ZAVARONI, Lena Hilda, m. Wiltshire, born Greenock 4 Nov. 1963, died Cardiff 2 Oct. 1999. Pop singer. Daughter of Hilda Jordan and Victor Zavaroni, fish and chip shop owners.
Born into a musical family in Rothesay, Lena Zavaroni found fame at the age of nine, when she appeared on the television talent show Opportunity Knocks. She won the contest for a record five consecutive weeks, and the song she sang, 'Ma, He's Making Eyes at Me', reached number 8 in the charts. Having moved to London and the Italian Conti Stage School, in the mid-1970s she went from one high-profile performance to another, taking part in a Hollywood charity performance with Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball and singing at the White House for President Gerald Ford. She appeared on Morecambe and Wise, and took part in the Royal Variety Performance. At the Conti she met another child star, Bonnie Langford, and together they had a television show, Lena and Bonnie. But the fame and wealth which had transformed her life quickly had another side to it. By the age of 16 she had been diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, and for the next 20 years she moved between periods of performing and periods of serious illness. She married businessman Peter Wiltshire in 1989, but the marriage lasted only 18 months. Lena Zavaroni attended different clinics for anorexia and depression, and was further affected by personal and family troubles. In September 1999, she underwent a rare type of brain operation known as a capsulotomy at the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff. By then she was living on social security benefits in a council flat in Hertfordshire. She died, aged 35, of a chest infection contracted after the operation. FJ
• The Daily Telegraph, 3 Oct. 1999 (obit.) and 9 Dec. 1999; The Guardian, 5 Oct. 1999 (obit.); ODNB (2004). www.lena-zavaroni.co.uk
ZINKEISEN, Doris Clare,‡ m. Johnstone, born Kilcreggan, Dunbartonshire, 31 July 1898, died Badingham, Suffolk, 3 Jan. 1991; ZINKEISEN, Anna Katrina, m. Heseltine, born Kilcreggan 29 August 1901, died London 23 Sept. 1976. Daughters of Welsh-born Clare Bolton-Charles, and Victor Zinkeisen, Glasgow timber merchant and amateur artist.
Tutored at home, 'both sisters wanted to draw and paint to the exclusion of all other academic pursuits' (Walpole 1978, p. 7). In 1909, the family moved to Pinner, Middlesex, where Doris and Anna Zinkeisen attended the Harrow School of Art. In 1917, they won scholarships to the Royal Academy Schools. Referred to as 'Big Zink' and 'Little Zink', they had eminent teachers, including Sir William Orpen and Sir George Clausen. Doris Zinkeisen received Paris Salon medals: Bronze (1929), Silver (1930) and Gold (1934); Anna Zinkeisen, who also studied sculpture, won a Silver Medal at the 1925 Exposition des Arts Décoratifs. In 1927, Doris Zinkeisen married Captain Grahame Johnstone (d. 1946); they had three children. The following year, her sister married Captain Guy Heseltine (d. 1967) and they had one daughter.
Painting in the academic-realist style, the Zinkeisens gained popularity as official and society portraitists; examples include Elsa Lanchester (1925) by Doris, and surgeon Sir Archibald McIndoe (c. 1940) by Anna (both NPG, London). While portraiture was the mainstay of both careers, the sisters, as accomplished horsewomen, also favoured equestrian subjects, and they worked widely in other visual media, e.g. advertising posters for the London Underground Company and murals for Cunard liner RMS Queen Mary. Doris Zinkeisen additionally established a successful career as stage and costume designer for plays and films (e.g. for Nigel Playfair, Charles Cochran and Herbert
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Publication information: Book title: The Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Women: From the Earliest Times to 2004. Contributors: Elizabeth Ewan - Editor, Sue Innes - Editor, Siân Reynolds - Editor. Publisher: Edinburgh University Press. Place of publication: Edinburgh. Publication year: 2006. Page number: 384.
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