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R.I.P. Anne Francis 1930-2011


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Three days into the New Year and it already sucks. R.I.P. "Trudy McMann". :(

 

By BOB THOMAS, Associated Press Bob Thomas, Associated Press – 1 min ago

 

LOS ANGELES – Actress Anne Francis, who was the love interest in the 1950s science-fiction classic "Forbidden Planet" and later was sexy private eye in "Honey West" on TV, has died at age 80.

 

Francis died Sunday at a Santa Barbara nursing home, said Bill Guntle, a funeral director McDermott-Crockett & Associates Mortuary in Santa Barbara.

 

Francis, who had surgery and chemotherapy after being diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007, died of complications of pancreatic cancer, her daughter, Jane Uemura, told the Los Angeles Times.

 

Francis, a stunningly beautiful blonde with a prominent beauty mark, appeared opposite such stars as Spencer Tracy, Paul Newman, Robert Taylor and Glenn Ford in some of the most popular films of the 1950s. But "Forbidden Planet" and "Honey West" made her reputation.

 

"Forbidden Planet" was hailed in Leonard Maltin's "2006 Movie Guide" as "one of the most ambitious and intelligent films of its genre."

 

A science-fiction retelling of Shakespeare's "The Tempest," the 1956 film had Leslie Nielsen and other space travelers visiting a planet where expatriate scientist Walter Pidgeon, his daughter (Francis) and their helper, Robby the Robot, built a settlement.

 

Before filming began, the actors held a meeting and agreed "to be as serious about this film as we could be," Francis said in a 1999 interview.

 

"We could have hammed it up, but we wanted to be as sincere as we could," she said.

 

In "Honey West," which aired from 1965 to 1966, Francis' private detective was a female James Bond, sexy, stylish and as good with martial arts as she was with a gun. She was nominated for an Emmy for the role, which lasted 30 episodes.

 

"A lot of people speak to me about Honey West," Francis recalled. "The character made young women think there was more they could reach for. It encouraged a lot of people."

 

After a childhood career in New York radio and television and on the Broadway stage, Francis arrived in Hollywood when she landed a movie contract at MGM. She later went to 20th Century-Fox, then returned to MGM, and the two big studios afforded her the chance to act opposite the biggest male stars of the day.

 

In "Blackboard Jungle," the landmark 1955 film about an idealistic teacher (Ford) in a violent city school, Francis played his pregnant wife who is targeted for harassment by one of his students.

 

Among her other films: "Bad Day at Black Rock" with Tracy and Robert Ryan, "Rogue Cop" with Taylor, "The Rack" with Newman, "A Lion Is in the Streets" with James Cagney, and "Hook, Line and Sinker" opposite Jerry Lewis.

 

When her movie career declined, Francis became active in television, appearing in dozens of series, including "Mission Impossible," "The Virginian," "My Three Sons," "Ironside," "Gunsmoke," "The Twilight Zone," "Charlie's Angels," "The Golden Girls," "Home Improvement" and "Nash Bridges."

 

Her name was Ann Marvak when she was born Sept. 16, 1930, in Ossining, N.Y.

 

By age 5 she was working as a model, and by 11 she was appearing on daytime radio serials, winning the nickname the Little Queen of Soap Operas. She also had some small roles on Broadway.

 

After her first MGM contract, during which she attended studio school with Elizabeth Taylor, Jane Powell and Natalie Wood, she returned to New York. There, she took part in television's Golden Age, acting in such acclaimed dramatic series as "Studio One" and "U.S. Steel Hour" before returning to Hollywood.

 

Francis' early marriage to actor Bam Price ended in divorce.

 

In addition to Jane, Francis and her second husband, Robert Abeloff, had another daughter, Maggie, before divorcing. She also is survived by a grandson.

 

___

 

Associated Press writer Jeff Wilson contributed to this report.

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110103/ap_en_tv/us_obit_francis

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Three days into the New Year and it already sucks. R.I.P. "Trudy McMann". :(

 

 

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110103/ap_en_tv/us_obit_francis

Oh God how i loved her on Honey West, she was such a beauty, so classy, so funny on talk shows also. She had a small part in Funny Girl, with Babs Streisand. This is what a real STAR looked like back then. A talented and gorgeous blonde bombshell. But with added intelligence wit and charm.

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There's a huge Spanish stucco house up the hill from me that's a standout in the neighborhood. Several years ago it was for sale and one of the potential buyers was Miss Anne Francis! Probably just as well for Anne that she didn't move here because I would have given her "The Celebrity Next Door" treatment.

She's one of those stars that really had everything but for some reason did not make it to the top echelon. For a series that lasted only one year "Honey West" seems to be well remembered.

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There's a huge Spanish stucco house up the hill from me that's a standout in the neighborhood. Several years ago it was for sale and one of the potential buyers was Miss Anne Francis! Probably just as well for Anne that she didn't move here because I would have given her "The Celebrity Next Door" treatment.

She's one of those stars that really had everything but for some reason did not make it to the top echelon. For a series that lasted only one year "Honey West" seems to be well remembered.

Yes, when Orson Bean was on Two and a Half Men recently, he even referred to her on the show, Miss Anne Francis of Tv's Honey West, i loved that.

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I'm shocked that she was EIGHTY, that means you and I were lusting after a much older woman back then, she had twenty years on us.

Uh, more than twenty-five for me, Cookie and trust me I never LUSTED after her!! I just remember her being absolutely stunningly gorgeous!

 

And it was one of those shows that by memory, seemed to have ran for several years so it's sobering to find out it was only a one-season wonder. But amazing that she/it made such an impression and we all of a certain generation still remember it/her fondly after what, 40 years?? Whoa!

:professor:

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