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Tribute: Anne Francis

posted by Nell Minow

The lovely actress Anne Francis has died at age 80. She is best remembered for two classic movies in which she had the only female role, the post-WWII drama Bad Day at Black Rock with Spencer Tracy and the first big-budget studio outer-space film, Forbidden Planet inspired by Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” A stunning beauty with a provocative birthmark near her lip, Francis had a confident but unassuming directness that was very appealing.

She also appeared as the sympathetic best friend of Fanny Brice in “Funny Girl” with Barbra Streisand. But those of us of a certain age remember her most fondly as one of television’s earliest female action heroes, Honey West, a private eye with a pet ocelot and a sidekick who sat in the surveillance van while she beat up the bad guys.

Our thoughts are with her friends and family as we remember her fondly.



  • iorek

    Looove that Honey West. We didn’t even care that her fake karate, which she used to dispatch tough guys with one blow, was so howlingly unrealistic. She made 7th grade boys feel funny for reasons they didn’t quite understand.

  • Alicia

    I just watched the old “Twilight Zone” episode in which Francis plays a mannequin, an understandable bit of casting since she had such perfect, doll-like features. While I never saw “Honey West,” I saw her in “Forbidden Planet,” and “Bad Day at Black Rock.” RIP, Anne.

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