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    This glamorous, sultry Anglo-Austrian leading lady and model was born Dorothy Lane Bolton in Vienna to British oil company executive John Bolton and Russian-born pianist Olga Mironova. Mara studied dance with the Viennese ballet before her family took her to America, travelling via Denmark. She had a sister, Jocelyn Lane (aka Jackie), who was eventually to follow in her older sibling's footsteps to become a successful cover model and starlet in her own right.

    Mara was educated in New York and later attended the Centre de services scolaire Marguerite-Bourgeoys in the Saint Laurent borough of Montreal. While only in her teens, she began working part-time as a model for teenage fashion magazines. Aged 18, she moved to London to study costume design. Talent-scouted in a restaurant, with some modelling experience already under her belt, Mara appeared two years later in her first motion picture, the independently-produced post-war drama Hell Is Sold Out (1951). At this time, she was touted in the press as the 'British Marilyn Monroe', though she might have been more accurately described as an Elizabeth Taylor-lookalike. Mara herself disliked being compared to other actresses, calling it 'a disadvantage'. Nonetheless, she followed the advice of studio bosses to "get around and be seen". As the cameras adored her, celebrity status quickly followed, if not on the silver screen, then on the cover of glossy magazines.

    Mara had several undemanding supporting roles in British films before being signed by Howard Hughes for a small part in his RKO comedy Susan Slept Here (1954), starring Dick Powell and Debbie Reynolds. Thereafter, having spurned further offers from Hollywood, she forged a minor (but, ultimately, desultory) career as star of European B-grade movies, ranging from spy thrillers (Uomini ombra (1954)) to films noir (cast as a femme fatale in Angela (1954), co-starring opposite Dennis O'Keefe) and from romantic period comedy (Le avventure di Giacomo Casanova (1955)) to peplum (Anno 79: La distruzione di Ercolano (1962)). She made several films in Germany, arguably her best being the melancholic love story Monpti (1957), filmed on location in Paris with Romy Schneider and Horst Buchholz early in their careers.

    In 1961, Mara married San Antonio oil executive William Lafayette Dugger Jr., but divorced him after just three years. Dugger was later briefly engaged to Hollywood star Lizabeth Scott. He died unexpectedly in 1969. Mara left show business in 1964 and disappeared from the limelight, having always craved privacy in her personal life. She died in relative obscurity in Marbella, Spain, in 2014.