Monday, January 03, 2011

Anne Francis Dies at 80

Lovely actress Anne Francis has passed away at the age of 80.

Francis passed on Sunday, just a few weeks after her FORBIDDEN PLANET (1956) costar, Leslie Nielsen. She's pictured here with another FORBIDDEN PLANET costar, the late Jack Kelly.

Francis had battled cancer for the past few years and put up a note at her official website a while back saying that health issues were preventing her from answering fan mail.

In addition to FORBIDDEN PLANET, Francis's credits included DREAMBOAT (1952), SUSAN SLEPT HERE (1954), ROGUE COP (1954), BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK (1955), BATTLE CRY (1955), BLACKBOARD JUNGLE (1955), and THE CROWDED SKY (1960).

Beginning in the late 1950s she shifted to doing a great deal of television work, including starring in the TV series HONEY WEST (1965), but she continued to appear in films occasionally, including FUNNY GIRL (1968). Her last acting role was a 2004 episode of the series WITHOUT A TRACE.

A tribute at 50 Westerns From the 50s includes a link to an interview with Francis.

I also recommend Issue #55 (Winter 2008-09) of Films of the Golden Age, which had a really terrific article on Francis by Laura Wagner.

January 4th Update: I was delighted to learn that Laura Wagner will have a full-length biography of Anne Francis published by McFarland later this year. It's titled ANNE FRANCIS: THE LIFE AND CAREER. Amazon indicates the publication date is May 31, 2011.


Blogger DKoren said...

Aw, so sad. When I was little, I wanted to be her in Forbidden Planet.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Francesca Paolucci said...

Rest In Peace, Ann. You will be missed.

2:12 PM  
Blogger mel said...

I notice you haven't written about Bad Day At Black Rock in Miscellaneous Musings. Anne had an unsympathetic role in this film but acquitted herself well. Spencer Tracy excelled in an unforgettable role. Not to be missed.

9:12 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I've actually got a BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK DVD sitting in a stack next to my TV, Mel. That's a classic that so far I haven't managed to see. Looking forward to it, between the cast and the movie having been filmed in an area I love, Lone Pine, CA. Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts on it.

So many movies, so little time... :)

Happy New Year,

9:15 PM  
Blogger J.C. Loophole said...

I love Bad Day at Black Rock and assigned it in the last film class. Students really enjoyed it- a unique marriage (in a way) of Film Noir and western.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for your feedback, J.C., I appreciate it! I hope to get to BLACK ROCK early in 2011. :)

Best wishes,

4:39 PM  
Blogger Vienna said...

Anne is in two of my Top 50 films. - BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK and THE SATAN BUG.
A fine actress with a long career.

6:44 AM  

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