Hollywood actress Anne Francis passed away on Sunday, January 2, 2011, of complications from pancreatic cancer. Anne Francis was 80 years old when she died in a Santa Barbara, California, retirement center, with her family and friends present.
Anne Francis survived lung cancer, undergoing both surgery and chemotherapy for the disease after a 2007 diagnosis. However, this victory was followed by a long struggle with pancreatic cancer.
Sadly, Anne Francis joins the ranks of many other celebrities who have died from pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers of all. Notables claimed by pancreatic cancer have included Count Basie, Jack Benny, Richard Crenna, Dizzy Gillespie, Fred Gwynne, Rex Harrison, Marilyn Horne, Michael Landon, Henry Mancini, Luciano Pavarotti, Donna Reed, Patrick Swayze and more.
Who was Anne Francis?
A blonde bombshell actress from Hollywood’s past, Anne Francis began her career as a child model at age five. She went on to perform in radio serial dramas and on Broadway before breaking into television and the movies.
She was best known for her role opposite actors Leslie Nielsen and Walter Pidgeon (and “Robby the Robot”) in the 1956 science fiction film “Forbidden Planet.” This space travel film, considered high-tech in its time, was applauded as a creative and interpretive remake of William Shakespeare’s drama “The Tempest.”
Additional film roles for Anne Francis included “Bad Day at Black Rock,” “Battle Cry,” “Blackboard Jungle,” “Brainstorm,” “Don’t Go Near the Water,” “The F.B.I. Story,” “Funny Girl,” “The Hired Gun,” “Hook, Line and Sinker,” “A Lion Is in the Streets,” “Love Can Be Murder,” “More Dead than Alive,’ “Moses,” “The Rack,” “The Rocket Man,” “Rogue Cop” and “The Satan Bug.”
Her on-screen co-stars included James Cagney, Glenn Ford, Don Knotts, Jerry Lewis, Leslie Nielsen, Paul Newman, Dale Robertson, Robert Ryan, Elizabeth Taylor, Robert Taylor, Spencer Tracy, Clifton Webb, Natalie Wood and other Hollywood headliners.
Twice married, Anne Francis also starred in the title role of the “Honey West” television detective series (airing from 1965 to 1966), for which she won a Golden Globe Award and an Emmy Award nomination. Anne Francis appeared as a stylish and nimble gun-toting private eye, accompanied by a pet wildcat.
Anne Francis was cast in guest roles on several television series, including “Columbo,” The Drew Carey Show,” “The Golden Girls” and “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.”
In a classic episode of the original “Twilight Zone” television series, Anne Francis played a mannequin in a department store, suddenly coming to life overnight.
Funeral arrangements for actress Anne Francis are being handled by McDermott-Crockett & Associates Mortuary in Santa Barbara, California. The funeral home’s website offers an online guest book for condolence messages.