Bold and the Beautiful
Lesley-Anne Down is a British actress who earned Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal of Madeline Fabray on the television hit miniseries “North and South” (ABC, 1985), a role she reprised in the sequels “North and South, Book II” (1986) and “Heaven and Hell: North and South Book III” (1994). She is also noted for playing Jackie Marone Knight on the Daytime Emmy Award winning soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful,” a role she originated in 2003. She received a Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival Award and a Soap Opera Digest nomination for her performance.
Starting out as a model as a young child, Down first came to international prominence for her acting when she starred as Lady Georgina Worsley on the popular TV series “Upstairs, Downstairs” (1973-1975). She also acted in the soap operas “Dallas” (1990, as Stephanie Rogers), “Sunset Beach” (1997-1999, as Olivia Richards) and “Days of Our Lives” (2001, as Lady Sheraton). In addition, Down has starred in a number of films, including “The Pink Panther Strikes Again” (1976), “Rough Cut” (1980), “Sphinx” (1981), “Nomads” (1986), “Death Wish V: The Face of Death” (1994) and “The Secret Agent Club” (1996).
Childhood and Family:
Leslie Anne Down was born on March 17, 1954, in Wandsworth, London, England. Her mother was from Scotland (passed away in 2000) and her father was from the U.K. She lived with her uncle, a major in the British army, in the Putney area of London during her early childhood. Leslie began modeling at age 10 and left school when she was 12 years old. In 1970, she was named “Most Beautiful Teenager” in Britain. She moved to America the following year.
After a 10 year romance with Bruce Robinson, Leslie married Argentinean born Enrique Gabriel (born 1958) on March 2, 1980, whom she met on the set of “Sphinx.” They divorced in 1981. She then met American director William Friedkin (born August 29, 1935), whom she married in 1982. The couple divorced in 1985, leaving their only son Jack (born in 1983) the object of a bitter custody battle. While still married to Friedkin, Leslie met cinematographer Don E. FauntLeRoy on the set of the television miniseries “North and South” in 1985 and they began an affair soon after. At the time, FauntLeRoy was married to Susan Ducat. After they both divorced, Leslie and FauntLeRoy married on September 27, 1986. They had a son, George-Edward, on March 11, 1998. Leslie also has two stepdaughters, Julianna FauntLeRoy and Season FauntLeRoy.
North and South
“I took my clothes off when I was young. I showed everything, full-frontal nudity. It's the thing I've done in my career that I'm most proud of.” Lesley-Anne Down
Lesley-Anne Down got her start as a model at age 10 and moved on to an acting career about five years later when she made her screen debut in “The Smashing Bird I Used to Know” (1969), a film directed by Robert Hartford-Davis that starred Madeleine Hinde, Maureen Lipman, Patrick Mower and Dennis Waterman. In 1970, she appeared in a Spanish movie titled “Sin un adiós” and as a model, was voted “The Pretties Teenager” in England the same year. She then appeared in Gerry O'Hara's “All the Right Noises” (1971), opposite Tom Bell, Olivia Hussey, Judy Carne and John Standing, Peter Sasdy's horror film “Countess Dracula” (1971), and the Sidney Hayers directed thriller “In the Devil's Garden” (1971), starring Suzy Kendall, Frank Finlay and Freddie Jones. She also portrayed characters in “Pope Joan” (1972), directed by Michael Anderson, the movie “Scalawag” (1973), opposite Kirk Douglas, Mark Lester and Neville Brand, and “Brannigan” (1975), an action film directed by Douglas Hickox that starred John Wayne and Richard Attenborough.
Down made her television debut in 1971 with guest spots in the British shows “Six Dates with Barker,” “Out of the Unknown” and “Public Eye.” She continued to appear in episodes of the BBC 2 anthology series “Bedtime Stories” (episode “The Snow Queen, 1974) and the ITV police drama “The Sweeney” (episode “Chalk and Cheese,” 1975), but the gifted performer did not enjoy her first true fame until she was cast as Georgina Worsley on the British series “Upstairs, Downstairs,” which ran on ITV from 1973 to 1975. The show also aired on PBS in the U.S., where it became a hit.
After “Upstairs, Downstairs” left the airwaves, Down was cast as a Russian operative named Olga Bariosova in the 1976 movie “The Pink Panther Strikes Again,” starring Peter Sellers and directed by Blake Edwards, costarred with Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Rigg and Len Cariou in “A Little Night Music” (1977), directed by Harold Prince, and worked with Laurence Olivier, Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Duvall, Kathleen Beller and Clifford David in the big screen adaptation of Harold Robbins' novel “The Betsy” (1978). She also starred with Sean Connery and Donald Sutherland in Michael Crichton's “The Great Train Robbery” (1979) and portrayed the girlfriend of Harrison Ford in the movie “Hanover Street” (1979). Meanwhile on the small screen, she appeared in episodes of “When the Boat Comes In” (1976), “BBC Play of the Month” (1977) and “Supernatural” (1977) and starred as British stripper Phyllis Dixey in the BAFTA nominated TV film “The One and Only Phyllis Dixey” (ITV, 1978).
In the early 1980s, Down was cast as Gillian Bromley in the Don Siegel movie “Rough Cut” (1980), opposite Burt Reynolds and David Niven, and starred as Erica Baron, opposite Frank Langella, in the Franklin J. Schaffner directed movie “Sphinx” (1981), which was adapted from the novel of the same name by Robin Cook. She also starred in the “BBC2 Playhouse” episode “Unity” (1981) and in the TV films “Murder Is Easy” (1982) and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (1982), which was produced as part of the long running “Hallmark Hall of Fame” series “Arch of Triumph” (1984, with Anthony Hopkins and Donald Pleasence). She then played Chloe in the TV miniseries “The Last Days of Pompeii” (1984), an adaptation of Edward Bulwer-Lytton's 1834 novel of the same title.
In 1985, Down was cast as Madeline Fabray, the love interest of Patrick Swayze's character, in the ABC popular TV miniseries “North and South,” for which she received a 1986 Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV. She went on to reprise the role in the 1986 sequel “North and South, Book II.” In between the shows, Down starred with Pierce Brosnan in the horror film “Nomads” (1986), written and directed by John McTiernan. The rest of the decade saw roles in the TV films “Indiscreet” (1988, as Anne Kingstone), “Ladykillers” (1988, as Morganna Ross), “Night Walk” (1989, as Geneva Miller) and episodes of “CBS Summer Playhouse” and “CBS Schoolbreak Special” (both 1989).
In 1990, Down joined the cast of the prime time soap opera “Dallas” (CBS, 1978-1991) in the role of Stephanie Rogers. She then received a supporting role in the film “Over the Line” (1992), starred with Ryan O'Neal in “1775” (1992), a pilot episode for a CBS sitcom, teamed up with Robert Davi, Michael Ironside, John Amos, Mike Starr and Mickey Jones for the 1993 supernatural thriller “Night Trap,” written and directed by David A. Prior, and was cast as Charles Bronson's girlfriend in the action thriller “Death Wish V: The Face of Death” (1994). After guest starring in the Fran Drescher sitcom “The Nanny” (1994), she reprised her role of Madeline in “Heaven & Hell: North & South, Book III” (1994). Still in 1994, she also starred with Andrew Stevens and Howard Hesseman in Jim Wynorski's comedy “Munchie Strikes Back” and portrayed Jean Bradshaw in “In the Heat of Passion II: Unfaithful,” the sequel of the 1992 thriller “In the Heat of Passion.”
Down was next reunited with Charles Bronson in the television film “Family of Cops” (CBS, 1995), played the role of Eve in “The Secret Agent Club” (1996), and was cast in the TV film “Beastmaster: The Eye of Braxus” (1996). She also guest starred in “Diagnosis Murder” (1996), had a small part in the comedy “Meet Wally Sparks” (1997), starring Rodney Dangerfield, Debi Mazar and Michael Weatherly, and starred as Barbara Young in the television film “Young Hearts Unlimited” (1998). She then starred as Olivia Richards on the Daytime Emmy Award winning soap “Sunset Beach,” which ran on NBC from January 1997 to December 1999.
Entering the new millennium, Down was cast as Queen Beatrice in Jonathan Tydor's “The King's Guard,” opposite Eric Roberts and Ron Perlman, and starred with Perry King and Shannon Sturges in the TV film “The Perfect Wife” (2001). She then returned to the soap opera world with a recurring role in the NBC long running series “Days of Our Lives” (5 episodes, 2001). She also appeared in the adventure movie “The Meeksville Ghost” (2001), the TV film “You Belong to Me” (2002, as Dr. Susan Chancellor) and the direct to video horror film “13th Child” (2002, as District-Attorney Murphy).
In 2003, Down was put back in the limelight when she landed the role of Jacqueline on the CBS soap “The Bold and the Beautiful” (still with the series). In 2005, she was handed a Golden Rose for Best Soap Female from the 2005 Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival and was nominated for a Soap Opera Digest for Favorite Return for her performance. While working on “The Bold and the Beautiful,” Down has appeared in other projects. She was featured in the direct to video film “Today You Die” (2005), starring Steven Seagal, costarred in the film “Seven Days of Grace” (2006) and had an unaccredited part in the direct to video film “Mercenary” (2006), also starring Seagal.
Down will portray Aunt Dora in the upcoming comedy film “My Dog's Christmas Miracle,” directed and written by Michael Feifer. She is also scheduled to star with Rose McGowan and Lin Shaye in Victor Salva's thriller “Rosewood Lane,” which is set for a 2012 release.
Rose d'Or Light Entertainment Festival: Golden Rose, Best Soap Female, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” 2005
Evening Standard British Film: Most Promising Newcomer - Actress, 1978