LOS ANGELES, Calif. (AP) Anne Francis died on Sunday in Santa Barbara, Calif., after a long illness. She was best remembered for her roles in the 1950s science-fiction picture “Forbidden Planet” and the 1960s television series “Honey West.” She was 80 years old.
Her daughter Jane Uemura informed The Los Angeles Times that the cause was complications from pancreatic cancer. In 2007, Ms. Francis was diagnosed with lung cancer and underwent surgery and chemotherapy.
Ms. Francis starred in some of the most famous films of the 1950s, sporting blond hair and a noticeable beauty mark near one corner of her lips. Her fame, however, was cemented by the films “Forbidden Planet” and “Honey West.”
A party of space travelers, including Leslie Nielsen, visited a planet where an expatriate scientist played by Walter Pidgeon, his daughter (Ms. Francis), and a robot named Robby had constructed a settlement in “Forbidden Planet” (1956), a science-fiction retelling of Shakespeare’s “Tempest.”
Ms. Francis remarked in a 1999 interview that the actors met before filming and agreed “to be as serious about this film as we could be.” “We could have played it for laughs, but we wanted to be as genuine as possible.”
On ABC, “Honey West” only lasted one season, from 1965 to 1966. But the role she played, a sultry private detective who was as proficient with a gun as she was with martial arts (and had a pet ocelot), left an impression.
Ms. Francis previously remarked, “A lot of people talk to me about Honey West.” “The role inspired young women to believe that there was more they could achieve.” It gave a lot of people hope.”
For the role, she was nominated for an Emmy and won a Golden Globe.
Anne Francis was born Ann Marvak in Ossining, New York, on September 16, 1930. She began modeling at the age of five and began appearing in daytime radio serials at the age of eleven. She also appeared in a few minor parts on Broadway.
She started her film career in 1947 at MGM and went on to work with some of the top male performers of the time.
She portrayed the pregnant wife of an idealistic teacher in the 1955 film “Blackboard Jungle” (Glenn Ford). “Bad Day at Black Rock” (1955) starring Spencer Tracy and Robert Ryan, “A Lion in the Streets” (1953) starring James Cagney, and “Hook, Line, and Sinker” (1969) with Jerry Lewis were among her other features.
Ms. Francis turned to television as her film career slowed. “Mission: Impossible,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Charlie’s Angels,” and “The Golden Girls” were among the many shows in which she appeared.
Ms. Francis’ marriages to Bamlet L. Price Jr., an actor, and director, and Dr. Robert Abeloff ended in divorce. She is survived by another daughter, Maggie, and a grandson, in addition to Ms. Uemura.
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