Lynne Maria Frederick was born in Hillingdon, Middlesex, England on July 25, 1954. While she was very young, her father abandoned the family, and she was brought up by her mother and maternal grandmother. Lynne never knew or met her father and had no personal relationships or connections with his side of the family. Although her mother was employed as a casting director for Thames Television, they often lived a frugal lifestyle. In her work, her mother Iris gained a reputation for being a stern and imposing individual.
Frederick was discovered at the age of 15 by Hungarian American actor and film director Cornel Wilde, who was a friend and colleague of her mother. Wilde had been looking for a young, unknown actress to star in his film adaptation of the bestselling post-apocalyptic science fiction novel “The Death of Grass”. Wilde first saw her when she came to work with her mother to pose for some test shots and was immediately smitten by her beauty, charisma, and bubbly personality. Despite her having no previous experience in theatre, films, or commercials, Wilde offered her the role without an audition. When “No Blade of Grass” (1970) was released, the film received mixed reviews from critics. Notwithstanding the lukewarm reception of the film, Frederick became an overnight sensation, and her career quickly took off. Her next and more prestigious role came as Tsar Nicholas's second eldest daughter, Tatiana, in the 1971 Oscar-winning British biographical film, “Nicholas and Alexandra” (1971). In her next film, “Henry VIII and His Six Wives” (1972), she played another royal figure, the ill-fated fifth wife of Henry VIII, Catherine Howard. Her adaptation of Howard made Tudor cinema history as Frederick was the first actress to portray Howard from a historically accurate and sympathetic point of view.
Represented by the talent agency, Hazel Malone Management, Frederick became a teen idol among the British public in the early 1970s and was seen as the next Hayley Mills and Olivia Hussey. She was regularly featured in newspaper articles and fashion magazines as a model and cover girl.
Frederick co-starred with the Italian Casanovian actor Fabio Testi in two films back-to-back as his love interest. The first was the very graphic Italian spaghetti western “The Four of the Apocalypse” (1975) which was followed by “Red Coat” (1975). Because of her celebrity status she was given the opportunity to lend her voice to the main theme song “Day After Day” in “Redcoat”
In 1977 she married actor Peter Sellers and would make her final theatrical role alongside him in “The Prisoner of Zenda” (1979). The marriage lasted until Sellers’ death in 1980. Six months later she married producer, writer, actor David Frost but the marriage last only one year. In 1982 she married surgeon Barry S. Unger and they had a daughter Cassie born in 1983. The marriage lasted until 1991.
After he divorce from Unger, Frederick moved to Los Angeles, California, where she lived in a spacious house with her daughter, of whom she had joint custody, and they spent most of their days hanging out by the family pool or cooking meals together.
In the final years of her life, Lynne Frederick's health spiraled downward as she struggled with alcoholism and bouts of depression. Rumors of chronic drug addiction, clinical depression, failed rehab treatments, and suicide attempts were common news and tabloid reports of Frederick in her later years. The wear and tear of the struggles in life took an obvious toll on her appearance as her weight ballooned, her face became sunken and bloated, and her hair now cropped short and vitiated. Rumor has it that when the paparazzi stood outside her house attempting to get photos of Frederick, there were several occasions where she would walk past them unnoticed as the photographers did not recognize her drastically different appearance in contrast to that of the beautiful English rose that once stole the scenes of films in which she starred.
On the morning of April 27, 1994, Frederick's lifeless body was discovered by her mother, Iris, in her home. Although the exact cause of Frederick's death has never been disclosed to the public, the common belief is that she died of alcoholism. She was 39 years old.
FREDERICK, Lynne (Lynne Maria Frederick) [7/25/1954, Hillingdon, Middlesex, England, U.K. – 4/27/1994, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. (alcoholism)] –model, producer, film, TV actress, singer, married to producer, director, writer, film editor, actor, singer Peter Sellers (Richard Henry Sellers) [1925-1980] (1977-1980), stepmother of actor Michael Sellers (Michael Peter Anthony Sellers) [1954–2006], actress Sarah Sellers (Sarah Jane Sellers) [1957- ], actress Victoria Sellers [1965- ], Sarah Sellers. married to producer, writer, actor David Frost (David Paradine Frost) [1939-2013] (1981-1982), married to surgeon Barry S. Unger [1944- ] (1982-1991) mother of Cassie Cecilia Unger [1983- ].
Red Coat – 1974 [sings: “Day After Day”]