Jill Dorothy Ireland the actress was born on April 24, 1936 in London, England. As a young girl, Ireland studied dance and she danced professionally at the age of fifteen. Some years after, Ireland obtained a contract from Rank Studios in England. Ireland made her film debut in the drama, “The Woman for Joe” in 1955. That same year she appeared in the comedy “Simon and Laura” with Peter Finch and as a dancer in the musical, “Oh…Rosalinda” with Anthony Quayle. The next few years she starred in the films, “Three Men in a Boat” with Laurence Harvey, “There’s Always a Thursday” with Charles Victor, “Hell Drivers” with Stanley Baker, David McCallum and Sean Connery and the western, “Robbery Under Arms” with Peter Finch.
On May 11, 1957, Ireland married actor David McCallum who hailed from Scotland. The marriage lasted ten years. The couple had three sons which included their adoption of Jason who passed away in 1989 due to accidental drug overdose. More films ensued such as, “The Big Money” (1958) with Ian Carmichael, “Carry on Nurse” (1959) with Kenneth Connor, “The Desperate Man” (1959), “Girls of the Latin Quarter” (1960) with Bernard Hunter, “Jungle Street” (1961) and the comedy drama, “Raising the Wind” (1961). Ireland also appeared in television including, “The Voodoo Factor” (1959), “The Ghost Train Murder” (1959), “Kraft Mystery Theater” (1961) and “Ghost Squad” (1961).
In 1962, Ireland and her family moved to Hollywood, California. Several episodes in television followed, “Richard the Lionheart” (1963), “Ben Casey” (1964), “The Third Man” (1964), “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (1964) and “Twelve O’Clock High” (1965, 1966). In 1966, Ireland won the role of “Marian Starrett” in the short lived television western “Shane” with David Carradine. Ireland appeared in sixteen episodes. In 1968, Ireland starred in the western film, “Villa Rides” with Yul Brynner, Robert Mitchum and future husband, Charles Bronson. On October 5, 1968, Ireland married actor Charles Bronson. The marriage endured until her death and produced one daughter by the name of Zuleika.
Many films followed with Ireland appearing on screen with husband Bronson such as, “Rain” (1969), “Twinky” (1969), “The Family” (1970) and “Hard Times” (1975). In 1984, Ireland was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her last film would come three years later in the drama entitled, “Caught”. In 1987, Ireland’s autobiography “Life Wish” was published which chronicled her disease. That same year, she was appointed chairman of the National Cancer Society. Two years later another published book Ireland penned was entitled, “Life Line: My Fight to Save My Family” which told of her son’s struggle with heroin. Finally a third book was written by Ireland called “Life Times” which was published after she passed away. On May 18, 1990, Ireland died from cancer. She was 54 years old. Shortly after, she was cremated.