Diane Cilento, the dusky-voiced stage and film actress whose forthright sensuality was best displayed as the wench Molly in “Tom Jones” and who endured a tempestuous marriage to actor Sean Connery, died Oct. 6 in Queensland, Australia. She was 78.

Australian media outlets reported the death but did not reveal a cause.

The Australian-born Cilento was a rising star in the 1950s and 1960s — a wide-eyed, striking blonde with a beckoning, throaty voice that she proudly said was “an octave lower than Paul Robeson’s.”

On Broadway, she made a strong impression as Helen of Troy in Jean Giraudoux’s “Tiger at the Gates” (1955) opposite Michael Redgrave. Writing in the New York Herald-Tribune, theater critic Walter Kerr said Cilento’s Helen was a “marvel of insolence.”

“With her antennae-like eyelashes sweeping nations into the dustbin,” he wrote, “her one dainty hoof pawing the ground before her impatiently, and her detached nasal voice slicing reason into ribbons, she is a creature from the moon — a terrifying one.”

On TV, she played Eugene O’Neill’s waterfront tramp in “Anna Christie” (1957) opposite her future husband, Connery.

After “Tom Jones” in 1963, for which she was nominated for an Oscar, she went on to co-star as the sexually assertive Contessina de’Medici opposite Charlton Heston’s Michelangelo in “The Agony and the Ecstasy” (1965); a none-too mournful widow in the brutal western “Hombre” (1967) opposite Paul Newman; and as a teacher with a dark secret in “The Wicker Man” (1973).