Beth Rogan (Jennifer Puckle)

Beth Rogan

Beth Rogan was born Jenifer Puckle on 19 July 1931 in Walmer, Kent. She was always known as Jeni to friends and family. Her father was Kenneth Puckle, a major in the Royal Marines and a veteran of the Gallipoli campaign and her mother was Enid Puckle (née Gray). She had a sister, Priscilla, who married brigadier Charles Carroll, MC. Jeni was educated near Farnham and then taught Latin to boys at a local preparatory school before starting a course at Wimbledon School of Art. She worked as an illustrator and model before entering films. Puckle’s film career began after she was spotted by the Italian television correspondent Carlo Riccono and a friend from Rank Studios while queuing at the All-England Tennis Club at Wimbledon. They invited her to join them for tennis and two weeks later Rogan had entered Rank’s talent school, the Company of Youth. According to The Telegraph, Puckle specialised in “screaming or swooning” and although not usually a leading lady, she appeared in at least 14 films between 1957 and 1968. She became friends with Dirk Bogarde, who suggested her screen name of Beth Rogan. Her first starring roles were Innocent Meeting (1958) and Compelled (1960) where she had joint top billing with Ronald Howard. She also had a significant part playing Elena Fairchild in the Jules Verne adventure Mysterious Island (1961) opposite Herbert Lom as Captain Nemo, where she was assailed by bees and a giant hen animated by Ray Harryhausen while dressed in a loosely stitched buckskin costume.

Beth Rogan was reputedly the model for Diana Scott, the wild central character played by Julie Christie in John Schlesinger’s film Darling (1965). New York magazine described Diana Scott as “amoral, rootless, emotionally immature, and apparently irresistible”. At Rank, Rogan had met publicist Jeanne Hunter and together they had written a 300 page account of her life. Before it could be published, however, Rogan had given the manuscript to Joseph Janni, one of the men the young Jeni had met while queuing at Wimbledon, who went on to produce Darling. Hunter said that Rogan felt she owed Janni. She bought Hunter a puppy as compensation. Beth Rogan’s last film appearance was in Salt and Pepper in 1968. After her last divorce she lived in West Sussex and Hampshire. She died on 25 November 2015 in Emsworth, Hampshire. After her death, home-grown cannabis was found drying in the airing cupboard at her home.

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Born

  • July, 19, 1931
  • United Kingdom
  • Walmer, Kent, England

Died

  • November, 25, 2015
  • United Kingdom
  • Emsworth, Hampshire, England

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