LEFT - Toni's book about her life with the speed king. RIGHT - Tonia in England, at the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, with Don Wales, July 2014.
Tonia Bern was born in Belgium. She spent her childhood in her father's Five Star hotel and famed night club; The Carlton. From the age of 13 she studied acting and music at the Conservatoire Royale in Brussels and won her first stage success in Paris at age 16. Tonia went on to headline in such places as Carnegie Hall, the Savoy in London, in Monte Carlo and Las Vegas.......
It's not hard to see why Tonia turned Donald's head. He had an eye for beauty. Miss Bern must have been a breath of fresh air, an anchor and shoulder to lean on, giving support to a man that some say was on the edge some of the time. Certainly, Donald had doubts about his own achievements, when those successes were every bit as amazing as his fathers' and in the end he surpassed Sir Malcolm's best by taking land and water speed records in the same year. We have no doubts about Donald, just a little sadness that he pushed himself rather harder than was necessary.
As an actress, Tonia is known for The Flaw (1955), The Glass Cage (1955) and Keep It Clean (1956).
She married Donald Campbell in 1958, travelling with him to Australia, Lake Eyre and Lake Dumbleyung where the speed king set land and water speed records in his CN7 and K7 jet powered vehicles.
In 1967 the speed king was killed on Lake Coniston.
Some many years later in September (4th) of 1989 Tonia married Bill Maynard. The couple later divorced and Ms Bern-Campbell took up her career again as an entertainer.
Tonia Bern and Donald Campbell were married on the 24th December 1958 at the Caxton Hall Registry Office in London.
FEUD OVER K7 - TELEGRAPH FEBRUARY 2001
THIRTY-FOUR years after Donald Campbell died in a
water speed record attempt on Coniston Water an attempt to raise his craft has sparked a family row.
Although Royal Navy divers located the wreck immediately after it sank, and established that Donald Campbell's body was not in its cockpit, subsequent efforts to find Bluebird have been hampered by layers of silt.
PALM DESERT ENTERTAINMENT 2008
Tonia-Bern Campbell, internationally known actress and singer will present her show, “Piaf, Chev-alier, Brel,” at 7 p.m. Saturday,
November 22 2008, at the Indio Performing Arts Center, 45-175 Fargo Street, Indio. It is a cornucopia of songs and stories that captures the three legends and their enormously different interpretations.
Tonia Bernwas and is a lively, heartthrob of a pin-up girl. Photography was not that great at the time [pity] but you can get the picture from these product covers.
Tonia Bernrelaxing in the baking Australian sun at Lake Eyre
Six years ago, Mrs Bern-Campbell fell out with her 53-year-old step-daughter over the latter's attempt to auction off his lucky totem, a teddy
bear called Mr Whoppit, which was with Campbell in the cockpit when he
died but was thrown clear.
Tonia Bern-Campbell, still looking good at 70, paying her respects as the K7 is raised from the silt. The event caused some division within the family. We support the view that the K7 should (at least) have remained in condition in which it was found, as a memorial to the king of speed, and also as a scientific reminder of man's quest for advancement and the price that some have paid in the cause. It's a bit late now, but possibly having found the wreck, an underwater shrine could have been set out tastefully, with Union-Jack posted lighting and a camera feed that could have been transmitted (displayed) on the web at important dates in the calendar - like January the 4th.
SIR MALCOLM CAMPBELL'S BLUE BIRDS
Tonia Bern-Campbellin July of 2014.
LEFT: Looking on, Tonia Bern-Campbell watches from the sidelines as the 'circus' prepare her husband's car for his land speed record run. RIGHT: A painting, presumably inspired by this or other similar photographs ofTonia and the LSR attempt, by Alister Little.
A clause from a Declaration of Trust dating from the 16th of October 2001, where Tonia agrees to vary the will of her husband Donald. This was to enable the family in England to do what they could to preserve the K7 Bluebird, despite the fact that she would have preferred that the wreck was left where it was as a memorial site. This is a controversial subject, with the Heritage Lottery Fund siding with Tonia, from an archaeological perspective.
DONALD CAMPBELL'S BLUEBIRDS
(not a bluebird boat)
The Telegraph Campbells feud over Bluebird wreck
Daily Record Scotland unseen photographs of Donald Campbells Bluebird CN7
Desert Entertainer November 2008 Tonia Bern-Campbell Piaf Chevalier Brel
Daily Mail Donald-Campbell-Bluebird-Unseen-photographs-speed-record-breaker
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