Her best-known work, Rebecca (1938), is a literary classic and was the inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's Oscar-winning film.
She was born in London, the daughter of the actor-manager Sir Gerald du Maurier, and granddaughter of the author and cartoonist, George du Maurier. These connections gave a head start to her literary career, and her first novel, The Loving Spirit , was published in 1931.
Although married for many years to Lieutenant-General Sir Frederick "Boy" Browning and the mother of one son and two daughters, du Maurier was bisexual (which she referred to as her "Venetian tendencies"), and had intimate relationships with several women, including actress Gertrude Lawrence.
Her writing went from strength to strength. She is most noted for the novel Rebecca which has been filmed on several occasions. Besides Rebecca, several of her other novels were made into films, including The Glass-Blowers, traces her French ancestry.
She was named a Dame of the British Empire, and died at the age of 81 in 1989, at her home in Cornwall, in a region which had been the setting for many of her books.
She was a member of the Cornish nationalist pressure group/political party Mebyon Kernow.
As per her desire, Dame Daphne's body was cremated and her ashes were scattered on the cliffs near her home
Daphne du Maurier was born on 13 May 1907 in London, England, United Kingdom, the second of three daughters of Muriel Beaumont, an actress and maternal niece of William Comyns Beaumont, and Sir Gerald du Maurier, the prominent actor-manager, son of the author and Punch cartoonist George du Maurier, who created the character of Svengali in the novel Trilby. She was also the cousin of the Llewelyn Davies boys, who served as . Barrie's inspiration for the characters in the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up. As a young child, she met many of the brightest stars of the theatre, thanks to the celebrity of her father. These connections helped her in establishing her literary career, and she published some of her early stories in Beaumont's Bystander magazine. Her first novel, The Loving Spirit, was published in 1931, and she continued writing successfull gothic novels in addition to biographies and other non-fiction books. Alfred Hitchcock was a fan of her novels and short stories, and adapted some of these to films: Jamaica Inn (1939), Rebecca (1940), and The Birds (1963). Other of her works adapted were Frenchman's Creek (1942), Hungry Hill (1943), My Cousin Rachel (1951), and "Don't Look Now" (1973). She was named a Dame of the British Empire.