano/The Magician, originally aired October 24, 1981
Fantasy Island, episode Man-Beast/Ole Island Oprey, originally aired May 16, 1981
Charlie's Angels, episode Island Angels, originally aired December 14, 1980
The Littlest Hobo, episode Mystery at the Zoo, originally aired November 6, 1980
Fantasy Island, episode The Devil and Mandy Breem/The Millionaire, originally aired October 25, 1980
Fantasy Island, episode My Fair Pharaoh/The Power, originally aired May 10, 1980
Fantasy Island, episode Nobody's There/The Dancer, originally aired November 17, 1979
The Love Boat, episode Dream Ship/Best of Friends/Aftermath, originally aired February 10, 1979
Fantasy Island, episode Carnival/The Vaudevillians, originally aired December 2, 1978
Sword of Justice, episode The Skywayman, originally aired October 19, 1978
Richie Brockelman, Private Eye, episode A Title on the Door and a Carpet on the Floor, originally aired March 31, 1978
Hawaii Five-O, episode Angel in Blue, originally aired March 9, 1978
Fantasy Island, episode Lady of the Evening/The Racer, originally aired February 25, 1978
Kojak, episode Kiss It All Goodbye, originally aired February 22, 1977
Police Woman, episode Trial by Prejudice, originally aired October 12, 1976
Quincy M.E., episode Who's Who in Neverland, originally aired October 10, 1976
Thriller, episode If It's a Man, Hang Up, originally aired April 12, 1975
The Evil Touch, episode Dream by Dreaming, originally aired March 24, 1974
The Evil Touch, episode Dear Cora I'm Going to Kill You, originally aired January 27, 1974
The Magician, episode The Illusion of the Curious Counterfeit: Parts 1 and 2, originally aired January 14 and 21, 1974
Great Mysteries, episode Death of an Old-Fashioned Girl, originally aired November 24, 1973
The Sixth Sense, episode The House That Cried Murder, originally aired February 5, 1972
Night Gallery, episode Last Rites for a Dead Druid, originally aired January 26, 1972
Mannix, episode Voices in the Dark, originally aired Ferbuary 20, 1971
The Most Deadly Game, episode Who Killed Kindness?, originally aired November 7, 1970
The Bold Ones: The New Doctors, episode Giants Never Kneel, originally aired October 25, 1970
The Immortal, episode Sylvia, originally aired September 24, 1970
It Takes a Thief, episode Boom at the Top, originally aired February 25, 1969
The Big Valley, episode Hell Hath No Fury, originally aired November 18, 1968
Journey to the Unknown, episode Eve, originally aired September 26, 1968
The F.B.I., episode False Witness, originally aired December 10, 1967
The Invaders, episode The Believers, originally aired December 5, 1967
The Man from U.N.C.L.E., episode The Prince of Darkness Affair: Parts I and II, originally aired October 2 and 9, 1967
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode Runaway Boy, originally aired May 25, 1966
Run for Your Life, episode In Search of April, originally aired February 14, 1966
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, episode The Fliers, originally aired February 5, 1965
The Dick Powell Show, episode The Rage of Silence, originally aired January 29, 1963
The Virginian, episode The Man from the Sea, originally aired December 26, 1962
Alcoa Premiere, episode Whatever Happened to Miss Illinois?, originally aired November 22, 1962
The Alfred Hitchcock Hour, episode Final Vow, originally aired October 25, 1962
General Electric Theater, episode The Last Dance, originally aired November 22, 1959
General Electric Theater, episode Deed of Mercy, originally aired March 1, 1959
Shirley Temple's Storybook, episode Rapunzel, originally aired October 27, 1958
Pursuit, episode The Vengeance, originally aired October 22, 1958
General Electric Theater, episode The Young and Scared, originally aired May 18, 1958
The DuPont Show of the Month, episode Junior Miss, originally aired December 20, 1957
Alfred Hitchcock Presents, episode The Young One, originally aired December 1, 1957
The Kaiser Aluminum Hour, episode Cracker Money, originally aired December 4, 1956
The Alcoa Hour, episode The Big Wave, originally aired September 30, 1956
Goodyear Television Playhouse, episode Grow Up, originally aired August 26, 1956

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Watch Carol Lynley's 1979 science fiction flick The Shape of Things to Come
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