Anne Francis

  • Born: September 16, 1930
  • Died: January 2, 2011
  • Location: Santa Barbara, California

Tribute


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 in California.

'Forbidden Planet' star dies at 80

BOB THOMAS, The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Actress Anne Francis, who was the love interest in the 1950s science-fiction classic "Forbidden Planet" and later was a 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 at 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 character — who kept a pet ocelot, a wildcat — 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.


Condolence & Memory Journal

RIP Ann, Awesome lady in films, leaves deep sentimental impression in all the roles. She will be missed. J.B.

Posted by Jeff Brown - Spokane, WA   April 01, 2018

helping them would hide the pain is representative of her reaoiilnshtp with Paul. I believe that their reaoiilnshtp would help hide or distract the pain of their past tragedies, however Paul knows it would be better in the long run to help Laura as a therapist, and see a therapist for his own marriage problems, rather than persue a reaoiilnshtp himself. When Laura got up from the bench, it was an emotional peak in the episode. Laura and Paul had been connecting on a friendly level, and overall helping eachother get through Alex's funeral. But when Paul shared some of past with Laura he mentioned his resentment for his father, who left his mother for a much younger patient. Paul had told her that he promised himself he would never grow up to be his father. Laura wanted to leave because she realized that with her, Paul would be his father. He is a doctor, that would leave his wife for Laura, his patient. I think she realized that Paul and her could never be together. She knows Paul is not like his father, and I believe that she does not want to be the person who makes him like his father.I think that Laura does have geniune feelings for Paul, and that is apparant in the way she has been acting throughout therapy. I believe that Paul does like her, but he recongnizes he does not love her, and won't ever feel for her the way he does (or did) about his wife. I think that because of Paul was so disgusted by his fathers actions, he can never see Laura the way his father his saw his patient. He saw how his fathers behavior hurt him, his mother, and how other people were judgemental, because leaving your wife for a much younger patient, is not only wrong as a doctor, but wrong as a father and husband. Paul is not that person, and won't ever be. It's hard on Laura, but in the long run, I think Paul is better off with Laura as a platonic friend, and nothing more.

Posted by Celara - Xy72eSS8elN, NE - sQ1MQWFlX   November 10, 2015

Candle

RIP

Posted by tod    February 07, 2012

Candle

God's Grace +++

Posted by LA    January 10, 2012

Candle

I LOVED HER IN LOTS OF HER MOVIES, A STAR IF IN THE SKY AGAIN '

Posted by Linda Moon - JUST A FRIEND WHO LIKE HER.   February 19, 2011

I LOVED HER IN ALL HER MOVIES. SHE WAS A GREAT ACTRESS AND WILL BE MISSED BY ALL WHO LOVED AND KNEW HER. SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS.

Posted by BONNIEPARK - WEST CARROLLTON, OH - FAN   February 10, 2011

Candle

in memory of a beautiful life

Posted by Deionna Woodworth - fan   February 08, 2011

Candle

I remember her well, I had a crush on her when I was a kid watching Honey West.. She was very sharp in that show, truly a talent.

Posted by Jerry - Just a Fan   February 08, 2011

I remember her in movies especially having that beauty mark! I always thought she was one of the most beautiful actress's!
She was blessed to reach 80 & still have that outer beauty! RIP

Posted by jene - m, WI - f   January 07, 2011

Candle

Anne was my role model and my inspiration. And when I was a very young troubled teenager she literally saved my life by writing to me regularly. Years later, at a dark point in her life, I had the opportunity to thank her for saving mine. She was an extraordinary human being and I will always love her.

I have written a longer tribute to her here:
http://urbantantrika.tumblr.com/post/2611594868/anne-francis-tribute

Posted by Barbara Carrellas    January 06, 2011

Candle

I always thought you were one of the most beautiful actress'. Rest in Peace.

Posted by Jeanne Rosenberg    January 05, 2011

I LOVED HER IN ALL THE MOVIES SHE EVER MADE AND SHE WILL BE MISSED ALL THAT LOVED HER.I SEND MY CONDOLENCES AND GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Posted by BONNIELYNCH - WEST CARROLLTON, OH - FAN   January 04, 2011

I am so saddened by the death of Anne Francis. Not only have we lost a great talent, we have lost a great human being... Kind,humble, and someone who took the time to correspond with me whenever I wrote to her with words of encouragement and hope... My condolences to her Daughters Jane and Maggie...
You will be missed,
Michael Fowler

Posted by Michael Fowler - Boston, MA - Fan   January 04, 2011

Candle

I remember Ann in the movies and television, she was a great actress with her birthmark. We will miss you !

Posted by Chris Holmes - fan   January 04, 2011

Candle

I loved her movies.

Posted by Diane Ingram - a fan   January 03, 2011


Default Album

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 in California.
Actors Anne Francis and Robbie the Robot, who both starred in the 1956 science fiction thriller "Forbidden Planet," share a hug Saturday, March 7, 1998, during the taping of an Easter Seals television special in Los Angeles.
-This Jan.31,1966 file photo shows Phyllis Diller, left, with Robert Goulet and Anne Francis, right, posing for photos at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Golden Globe Awards in Hollywood, Calif.
In a May 13, 1966 file photo, actresses Anne Francis, left, Lucille Ball, center, and Barbara Stanwyck pose at a party hosted by CBS-TV for the nominees for the 1966 Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills, Ca.