Joan Rice in 'Blackmailed' (1951)

Joan Rice and Dirk Bogarde in 'Blackmailed'

Within two years of winning the title of Miss Lyons in a beauty contest, Joan Rice found herself starring alongside Dirk Bogarde, James Robertson Justice, Robert Flemyng, Fay Compton and Mai Zetterling in director Harold Huth's black and white movie Blackmailed (1951).

She had been considered for the part of Mary, a girl injured in a tragic accident, but Huth decided to give Joan her first big chance and cast her in the role of Alamaan artists model.

Joan Rice and Dirk Bogarde in 'Blackmailed'

For the young girl who had been working as a housemaid for a doctor in Middlesex and then as a waitress, this was the first step on her sudden meteoric rise to stardom. The movie was released in London in January 1951- two months later Joan was screen tested with six others for the role of Maid Marian in Disney's live-action Technicolor film the Story of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men (1952). She was hand picked by Walt Disney who said, "she get's my vote, she has quality."

Sadly Joan's time on the silver screen was short-lived, but she will never be forgotten. This blog is dedicated to her memory and to read more about her interesting life and film career please click here.


Clement of the Glen said...

"Joan Rice in 'Blackmailed' (1951)"

Joan Rice

Neil said...

I didn't know she had worked for a doctor for a time. Interesting how all these snippets come together to give us a little more each time of the picture of her life. She must have left Derby at a young age and decided to seek the bright lights of London and she really struck lucky. In these pictures she looks young and very beautiful. No wonder Walt Disney insisted that she played Maid Marian. He was right as he usually was where his films were concerned.