She was born Dilys Rhys-Jones,the daughter of actors Patricia Hicks and Ion Rhys-Jones (Sidney Rhys-Jones) who at the time of their marriage were appearing together at the Colchester Repertory Theatre. Her father was killed in action in World War II and several years later her mother married the actor Jack Watling. Dilys took her professional acting name from her step-father. Her half sister Deborah and half brother Giles are also actors.
She made her only appearance on Broadway in February 1970 in the musical Georgy, based on the Lynn Redgrave film Georgy Girl. The musical ran for only 4 performances but Dilys was nominated for a Tony award as Best Actress in a Musical Play alongside Lauren Bacall for Applause and Katherine Hepburn for Coco. The winner was Lauren Bacall.
Her second husband was the actor Owen Teale but the marriage was annulled.
- Judge Morgan, Time
- Belinda Blair, Noises Off, Michael Codron
- The Whore, The Fly and the Fox, Churchill Theatre
- Keeping Down with the Joneses
- Lady Dunce, The Soldier’s Fortune, Cambridge Theatre Company
- Beggar Woman, Sweeney Todd
- Miss Adelaide, Guys and Dolls, Bristol Old Vic Theatre Company
- Sarah Lord, Say Who You Are
- Anne Boleyn, Kings and Clowns
- Vicky, My Fat Friend, Waltham Forest Theatre
- Hodel (replacement), Fiddler on the Roof, Harold Prince and Richard Pilbrow
- Lock Up Your Daughters
- Lady Agatha, Our Man Crichton
- The Girl, The Roar of the Greasepaint – The Smell of the Crowd, Bernard Delfont
- Ellen, Housemaster, Frinton Summer Theatre
- Date of birth:
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