Hall of Hassall | A Gallery Devoted to Imogen Hassall
Imogen Hassall was born into a family of artists and writers: John Hassall, her grandfather, was a noted illustrator and her father Christopher, a poet and lyricist known for his collaborations with Ivor Novello. In 1952 she joined the Royal Ballet School before attending the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. However, with her sultry dark looks and curvaceous figure, Hassall found herself being typecast as the sex-bomb in television series and B movies. Imogen’s love of revealing outfits made her popular in the tabloids, earning her the title 'Countess of Cleavage.' She was briefly married to actor Kenneth Ives and then to another, Andrew Knox, in a union that lasted merely months. Deeply disappointed by her professional route - especially in light of her heritage and the sudden, premature death of her father - plus her crumbling marriage, Imogen suffered from bouts of depression and made several suicide attempts. On 16th November 1980, police were called to her home in Wimbledon by friend and fellow actress Suzanna Leigh, where Hassall was found dead due to a Tuinal overdose.