Actress Carol Lynley, star of ‘Poseidon Adventure,’ dies at 77

Carol Lynley with Dennis Waterman
Carol Lynley with Dennis Waterman in a scene from “Journey to the Unknown.”
(ABC Photo Archives / Walt Disney Television)

Carol Lynley, a stage and screen actress who starred in “The Poseidon Adventure” and appeared in numerous other film and television series, has died. She was 77.

Lynley died in her sleep at her home in Los Angeles, her daughter Jill Selsman said Friday.

The actress had a lengthy Hollywood career, earning a Golden Globe nomination as a newcomer for the 1959 film “Blue Denim” about a teenager seeking an abortion. It was a role she originated on Broadway.


Lynley appeared in more than 100 films and television series, but her best-known role was as pop singer Nonnie Parry in 1972’s “The Poseidon Adventure.” Her character performs the song “The Morning After,” although the vocals were dubbed. The song went on to win an Academy Award.

She also starred in 1961’s “Return to Peyton Place,” playing an author whose book revealing her New Hampshire hometown’s secrets causes trouble for her and her family.

Lynley had numerous guest appearances on television series including “Fantasy Island,” ’'The Love Boat” and the original “Hawaii Five-O.”

“She loved working in film and much as she loved going to the movies,” Selsman said in an email. She said her mother took her to all sorts of films when she was a growing up.

Selsman, who has her own video production company, described her mother as “bon vivant” and as someone who “loved to dance, going to the ballet, seeing anything on Broadway.”

Lynley, who was born in New York on Feb. 13, 1942, started her career as a child model. She was profiled by Life magazine and appeared on its cover when she was 15 and starring in “The Potting Shed” on Broadway.