Alan Lake
Photo by John Vere Brown, 1964
Born(1940-11-24)24 November 1940
Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England
Died10 October 1984(1984-10-10) (aged 43)
Sunningdale, Berkshire, England
Resting placeSunningdale Catholic Cemetery
Years active1964–1984
(m. 1968; died 1984)

Alan Lake (24 November 1940 – 10 October 1984) was an English actor, best known as the third and final husband of screen star Diana Dors.[1][2]


Alan Lake was born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire on 24 November 1940.[3][4] He studied acting at RADA[4] and began to work in television roles in 1964.[5]

He is best known as the third husband of the actress Diana Dors, whom he met on the set of the 1968 television series The Inquisitors.[4] He was initially not keen on Dors; his reaction on finding that he would be working with her was, "Oh no, not Madame Tits and Lips!", but within days, they had fallen in love and were married on 23 November 1968.[4] Their stormy marriage produced a son, Jason David Dors Lake (11 November 1969 – 14 November 2019).[6] Lake also had a daughter, Catherine Emma, born in 1967 with casting director Pamela Brown. Diana and Alan worked together in the early 1970s, on stage in plays such as Three Months Gone, for which Dors received her best critical reviews since Yield to the Night.They also received an offer to appear together in a TV sitcom, Queenie's Castle.[7]

In July 1970, Lake was involved in a pub brawl for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, although he was released after serving a year. His friend, the singer Leapy Lee, was sentenced to three years for unlawfully wounding the pub's relief manager and was released after a year.[4][7] Lake was a keen horseman, and on his release from prison Dors presented him with a mare named Sapphire. In 1972, Lake was unseated when the horse ran into the bough of a tree. He broke his back, and initially it was thought he might spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. However, he was walking again within three weeks.[4][7] After leaving hospital, unable to work while he recovered, and in severe pain, he began drinking heavily.[7] Dors said of him at this time: "alcohol had unleashed a monster, uncontrollable and frightening".[7]

Lake began hallucinating and experiencing psychotic episodes, but was diverted from drinking after becoming a Roman Catholic, also convincing Dors to follow him in adopting the faith.[4] In 1974, Dors was rushed to hospital suffering from meningitis, and Lake fainted when he was told that she might not survive the night.[7] In 1975, within months of her illness, at the age of 43, Dors became pregnant with their second child and was advised by doctors to have an abortion, but because of her newly-adopted religion, and regret at two previous abortions, she decided to go ahead with the pregnancy. She miscarried, which led Lake to return to heavy drinking.[4]

For the remainder of the 1970s, Lake's once promising acting career was reduced to appearances in low-budget comedy films and small parts in television dramas. However, in 1974, he had a significant role as a singer Jack Daniels in the Slade vehicle Slade In Flame, and also as John Merrick in the first episode of the hugely popular TV series The Sweeney.[8] Both he and Dors attended the film's premiere at the Metropole Theatre, Victoria, London, on 13 February 1975.[9]

In 1980, the pair separated for a time, although they were reconciled when Lake promised to undergo treatment for his alcoholism.[7] Lake's acting work became less frequent in the 1980s, and Dors' health began to deteriorate. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1982, and died in May 1984.[4] Lake then burnt all of Dors' clothes, and fell into a depression. On 10 October 1984, five months after Dors' death, and 16 years to the day since they had first met, he took their teenage son Jason to the railway station, returned to his Sunningdale home, and committed suicide by shooting himself in the mouth in their son's bedroom.[4]

His roles included Herrick in the Doctor Who story Underworld; and parts in Cluff, Redcap, Sergeant Cork, The Saint, Public Eye, The Avengers, Department S, Dixon of Dock Green, The Protectors, Z-Cars, Softly, Softly: Taskforce, Crown Court, The Sweeney, Angels, Target, Hazel, Strangers, Blake's 7, Juliet Bravo, The Gentle Touch, Hart to Hart, and Bergerac.[1]

In 1969, he recorded a pop single, "Good Times"/"Got To Have Tenderness" (the former a cover of a song written by Harry Nilsson), which was released by Ember Records (EMBS 278).[10]

Acting roles




  1. ^ a b "Alan Lake". Archived from the original on 11 September 2016.
  2. ^ "The Avengers Forever: Alan Lake".
  3. ^ Alan Lake Archived 16 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Donnelley, Paul (2003) Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries, Omnibus Press, ISBN 978-0-7119-9512-3, p. 221-2
  5. ^ "Alan Lake".
  6. ^ "Tragic last days of Diana Dors' son Jason Dors Lake who was found dead in his flat after turning 50". 16 September 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g Upton, Julian (2004) Fallen Stars: Tragic Lives and Lost Careers, Critical Vision, ISBN 978-1-900486-38-5, p. 33-9
  8. ^ "Alan Lake".
  9. ^ "Slade In Flame".
  10. ^ "45 Discography for Ember Records - UK - EMB S series".