Anne Francis

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Anne Francis
Black and white, with metallic-looking off-the-shoulder wrap dress, turned left, facing camera, arm draped on chair
Studio publicity photo from the 1950s
Born(1930-09-16)September 16, 1930
Ossining, New York, U.S.
DiedJanuary 2, 2011(2011-01-02) (aged 80)
Santa Barbara, California, U.S.
Other namesAnne Lloyd Francis
Ann Francis
OccupationActress
Years active1936–2006
Known forForbidden Planet
TelevisionHoney West
Spouse(s)
Bamlet Lawrence Price, Jr.
(m. 1952; div. 1955)

Robert Abeloff
(m. 1960; div. 1964)
Children2
James Best, Laura Devon, and Anne Francis in "Jess-Belle", an episode of The Twilight Zone (1963)

Anne Francis (also known as Anne Lloyd Francis; September 16, 1930 – January 2, 2011) was an American actress known for her role in the science fiction film Forbidden Planet (1956) and for having starred in the television series Honey West (1965–1966), which was the first TV series with a female detective character's name in the title. She won a Golden Globe Award and was nominated for an Emmy Award for her role in the series.[1]

Background[edit]

Contrary to some sources, which erroneously claim she was born Ann Marvak (rather than Francis),[1][2] her parents' marriage registration and census records from 1925 and 1930 confirm that their names were Philip Ward Francis (1900–1974) and Edith (née Albertson) Francis (1901–1995).[3][4] Francis was born in Ossining, New York, on September 16, 1930.[5][6]

She entered show business at a young age, working as a model at age five to help her family during the Great Depression. She made her Broadway debut at the age of 11.[7][8]

Film[edit]

Francis made her film debut in This Time for Keeps (1947). She played supporting roles in the films Susan Slept Here, So Young, So Bad, and Bad Day at Black Rock; her first leading role was in Blackboard Jungle (1955). Her best-known film role is that of "Altaira" in Forbidden Planet (1956), an Oscar-nominated science-fiction classic.

Francis was the star of a provocative 1960 movie about a high-priced call girl, Girl of the Night. In 1965, she had a leading role in the William Conrad film noir Brainstorm. In 1968, she played the role of Georgia James in the feature film Funny Girl and in the following year, played Nancy Ingersoll (the wife of Jerry Lewis's character) in the comedy Hook, Line & Sinker. She also co-starred in Impasse, an adventure film starring Burt Reynolds.[9]

Her distinctive physical features were her blonde hair, striking blue eyes, and a small mole just to the right of her lower lip. The mole was even written into the script of one of her films.[8]

Television[edit]

Francis found success in television and was a frequent guest star in 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s made-for-TV movies and series programs. She guest-starred on The Untouchables as the title character in "The Doreen Maney Story", and starred twice in The Twilight Zone (in "The After Hours" and in "Jess-Belle"). She also appeared in two episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents and three episodes of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour.[9]

Francis also appeared in two episodes of the Western series The Virginian, two episodes of Columbo ("Short fuse" & "A Stitch in Crime") and in the episode "Incident of the Shambling Man" on the CBS western, Rawhide. She was cast in an episode of Gene Kelly's drama series, Going My Way, based on the 1944 film of the same name. During 1964, she guest-starred in two episodes, "Hideout" and "Rachel's Mother", of The Reporter, and made two successive appearances in The Man from U.N.C.L.E.[9]

In 1965, Francis was cast as Honey West, a sexy private investigator who drove a Cobra and had a pet ocelot; the character was initially introduced on the ABC series Burke's Law, and then spun off as a series. She made a guest appearance in a 1967 episode of The Fugitive. She appeared in the 1967 episode, The Saucer, in The Invaders. She guest-starred in a 1973 episode, "Murder In The Doll's House", of Barnaby Jones.[9]

At the start of the final season in 1971 of My Three Sons, Francis played bowling-alley waitress Terri Dowling, who marries character Laird Fergus McBain Douglas of Sithian Bridge, Scotland, and returned to his homeland as royalty. (Fred MacMurray played the dual character roles of Steve Douglas and Fergus McBain Douglas in this four-part story arc). She appeared twice as a guest star in Columbo, once as a casual lover of the murderer ("Short Fuse", 1972), and once as the actual murder victim ("A Stitch in Crime", 1973).[9]

In 1974, she appeared as Ida, the madame of a bawdy house on the series Kung Fu in the episode "Night of the Owls, Day of the Doves". In 1976, she appeared as Lola Flynn in an episode of Wonder Woman, entitled "Beauty on Parade". In 1977, she appeared as Lieutenant Commander Gladys Hope, the head nurse in two episodes of the World War II series Baa Baa Black Sheep. She portrayed Melissa Osborne in the episode "How Do I Kill Thee?" of The Eddie Capra Mysteries in 1978.[9]

During the 1980-81 season of Dallas, Francis had a recurring role as Arliss Cooper, the mother of Mitch and Afton Cooper. She later played "Mama Jo" in the first few episodes of the 1984 TV-detective series Riptide.[9][10] In that same year, she guest-starred in the premiere episode of Murder, She Wrote, credited as Anne Lloyd Francis; she went on to guest-star in two more episodes during the show's run. She appeared on episodes of Matlock and The Golden Girls.

In 1996, she appeared in the Wings episode "The Lady Vanishes", as Vera, a 1940s gun moll-type character. She guest-starred in 1998 on The Drew Carey Show as the mother of Drew's girlfriend Nicki in the episodes "Nicki's Parents" and "Nicki's Wedding". Francis' final television acting role was in "Shadows", a 2004 episode of Without a Trace.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Francis was married to United States Air Force pilot Bamlet Lawrence Price, Jr.[1] from May 1952 through April 1955, and to Robert Abeloff from 1960 through 1964; she never remarried after divorcing Abeloff.[11][12]

Francis was a Democrat and supported Adlai Stevenson's campaign during the 1952 presidential election[13].

Frances and Abeloff had one daughter, Jane Elizabeth Abeloff (born March 21, 1962).[14] Francis later adopted Margaret "Maggie" West in 1970,[15][16] one of the first adoptions granted to an unmarried person in California.[1]

In 1982, Francis published an autobiography, Voices from Home, subtitled An Inner Journey.[17] On its book cover, she wrote that the book "is my spiritual expose. It is about our essence of being, the inner workings of mind and spirit which contribute to the growth of the invisible and most important part of us."[18]

Francis studied flying toward the end of the 1960s, eventually earning her pilot's certificate.[19]

Reception[edit]

In 2005, TV Guide ranked Francis number 18 on its "50 Sexiest Stars of All Time" list.[20]

Death[edit]

Anne Francis was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007. She kept her followers informed of her progress on her Web site. She died on January 2, 2011, aged 80, from complications due to pancreatic cancer at a retirement home in Santa Barbara, California.[6] She was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea.[21]

Selected filmography[edit]

Leslie Nielsen and Francis in Forbidden Planet, 1956

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Anne Francis". The Daily Telegraph. London, UK: TMG. 2011-01-13. ISSN 0307-1235. OCLC 49632006. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  2. ^ Thomas, Bob (2011-01-07). "Anne Francis; at 80; actress was television's 'Honey West'". The Boston Globe. Boston, MA: The New York Times Company. ISSN 0743-1791. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  3. ^ Yorktown Heights, New York
    Enumeration District No. 375 or 376 (illegible)
    Sheet 5B
    April 8, 1930
    Philip Ward Francis (aged 29)
    Edith Francis (aged 29)
    Edna Francis (Philip's mother; aged 59)
    Helen Albertson (sister-in-law; aged 15)

    New York, State Census, 1925
    Philip Ward Francis (aged 24)
    Edith Francis (aged 24)
    Edna Francis (Philip's mother; aged 54)

    PARENTS MARRIAGE INFO
    New York, New York, Marriage Index 1866-1937
    Certificate Number: 6288
    Philip W Francis
    Gender: Male
    Marriage Date: 24 Feb 1923
    Marriage Place: Manhattan, New York, USA
    Spouse: Edith A Albertson
  4. ^ Wagner, Laura. Anne Francis: The Life and Career, McFarland & Company, 2011; ISBN 978-0-7864-6365-7.
  5. ^ Some sources incorrectly cite Francis' year of birth as 1932
  6. ^ a b McLellan, Dennis (January 3, 2011). "Anne Francis dies at 80; costarred in the 1950s science-fiction classic 'Forbidden Planet'". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ Weaver, Tom. Double Feature Creature Attack: A Monster Merger of Two More Volumes of Classic Interviews, p. 162 (McFarland & Company, 2003); ISBN 0-7864-1366-2
  8. ^ a b Corliss, Richard (2011-01-08). "Remembering Anne Francis (1930–2011)". entertainment.time.com. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h Anne Francis on IMDb
  10. ^ Kleiner, Dick (March 20, 1984). "Anne Francis is a victim of 'Riptide'. Newspaper Enterprise Association, Harlan Daily Enterprise (Harlan, Kentucky), Vol. 68. pg. 7; retrieved May 2, 2013.
  11. ^ Byrge, Duane (January 3, 2011). "'Forbidden Planet' Star Anne Francis Dies at Age 80 - The Hollywood Reporter". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 2, 2013.
  12. ^ "Film actress wed to UCLA student". Los Angeles Times. May 18, 1952. p. 14. Retrieved May 2, 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required)
  13. ^ Motion Picture and Television Magazine, November 1952, page 33, Ideal Publishers
  14. ^ Michael, Paul and Parish, James Robert. The American Movies Reference Book: the Sound Era, p. 110. (Celestial Arts), 1969; ISBN 978-0130281340.
  15. ^ "Anne Francis – The Private Life and Times of Anne Francis. Anne Francis Pictures". Glamourgirlsofthesilverscreen.com. Retrieved 2016-10-14.
  16. ^ "Actress Adopts Child". Chicago Tribune (UPI Telephoto — via ProQuest), May 29, 1970. p. 17; retrieved May 2, 2013. (subscription required)
  17. ^ "Actress to Introduce Her Autobiography at Round Table West Meeting Thursday". Los Angeles Times. September 14, 1982. p. F3. Retrieved May 2, 2013 – via ProQuest. (subscription required)
  18. ^ Francis, Anne (1982). Voices from Home: An Inner Journe (1st ed.). Celestial Arts. p. dust jacket. ISBN 9780890873403. Because I am an actress, I am sure the first response to my having written a book will be, "Aha, another Hollywood biography." Since the market is flooded with biographies of professional revelations from many luminaries and super stars, the next response might quite possibly be, 'Who cares?'. I care! I care because VOICES FROM HOME is not a book about hidden skeletons, social calendars, and name revealing dalliances. It is far more intimate. It is my spiritual expose. It is about our essence of being, the unexplicable reality of mysticism, psychic phenomena, and the inner workings of mind and spirit which contribute to the growth of the invisible and most important part of us; hidden from the glare of lights and the camera's eye.
  19. ^ Anne Francis – Army Archerd interview on YouTube
  20. ^ TV Guide Book of Lists. Running Press. 2007. p. 201. ISBN 0-7624-3007-9.
  21. ^ Wilson, Scott (16 September 2016). "Resting Places: The Burial Sites of More Than 14,000 Famous Persons, 3d ed". McFarland – via Google Books.

External links[edit]