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Anne Francis Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (2) | Trade Mark (4) | Trivia (16) | Personal Quotes (1)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 16 September 1930Ossining, New York, USA
Date of Death 2 January 2011Santa Barbara, California, USA  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NameAnn Marvak
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

One tall, cool drink of water, the beautiful, curvaceous, mole-lipped Anne Francis got into show business quite early in life. She was born Ann Marvak on September 16, 1930 in Ossining, New York (which is near Sing Sing prison), the only child of Phillip Marvak, a businessman/salesman, and the former Edith Francis. A natural little beauty, she became a John Robert Powers model at age 6(!) and swiftly moved into radio soap work and television in New York. By age 11, she was making her stage debut on Broadway playing the child version of Gertrude Lawrence in the star's 1941 hit vehicle "Lady in the Dark". During this productive time, she attended New York's Professional Children's School.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer put the lovely, blue-eyed, wavy-blonde hopeful under contract during the post-war World War II years. While Anne appeared in a couple of obscure bobbysoxer bits, nothing much came of it. Frustrated at the standard cheesecake treatment she was receiving in Hollywood, the serious-minded actress trekked back to New York where she appeared to good notice on television's "Golden Age" drama and found some summer stock work on the sly ("My Sister Eileen").

Discovered and signed by 20th Century-Fox's Darryl F. Zanuck after playing a seductive, child-bearing juvenile delinquent in the low budget film So Young So Bad (1950), Anne soon starred in a number of promising ingénue roles, including Elopement (1951), Lydia Bailey (1952) and Dreamboat (1952) but she still could not seem to rise above the starlet typecast. At MGM, she found promising leading lady work in a few noteworthy 1950s classics: Bad Day at Black Rock (1955); Blackboard Jungle (1955); and the science fiction cult classic Forbidden Planet (1956). While co-starring with Hollywood's hunkiest best, including Paul Newman, Dale Robertson, Glenn Ford and Cornel Wilde, her roles still emphasized more her glam appeal than her acting capabilities. In the 1960s, Anne began refocusing strongly on the smaller screen, finding a comfortable niche on television series. She found a most appreciative audience in two classic Twilight Zone (1959) episodes and then as a self-sufficient, Emma Peel-like detective in Aaron Spelling's short-lived cult series Honey West (1965), where she combined glamour and a sexy veneer with judo throws, karate chops and trendy fashions. The role earned her a Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award nomination.

The actress returned to films only on occasion, the most controversial being Funny Girl (1968), in which her co-starring role as Barbra Streisand's pal was heartlessly reduced to a glorified cameo. Her gratuitous co-star parts opposite some of filmdom's top comics' in their lesser vehicles -- Jerry Lewis' Hook, Line and Sinker (1969) and Don Knotts' The Love God? (1969) -- did little to show off her talents or upgrade her career. For the next couple of decades, Anne remained a welcome and steadfast presence in a slew of television movies (The Intruders (1970), Haunts of the Very Rich (1972), Little Mo (1978), A Masterpiece of Murder (1986)), usually providing colorful, wisecracking support. She billed herself as Anne Lloyd Francis on occasion in later years.

For such a promising start and with such amazing stamina and longevity, the girl with the sexy beauty mark probably deserved better. Yet in reflection, her output, especially in her character years, has been strong and varied, and her realistic take on the whole Hollywood industry quite balanced. Twice divorced with one daughter from her second marriage, Anne adopted (as a single mother) a girl back in 1970 in California. She has long been involved with a metaphysical-based church, channeling her own thoughts and feelings into the inspirational 1982 book "Voices from Home: An Inner Journey". Lately, she has spent more time off-camera and involved in such charitable programs as "Direct Relief", "Angel View" and the "Desert AIDS Project", among others. Her health declined sharply in the final years. Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007, the actress sadly died on January 2, 2011, from complications of pancreatic cancer in a Santa Barbara (California) retirement home.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Spouse (2)

Dr. Robert Abeloff (31 January 1960 - 14 December 1964) (divorced) (1 child)
Bamlet Lawrence Price Jr. (17 May 1952 - 6 April 1955) (divorced)

Trade Mark (4)

Mole on the right of her lower lip
Blonde hair and blue eyes
Voluptuous figure
Deep sultry voice

Trivia (16)

Stage: Appeared as the "young" Gertrude Lawrence in the original Broadway production of "Lady in the Dark".
Had part of her right lung removed in her battle with lung cancer [February 8, 2008].
Diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007, despite having quit smoking nearly twenty years earlier. She immediately underwent chemotherapy and had surgery to remove the upper lobe of her right lung.
Interviewed in Tom Weaver's book "They Fought in the Creature Features" (McFarland & Co., 1995).
1953 Deb Star.
Not only participated in radio programs early in her career, but she also regularly appeared on one of New York's first television stations before World War II. The CBS-owned station used television cameras from the Farnsworth Corporation because RCA, the only other U.S. manufacturer of television equipment, was affiliated with NBC. Her participation included an early experiment with color television.
Turned down the lead role in the film soaper Claudelle Inglish (1961). Diane McBain won the role but the film bombed. She later replaced actress Joan Hackett on the film The Satan Bug (1965).
A longtime rodeo fan, she wrote and directed the short subject film Gemini Rising (1968).
Has two daughters, Jane Elizabeth Abeloff (born March 21, 1962) and Margaret Francis West. Margaret was adopted in May of 1970. The adoption was one of the first granted to a single parent in the state of California.
Long involved with the International New Thought Alliance, a metaphysical religious organization.
First husband, Bamlet Lawrence Price Jr. was a former UCLA student who was working on a film project entitled One Way Ticket to Hell (1955). As part of their divorce settlement, he repaid her the $4,000 he borrowed for this film. She had one daughter, Jane Elizabeth, by her second husband, Dr. Robert Abeloff, a dentist. Each marriage lasted about three years.
She has no grave; she was cremated and her ashes are in the possession of family.
Retired from acting in 2004 after less than 60 years in the motion picture industry.
Received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1611 Vine Street in Hollywood, California on February 8, 1960.
The alleged "feud" between Anne and Barbra Streisand with Anne blaming Barbra over her role as Follies chorine Georgia James being cut down to a glorified extra part was over exaggerated. In truth, writer Isobel Lennart tried to incorporate the Georgia character into the stage version back in the early 1960s and it was also cut entirely. The Georgia role was largely reduced because it veered away from the Brice story, but it was not at Streisand's urging. Streisand also did not have final say over film cuts, director William Wyler did. Anne apologized to Barbra in 2002 on her official website claiming her publicist instigated the "feud" by crediting Barbra with certain remarks.
Lives in Santa Barbara, California. [March 2006]

Personal Quotes (1)

Most young blondes in those days [1950s] were not taken too seriously. I had wanted to work on a project [directing] all my own from beginning to end for many years. I had managers who said, "Look, you're an actress. You're not supposed to do that other business". And now I look at all the women today who are doing it, and no one's batting an eyelash.

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