Jill Ireland (Jill Dorothy Ireland)

Jill Ireland

Jill Ireland

Born in London, Ireland was the daughter of a wine importer. She began acting in the mid-1950s with bit parts in films including Simon and Laura (1955) and Three Men in a Boat (1956).  In 1957, Ireland married actor David McCallum. after the couple met while working on the film Hell Drivers (1957). Later they appeared together in five episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E.; “The Quadripartite Affair” (season 1, episode 3, 1964), “The Giuoco Piano Affair” (season 1, episode 7, 1964), “The Tigers Are Coming Affair” (season 2, episode 8, 1965), The Five Daughters Affair (season 3, episodes 28 & 29, 1967). They had three sons, Paul, Valentine, and Jason (who was adopted). Jason McCallum died of a drug overdose in 1989, six months before Ireland’s own death. McCallum and Ireland divorced in 1967.  In 1968, Ireland married Charles Bronson. She had first met him when he and McCallum were filming The Great Escape (1963) some years earlier. Together they had a daughter, Zuleika, and adopted a daughter, Katrina. They remained married until Ireland’s death in 1990.

Ireland was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1984. After her diagnosis, Ireland wrote two books chronicling her battle with the disease (at the time of her death, she was writing a third book) and became a spokesperson for the American Cancer Society. In 1988, she testified before Congress about medical costs and was given the American Cancer Society’s Courage Award by President Ronald Reagan.  In 1990, Ireland died of breast cancer at her home in Malibu, California.  For her contribution to the film industry, Jill Ireland has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6751 Hollywood Boulevard.  In 1991, Jill Clayburgh portrayed Ireland in the made-for-television film Reason for Living: The Jill Ireland Story, which told of her later years, including her fight with breast cancer. Clayburgh herself would die from cancer (leukemia) in November 2010.


  • April, 24, 1936
  • London England


  • May, 18, 1990
  • Malibu, California

Cause of Death

  • breast cancer



    • Cremated

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