Movie News

Rest in Peace Anne Francis

Published at: Jan. 4, 2011, 1:42 a.m. CST by quint

Hey, guys. Quint here with the second obituary I’m writing today. Crappy way to start off 2011, losing both Pete Postlethwaite and Anne Francis, but maybe we can celebrate them instead of mourn their passing.

I first heard Anne Francis’ name in Science Fiction Double Feature, the opening song to The Rocky Horror Picture Show that serves as a tone-setter to the crazy movie as well as a love letter to vintage science fiction.

Francis earned her spot in the chorus to the song by starring in one of the most iconic sci-fi films of her time: Forbidden Planet.

 

 

A little after my young viewing of Rocky Horror I was exposed to Forbidden Planet and fell in love. Not just with the lush photography and crazy awesome Id monster, but with Ms. Francis herself. Look at that picture above. She was gorgeous, but not a cold, distant model gorgeous. There was a down to earth, natural beauty to her that set my teenage heart a flutter.

I put off writing this obit a little because, frankly, I felt a little unprepared for it. Outside of her appearance in Forbidden Planet and Blackboard Jungle I’m rather unfamiliar with her surprisingly large filmography. The biggest place I come up short is with Bad Day At Black Rock, a movie I’ve had on my Netflix queue for a year and haven’t made it to yet despite it featuring some of my favorite actors (Robert Ryan, Spencer Tracy and Ernest Borgnine). In fact, I may move that up and finally give it a viewing in honor of Ms. Francis.

Besides feature films she’s also done a ton of TV work. Everything from Twilight Zone to Murder, She Wrote to The Man From U.N.C.L.E. to Dallas to a starring role in a very ‘60s looking show called Honey West. I haven’t seen it, but it sounds a whole helluva lot like Veronica Mars.

Ms. Francis certainly made a huge impact on the entertainment industry and was part of some magical films and shows. My thoughts will be with Ms. Francis’ friends, family and fans.

 

 

-Quint
quint@aintitcool.com
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Readers Talkback

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  • Jan. 4, 2011, 1:45 a.m. CST

    FIRST AT LAST!

    by Witwiki50

    R.I.P

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 1:51 a.m. CST

    Awe Man

    by D o o d

    I remember her in Forbidden Planet, still one of my all time favorite science fiction movies. She was smoking hot in that flick. RIP :o(

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Vey, very sad news.

    by RobinP

    She was iconic in the fifties and early sixties. Not only for the fantastic role in Forbidden Planet, but in the classic episode of Twilight Zone as the mannequin given life. I saw Honey West here in the UK when it was broadcast on Bravo around ten or more years ago. It was a sixties adventure series, well suited to her. A sad loss....

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 2:31 a.m. CST

    First Leslie Nielsen now Anne Francis

    by obidawsn

    That's the two main stars of Forbidden Planet in less than two months.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 2:37 a.m. CST

    Forbidden Planet

    by David

    Damnit! I sat watching Forbidden Planet on TCM last night and was wondering how Anne Francis was doing, now that we have lost Leslie Nielsen. May they both rest in peace.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 2:37 a.m. CST

    "Anne Francis stars in, Forbidden Planet..."

    by MARCEL_THE_NEGRO_PROJECTIONIST

    "At the late night, double feature, picture show..."

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 2:42 a.m. CST

    Just saw her recently on Twilight Zone DVD.

    by hallmitchell

    She played Jezebel from memory. Really good episode. It's on the hour length ones.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 2:57 a.m. CST

    she made me feel funny inside

    by john

    i first saw forbidden planet on the channel 7 sunday sci fi theater...and im not ashamed to say that this 6 year old kid developed an instant crush im so damn old

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 3:42 a.m. CST

    Another Sad Loss

    by Brent1138

    No way...not even a week into 2011 yet. Fuck you Death! RIP Ms. Francis, my thoughts go out to your family and friends.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 4:15 a.m. CST

    You have to see Bad Day at Black Rock

    by MediaGold

    I saw it a few years ago on TCM. It's an excellent flick. Anne Francis was beyond cute.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Twilight Zone Marathon on SyFy

    by kimsshawn

    She also played a mannequin in one of the TZ episodes I caught during the marathon on New Year's.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 7:46 a.m. CST

    Just saw Forbidden Planet on TCM the other day...

    by Moonwatcher

    Anne Francis was adorable in that movie, and she carried that with her in every role she had. A film geek's delight. Thanks for the memories, Miss Francis - I hope you and Leslie have a lot to laugh about.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 7:58 a.m. CST

    I Was Watching Forbidden Planet On Sunday

    by Real Deal

    It's odd but I went over to a friend's house on Sunday and ( had been on vacation from work for two weeks over the holidays ) we always watch some 50's Science Fiction film. This time they were showing Forbidden Planet on cable in HD and even though I have a HD copy at home we decided to watch it, It was showing in honor of Leslie Neilsen. Now I hear she died on Sunday so I kind of feel it was like a tribute to her and that film Now both her and Neilsen are gone. Both my wife and I remember watching Honey West when we were kids. And as Quint says she was in everything on TV back then. She had a very distinctive look and manner that I'm sure got her a lot of roles. There really isn't another like her and she will always live on the films she was in. RIP.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 7:58 a.m. CST

    I Was Watching Forbidden Planet On Sunday

    by Real Deal

    It's odd but I went over to a friend's house on Sunday and ( had been on vacation from work for two weeks over the holidays ) we always watch some 50's Science Fiction film. This time they were showing Forbidden Planet on cable in HD and even though I have a HD copy at home we decided to watch it, It was showing in honor of Leslie Neilsen. Now I hear she died on Sunday so I kind of feel it was like a tribute to her and that film Now both her and Neilsen are gone. Both my wife and I remember watching Honey West when we were kids. And as Quint says she was in everything on TV back then. She had a very distinctive look and manner that I'm sure got her a lot of roles. There really isn't another like her and she will always live on the films she was in. RIP.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

    Anne Francis was absolutly lovely in FORBIDDEN PLANET

    by AsimovLives

    Talk about coincidence, a few weeks ago i rewatched FORBIDDEN PLANET. It's strange bith two of it's star died a few weeks apart form each other, the lovely Anne Francis and the much missed Leslie Niessen. My sympathies for all of Mrs Anne Francis friends, family and fans. Let the new kids of today discover the pleasures of watching FORBIDDEN PLANET and also of the lovely Mrs Anne Francis.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 8:15 a.m. CST

    ace of wands

    by AsimovLives

    Allow to share my suprise with you. Quint doesn't know BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK?? Really, for a supposed movie geek, the man has some weird strange lack in film knowledge.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 9:02 a.m. CST

    "one of the most iconic sci-fi films of her time"

    by tomokato

    How about of all time in the sci-fi genre?

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    After hours is one of my favourite TZ episodes

    by Redhead_Redemption

    Imagine If quint continued with his twilight zone reviews, he could have covered that one RIP

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 10:07 a.m. CST

    Nice pair...

    by dogu4

    ..of budgies.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Ace

    by Quint

    Do you seriously think I was saying Veronica Mars predated a '60s show? No, you can't possibly be that thick. And you also know what I meant by "incredibly '60s looking show," and I think you're willfully ignoring my meaning by taking that comment as literally as you possibly can. The '60s had a particular aesthetic and what I've seen of this show (about a young female detective, hence the Mars reference) seems to be bleeding that aesthetic moreso than the average output at that time. I'm getting real tired of your trolling, especially taking potshots in an obituary. You don't have to treat me with anything more than contempt if you want, but have some tact, dude. And use your brain and try not to interpret everything I say in its worst possible light. That part might be too much to ask, I know, but a guy can hope.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 10:36 a.m. CST

    Ace

    by Quint

    Do you seriously think I was saying Veronica Mars predated a '60s show? No, you can't possibly be that thick. And you also know what I meant by "incredibly '60s looking show," and I think you're willfully ignoring my meaning by taking that comment as literally as you possibly can. The '60s had a particular aesthetic and what I've seen of this show (about a young female detective, hence the Mars reference) seems to be bleeding that aesthetic moreso than the average output at that time. I'm getting real tired of your trolling, especially taking potshots in an obituary. You don't have to treat me with anything more than contempt if you want, but have some tact, dude. And use your brain and try not to interpret everything I say in its worst possible light. That part might be too much to ask, I know, but a guy can hope.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 1:48 p.m. CST

    Sad news.

    by matineer

    She was very good in the roles I saw, including Honey West, where she played the owner of her own detective agency, had a pet Ocelot, her male friend and employee, and did Judo ( or Karate?). Not plugging the show, but I enjoyed it a lot. Sorry to hear this.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 1:53 p.m. CST

    Honey West

    by Hipshot

    Was a decent Modesty Blaise knock-off, with some fun judo scenes.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Quint should run this site.

    by THE_CHOPPAH

    CHOPPED.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 2:55 p.m. CST

    ace of wands

    by D o o d

    quint seriously has a point. Regardless of what you think and what your points are, have some respect man. This is a page for an obituary. Maybe you should imagine it's one of your family members that has just passed, would you want to see someone trolling and using the language you did in your post..? Your film knowledge maybe good, I don't know, but what we do know is that your manners are not!

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 3:25 p.m. CST

    Met her at a Con once...

    by JethroBodine

    Met her at a Con once and she was as sweet as she could be. I think Cons are a true test of how a star can endure their raving fans, and I've seen many a cranky/grouchy star at Cons. I met her about 10 years ago, and at that time she wasn't a young starlet anymore, but after having singed autographs all day and taking the time to tell individual stories to tons of fans, she was as graceful and as kind as she could be. As a fan, you just don't forget that. Godspeed Anne Francis!

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 5:10 p.m. CST

    One of my faves from the 60's... R.I.P. :'-( (nt)

    by Triple_J_72

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 5:14 p.m. CST

    Veronica Mars never did Judo

    by Triple_J_72

    Just sayin'...

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 6:36 p.m. CST

    Never seen one of her movies...

    by nostairway

    But she has to be one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. And I'm saying that with total sincerity. Rest in peace.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Another beauty lost to infinity.

    by Stereotypical Evil Archer

    She was very beautiful, may she always be remembered as such.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 7:04 p.m. CST

    I'm taking this rougher than I thought...

    by Zombiana_Jones

    ...So much in my life is an indirect result of 'Forbidden Planet'...It's the film that turned my mother from being yet another potential Mississippi backwater hick into an intellectual reader of science-fiction... And introduced her to Electronic music... I got my love of Science, Science fiction, Ray Bradbury, reading, and Audio synthesis from that one event...Due to it completely changing my mother's life at the time... And she shared her love of them with me...They're all intrinsic, lifelong passions. If it weren't for the movie, I think i'd probably be guarding some country auto junkyard somewhere with a shotgun and playing with my last remaining tooth.....Godspeed both of you, Ms. Francis and Mr. Nielsen.... And thank you for being a part of my life...

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 7:17 p.m. CST

    A Heartfelt Godspeed Miss Francis

    by DrMorbius

    As I did with Mr. Nielsens passing, I shall once again trot out my beloved well-worn copy of my all time favorite movie in her honor. R.I.P Miss Francis R.I.P Mr. Nielsen I fear for you ROBBY . . .

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 7:51 p.m. CST

    She looked

    by MackAndJacks

    like my grandmother back in the 50s :)

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 9:10 p.m. CST

    Two pivotal moments in "Bad Day At Black Rock"

    by darthliquidator

    ....Ernest Borgnine picking a fight with Spencer Tracy....and Anne Francis caught in the glare of Robert Ryan's headlights.... ...greatest sequence in the entire "Honey West" series....Anne does a no-holds-barred judo/karate smackdown with none other than Kevin McCarthy....the only thing missing from that scene was Robby The Robot and loads of giant seed pods.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 9:17 p.m. CST

    I hope we don't hear Robby the Robot died too

    by JacksParasites

    That would devastate me.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 10:11 p.m. CST

    Anne Francis is white.

    by GrandMuffTarkin

    Had to be said.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 10:32 p.m. CST

    Also Starred in THE SATAN BUG

    by TinkerTIW

    Dated now, but one of my favorite 60's thrillers (directed by the great John Sturges!) I saw her at the Motion Picture Academy about 5 or 6 years ago when they were screening FUNNY GIRL. In it she played a Ziegfeld girl - and Ziegfeld was played by none other than her FORBIDDEN PLANET father, Walter Pidgeon. (She talked with great humor about how her role in FG was severly cut. Apparently some issues with Streisand as I recall.) RIP, Altaira.

  • Jan. 4, 2011, 11:23 p.m. CST

    Marsha.....Marsha....climb off it, dear.....Marsha.....

    by amrisharmpit

    So weird that this happened after the Twilight Zone marathon was just on, since it featured After Hours. It was a classic episode, and Anne Francis was fantastic in it. Very sad to hear this news. RIP.

  • Jan. 5, 2011, 10:34 a.m. CST

    She was a real class act and a fine actress

    by SmokingRobot

    The world is a worse place with her gone. First Leslie, now her. Very sad.

  • Jan. 5, 2011, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Oh murder. That's the line I always think of

    by UltraTron

    when her name is mentioned. RIP.

  • Jan. 7, 2011, 2:23 p.m. CST

    My Gosh

    by radio1_mike

    For some reason, I only heard about this today. RIP Miss Francis, and thanks for the great memories...