Yvette Mimieux

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Yvette Mimieux
Publicity still (1961)
Yvette Carmen Mimieux

(1942-01-08)January 8, 1942
DiedJanuary 18, 2022(2022-01-18) (aged 80)[a]
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
  • Actress
  • writer
Years active1956–1992
Known for
  • Evan Harland Engber
    (m. 1959; div. 1961)
  • (m. 1972; div. 1985)
  • Howard Ruby
    (m. 1986)

Yvette Carmen Mimieux[1] (January 8, 1942 – January 18, 2022)[a] was an American film and television actress who was a major star of the 1960s and 1970s. Her breakout role was in The Time Machine (1960). She was nominated for three Golden Globe Awards during her acting career.[2]

Early life[edit]

Mimieux was born in Los Angeles on January 8, 1942, to René Mimieux, who was half French and half German, and Maria Montemayor, who was Mexican.[3][4] Mimieux had at least two siblings, a sister, Gloria, and a brother, Edouardo.[4]

Her career was launched after talent manager Jim Byron happened to meet her and suggested she become an actress.[5] Her first acting appearances were in episodes of the television shows Yancy Derringer and One Step Beyond, both in 1959, at the age of 17.



Mimieux appeared in George Pal's film version of H. G. Wells's 1895 novel The Time Machine (1960) starring Rod Taylor, in which she played the character Weena. It was made for MGM, which put her under long-term contract. However, her first film was Platinum High School (1960), a low budget teen crime drama produced by Albert Zugsmith for MGM and released two months before The Time Machine.[6] Her performance in Platinum High School earned her a 1960 Golden Globe Awards nomination for "New Star Of The Year - Actress".[2]

Mimieux guest-starred in an episode of Mr Lucky, then was one of several leads in the highly popular teen comedy-drama Where the Boys Are (1960). MGM put Mimieux in the ingenue role in Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1961), an expensive flop.[7] Arthur Freed wanted to team her and George Hamilton in a remake of The Clock, but it was not made.[8]

Mimieux had a central role in the romantic drama Light in the Piazza (1962), playing a mentally disabled girl. This film did pair her romantically with George Hamilton. The film lost money but was well regarded critically. She later said:

"I suppose I have a soulful quality. I was often cast as a wounded person, the 'sensitive' role."[9]

In 1962, Mimieux was slated for a role in A Summer Affair at MGM, but it was not made.[10]

Mimieux had a small part in Pal's The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1963), another commercial disappointment. Later that year, she appeared in Diamond Head (1963) with Charlton Heston. Mimieux went to United Artists for Toys in the Attic, based on the play by Lillian Hellman and co-starring Geraldine Page and Dean Martin. At MGM, Mimieux guest-starred on two episodes of Dr. Kildare alongside Richard Chamberlain in 1964. She played a surfer suffering from epilepsy, a performance that was much acclaimed[11] and led to a 1965 Golden Globe nomination for "Best Actress In A Television Series".[2]

Mimieux made a cameo as herself in Looking for Love (1964) starring Connie Francis, her costar from Where the Boys Are. She also played Richard Chamberlain's wife in Joy in the Morning (1965), a romantic melodrama.[citation needed]


Mimieux was in a Western with Max von Sydow for 20th Century Fox, The Reward (1965); the Disney comedy Monkeys, Go Home! (1967); and a heist film The Caper of the Golden Bulls (1967).[12]

Mimieux did The Desperate Hours (1967) for TV and was reunited with Rod Taylor in the MGM war movie Dark of the Sun (1968). In 1968, she narrated a classical music concert at the Hollywood Bowl.[13]

In 1969, Mimieux was top-billed in the sex comedy Three in the Attic a hit for AIP,[14] and appeared in the critically acclaimed 1969 movie The Picasso Summer alongside Albert Finney. The following year, she was the female lead in The Delta Factor (1970), an action film co-starring Christopher George.[citation needed]


Mimieux in c. 1975

Mimieux had one of the leads in The Most Deadly Game (1970–1971), a short-lived TV series from Aaron Spelling. She replaced Inger Stevens, who had been slated to star, but died one month before production began.[15] For this role, Mimieux was nominated for the 1971 Golden Globe Award for Best Television Actress – Drama Series.[2]

Around 1971, Mimieux had a business selling Haitian products and studied archeology; she would travel several months of each year.[16] After making the TV movies Death Takes a Holiday (1971) and Black Noon (1971), she sued her agent for not providing her with movie work despite having taken her money.[17]

Mimieux was an air hostess in MGM's hostage thriller Skyjacked (1972), starring Charlton Heston[18] and was in the Fox science-fiction film The Neptune Factor (1973).[19]

By the early 1970s, Mimieux was unhappy with the roles offered to actresses:

"The women they [male screenwriters] write are all one dimensional. They have no complexity in their lives. It's all surface. There's nothing to play. They're either sex objects or vanilla pudding."[20]

Mimieux had been writing for several years prior to this film, mostly journalism and short stories. She had the idea for a story about a Pirandello-like theme:

"...the study of a woman, the difference between what she appears to be and what she is: appearance vs reality...[the more I thought about the character] the more I wanted to play her. Here was the kind of nifty, multifaceted part I'd been looking for. So instead of a short story, I wrote it as a film."[20]

Mimieux wrote a thriller, which she took to producers Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, who then produced it for ABC as a television film. It aired as Hit Lady (1974), in which Mimieux played the title character.[20]

In 1975, Mimieux starred in The Legend of Valentino (as Rudolph Valentino's second wife, Natacha Rambova), and in the Canadian thriller Journey into Fear, a remake of a 1943 Orson Welles movie. In 1976, Mimieux made a pilot for a TV sitcom based on Bell, Book and Candle, but it was not picked up.[citation needed]

Later movies[edit]

Mimieux played a falsely imprisoned woman pursued by corrupt law enforcement in the crime drama Jackson County Jail (1976) with Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Carradine for New World Pictures, which was a box-office hit.

Mimieux appeared in such horror-oriented TV movies as Snowbeast (1977), Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978), and Disaster on the Coastliner (1979). She also appeared in the TV movies Ransom for Alice! (1977) and Outside Chance (1978).

Later, she co-starred in the first PG-rated Walt Disney Productions feature, the science fiction film The Black Hole (1979). She had the lead in Circle of Power (1981).[21]

Mimieux appeared in the TV movie Forbidden Love (1982) and Night Partners (1983) and guest-starred on The Love Boat and Lime Street. She made Obsessive Love (1984), a television film about a female stalker which she co-wrote and co-produced:

"There are few enough films going these days, and there are three or four women who are offered all the good parts. Of course I could play a lot of awful parts that are too depressing to contemplate.... [Television] is not the love affair I have with film, but television can be a playground for interesting ideas. I love wild, baroque, slightly excessive theatrical ideas, and because television needs so much material, there's a chance to get some of those odd ideas done."[22][23]

Mimieux had the lead in Berrenger's (1985), a short-lived TV series and had a supporting role in the TV movie The Fifth Missile (1986). She guest-starred in a TV movie Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception (1990). Her last film was a supporting role in Lady Boss (1992).[1]

Personal life and death[edit]

At age 17, Mimieux wed Evan Harland Engber on December 19, 1959, but kept the marriage secret for almost two years.[24] She was married for a second time to film director Stanley Donen from 1972 until their divorce in 1985.[1] Her last marriage was to Howard F. Ruby, chairman emeritus and co-founder of Oakwood Worldwide, the owner of the Oakwood Apartments complexes.[25][26]

Mimieux died at her home in Los Angeles on January 18, 2022.[a]


Television work[edit]


  • The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm 1962 (MGM Records), as The Dancing Princess
  • Baudelaire's Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs Du Mal) 1968 (Connoisseur Society), reading excerpts of Cyril Scott's 1909 translation with music by Ali Akbar Khan



  1. ^ a b c Confliction over Mimieux's date of death appeared in the reporting. News of her death was first reported by Deadline Hollywood, phrasing it as "she was found dead on Tuesday morning" (January 18).[27] Her representative Michelle Bega, spoke directly to The New York Times, People Magazine and The Washington Post and gave the date of death as Monday night (January 17) with each source wording this differently.[28][29][30] Tuesday was cited as the date of death by Variety without a statement from Bega.[31] Ultimately, her obituary notice issued via the Neptune Society put her date of death as the 18th.[32]


  1. ^ a b c "Yvette Mimeiux". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d "Yvette Mimieux". goldenglobes.com. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  3. ^ Gates, Anita (January 18, 2022). "Yvette Mimieux, Who Found Fame With 'The Time Machine', Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved October 9, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Vose, Robert (1959). "Yvette Mimieux". Look Magazine Photograph Collection (Library of Congress).
  5. ^ "Under Hedda's Hat: The Mystery of Yvette Mimieux", Chicago Tribune, June 9, 1963. pg. H36.
  6. ^ Joe Hyams, "Yvette steals the show: A year ago she was on our cover. Now look at the girl--she's had two movies, five proposals and starred at the Debs' Ball! Actors are out!", Los Angeles Times, December 6, 1959, pg. J21
  7. ^ "Yvette Mimieux Signed: Gets Role in 'Four Horsemen of Apocalypse'", New York Times, August 12, 1960, pg. 11.
  8. ^ Hedda Hopper, "Mimieux, Hamilton Teamed: Film Is Remake of 'The Clock'"], Los Angeles Times, June 7, 1961, pg. B10.
  9. ^ Megan Rosenfeld, "The Mystique of Actress Yvette Mimieux", The Washington Post, November 29, 1979, pg. D13.
  10. ^ Hedda Hopper, "Yvette Mimieux to Do 'Summer Affair'", Los Angeles Times, February 23, 1962, pg. C16.
  11. ^ "Yvette Mimieux in Television Debut", Los Angeles Times, September 5, 1963, pg. C12.
  12. ^ Hedda Hopper, "Yvette Mimieux's Got a Secret", Los Angeles Times, April 11, 1965, pg. M4.
  13. ^ "Foster Conducts Program at Bowl", by Arlen, Walter. Los Angeles Times, August 15, 1968, pg. E-24.
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 20, 1968). "THREE IN THE ATTIC". RogerEbert.com. Chicago Sun-Times.
  15. ^ "Yvette Mimieux in Cast of Deadly Game", Los Angeles Times, May 19, 1970, pg. F-18.
  16. ^ Judy Klemesrud, "Actress Mixes Altruism and Business", New York Times, September 23, 1970, pg. 54.
  17. ^ "Film Agency Sued by Yvette Mimieux". Los Angeles Times. August 21, 1971. p. 20.
  18. ^ Soares, Emily. "Skyjacked (1972)". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved August 16, 2018.
  19. ^ Servi, Vera (May 28, 1972). "Movies: Yvette Mimieux's Front Page Performance". Chicago Tribune. p. K14.
  20. ^ a b c "Yvette Mimieux's Right for This Role". Los Angeles Times. October 7, 1974. p. E17.
  21. ^ "Circle of Power (1981) Directed by Bobby Roth". LETTERBOXD. Retrieved September 14, 2018.
  22. ^ JOHN O'CONNOR. "Obsessive Love, Movie With Yvette Mimieux", New York Times, October 2, 1984, pg. C18.
  23. ^ Farber, Stephen. "MIMIEUX PRODUCES A MOVIE FOR TV", New York Times, October 1, 1984.
  24. ^ "Yvette Mimieux Married". The New York Times. Associated Press. October 27, 1961. p. 27. ... has been secretly married since 1959 ... Records show that she was married to Evan Harland Engber here [in Los Angeles] on Dec. 19. ... Mr. Engber, who was recently discharged from the Army ...
  25. ^ Eng, Dinah (September 4, 2014). "Howard Ruby: The father of corporate housing". Fortune. Archived from the original on June 2, 2019. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  26. ^ "About Oakwood > Executive Committee > Howard Ruby: Chairman, Founder and COO". Oakwood Worldwide. Archived from the original on January 10, 2020.
  27. ^ "Yvette Mimieux Dies; Actress/Writer Who Starred In 'The Time Machine' Had Just Turned 80". Deadline Hollywood. January 18, 2022. Retrieved January 18, 2022.
  28. ^ Gates, Anita (January 18, 2022). "Yvette Mimieux, Who Found Fame With 'The Time Machine,' Dies at 80". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  29. ^ "The Time Machine Actress Yvette Mimieux Dead at 80". People. January 19, 2022. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  30. ^ Yvette Mimieux, who rose to fame in ‘The Time Machine’ and “Where the Boys Are,’ dies
  31. ^ Dagan, Carmel (January 18, 2022). "Yvette Mimieux, Star of 'The Time Machine,' 'The Black Hole,' Dies at 80". Variety. Retrieved January 19, 2022.
  32. ^ "Yvette Mimieux Ruby". Neptune Society. Retrieved February 19, 2022.

External links[edit]