Lynne Frederick was a fashion model, actress, and film producer. She was a promising and ascending British actress of the 1970s. She appeared in over thirty films throughout a ten-year career, ranging from contemporary science fiction to slasher horror, romantic dramas, classic westerns, and the occasional comedy. Her exquisite mix of the girl next door appeal, an angelic smile, ethereal grace, and a classic fairy tale princess look, all wrapped up in one gifted box in her personality. Lynne Frederick did not have a beautiful childhood, her father left her mother when she was two years of age, and her grandmother and mother raised her.
In the early 1970s, Frederick was one of the most successful and popular British teenage idols, much like Hayley Mills and Olivia Hussey. She frequently appeared as both a model and cover girl in newspapers and fashion magazines. An initial cosmetics contract allowed her to become a spokesmodel for Protein 21 shampoo, having appeared in television and print ads for the product; a British national newspaper named her its “Face of 1971,” hailing her as the country’s most promising newcomer.
Lynne made her debut in the films with a science fiction ‘Blade of Grass (1970). Critics gave the film mixed reviews, but she became an instant phenomenon, and her career took off. The following year, she performed the role of Grand Duchess Tatiana Nikolaevna of Russia in the movie ‘Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)’. Frederick got her big break in 1974 when she appeared in three critically acclaimed Emmy-winning series ‘The Pallisers.’
Frederick’s popularity as an actress and model increased throughout the 70s. She reinvented herself as a sophisticated glamour girl, becoming a movie sex symbol. Her career began to decline in the 1980s, and she did not get any desired role despite several auditions. Her final role was in the movie The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu (1980).
Lynne Frederick married English Comedian and actor Peter Sellers in 1977. She was only 22, and Sellers was 52 at that time. They met at a dinner party hosted by Dennis Selinger in 1976, shortly after Frederick finished his film Schizo. The marriage started well but eventually turned destructive and turbulent. Frederick was painted as the gold digger by the media. As Sellers’ health declined, Frederick was forced to give up her lucrative acting career to care for him. As tension increased between them, rumors of drug abuse, infidelity, domestic abuse, and other alleged conflicts emerged. During that time, they separated multiple times but eventually came back together. Sellers died of a heart attack on July 24, 1980, the day before her 26th birthday. Almost all of his estate was left to her, worth an estimated £4.5 million (£19.4 million today).
Sellers’ friends urged Frederick to give the money to her stepchildren, but she refused. After Sellers’ death, her stepson, Michael Sellers, wrote an exposé for The New York Times about his relationship with his father, claiming he knew Frederick to be a manipulative woman. Additionally, he said Frederick intentionally manipulated their father to alter the will to benefit her, stealing money from his sisters and him.
In 1981, Fredrick married British TV host David Frost, and the marriage lasted only for 17 months. After few months, she married California surgeon and heart specialist Dr. Barry Unger in December 1982. They had a child, Cassie Cecilia Unger. Fredrick and Barry Unger divorced in 1991.
Lynne Frederick’s death
Lynette Frederick struggled with chronic drug addiction, clinical depression, failure in rehab therapy, and suicide attempts in the final years. Many media reports claimed that Frederick was addicted to drugs, depressed, relapsed, and had attempted suicide in his last years.
On April 27, 1994, Frederick was found dead by her mother in her West Los Angeles home, aged 39. The exact cause of her death has never been disclosed to the public.
Below are some glamorous photos of the talented, beautiful, and ascending British actresses Lynne Fredrick from her modeling and acting career.