‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ actress Lesley-Anne Down says she was nearly abducted at age 11
Lesley-Anne Down revealed she was nearly abducted by a stranger at age 11.
The chilling incident came just after the body of 10-year-old Lesley Ann Downey – whose name is nearly identical – was found dead in Manchester. She was a victim of the Moors murders in the U.K., which were carried out by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley in the ‘60s.
“I was almost kidnapped when Lesley Ann Downey had just been found,” the English actress told U.K.’s Mirror on Thursday.
According to the 66-year-old, a man tried to get her into a car near her home in Putney, South West London.
“I’d run ahead of my mother,” she told the outlet. “When she caught up, the man had stopped me, told me he needed a babysitter and we would call my parents when we got to his house. I remember having one foot in the car. Seeing my mother broke his spell. I screamed. My mother ran to me and told me to run to my father. He called the police. Of course, my mother couldn’t hold him… he was gone.”
Lesley-Anne Down ((Photo by Tony Barson/WireImage)
The “Upstairs, Downstairs” star vividly remembered how distraught her mother was after the chilling encounter.
“If a child the same age as yours, whose name was Lesley Ann Downey, was found buried on the moors and then your child was almost taken… wouldn’t you be? I was 11, as she would have been had she lived.”
Five children were reported missing, but the bodies of just three were found by the time Brady and Hindley were arrested in 1965, the New York Times reported. According to the outlet, the horrific killings were called the Moors murders because of the couple’s ritual of burying victims on the desolate Saddleworth Moor in northwestern England.
The outlet noted that some of the children had been tortured and molested before they were murdered.
Hindley passed away in 2002 at age 60. Brady followed in 2017 at age 79.
Ian Brady (left) and Myra Hindley, were found guilty of murder in the sensational 'Bodies of the Moor' trial. Both were sentenced to life imprisonment. (Getty)
Down would go on to launch a successful modeling and acting career. According to the outlet, her film debut was 1969’s “The Smashing Bird I Used to Know.”
The TV show “Upstairs, Downstairs,” which explored the trials of the British aristocratic Bellamy family and their staff, aired from 1971 until 1975.
She also made her mark in “The Bold and the Beautiful,” as well as “The Return of the Pink Panther,” alongside Peter Sellers, U.K.’s DailyMail reported. Down worked with Harrison Ford and Christopher Plummer in "Hanover Street.”