Actress Dana Wynter, who was best known for her role in 1956’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers, has died.
Though she was born in Germany as Dagmar Winter, Wynter was British, raised largely in the UK until the age of 16, when her father, a respected surgeon went to Morocco to perform an operation. While there, he visited friends in Zimbabwe (then known as Southern Rhodesia) and fell for the place, moving his family across shortly afterwards.
Despite kicking off her studies aiming to enter the medical field in her father’s footsteps, a love of drama and the theatre saw Wynter break off her studies and return to the UK in the hopes of pursuing an acting career. In 1951, she got her wish, starting with small roles, usually without a credit, in films such as Lady Godiva Rides Again. But after getting noticed by an agent, she decided to make the move to New York, finding work on stage and TV.
Hollywood beckoned a few years after and Wynter was put under contract to 20th Century Fox. Her biggest hit and most recognizable role came with Body Snatchers, in which she played Becky Driscoll.
Among her other films were Something of Value, Shake Hands with the Devil, Sink the Bismarck!, Airport, and On The Double.
Wynter passed away on Thursday at the age of 79 from congestive heart failure. She’s survived by her son, Mark.