Sunday, April 24, 2011

Remembering Jill Ireland

Jill Dorothy Ireland was born on April 24, 1936 in London, England. She began her acting career in the 1950s with small bit parts in such films as "Simon and Laura" (1955) and "Three Men in a Boat (1956). In 1957 she married actor David McCallum [1933- ] whom she appeared with in several episodes of the TV series "The Man from U.N.C.L.E." McCallum and Ireland met Charles Bronson [1921-2003] during the filming of "The Great Escape". She divorced McCallum in 1967 and married Bronson in 1968. With Bronson she would appear in several of his films including her two Euro-westerns, "Villa Rides" (1968) and "Chino" (1973). Ireland became a producer, screenwriter and TV actress and is also the mother of five children among them actor Val McCallum. Jill was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984 and during her struggle with the disease she wrote 2 books and became a spokes person for the American Cancer Society. She died from the disease at her Malibu, California home on May 18, 1990 and was cremated. Her ashes were placed in a cane that Charles Bronson carried with him the rest of his life and is buried with him. Today we remember Jill Ireland on what would have been her 75th birthday.

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