Tuesday, January 4, 2011

RIP Anne Francis (1930-2011)

Barely a month after Leslie Nielsen, Anne Francis too has passed from this world. As in the case of Nielsen, Francis lived a long and productive life, but it's nevertheless sad to learn of her death at the age of 80 from pancreatic cancer.

To science fiction fans, Francis needs no introduction. She portrayed Altaira, the brilliant but sheltered daughter of Dr. Edward Morbius in the 1956 classic, Forbidden Planet, one of the best SF films ever made and a personal favorite of mine. Francis is unforgettable in that role, providing much-needed believability to Altaira, on whom so much of the movie's plot depends. Without her, Forbidden Planet would most assuredly not have been the film that it was. In doing so, Francis created a template for later actresses in science fiction movies, one that remains influential more than a half-century after the fact.

Rest in peace, Ms Francis.


  1. Science Fiction - Double Feature
    Dr. X will build a creature
    See androids fighting Brad and Janet
    Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet
    Oh-oh at the late night, double feature, picture show.
    I wanna go, oh-oh, to the late night double feature picture show.
    By RKO, oh-oh, at the late night double feature picture show.
    In the back row at the late night double feature picture show.

  2. I'll admit, that song goes through my head whenever I hear her name, even though I've only been to Rocky Horror three times in my life. But I must confess I only know her because of Forbidden Planet, as I never saw Honey West--do they even show it in reruns or have it available anywhere?

    What I'm getting at is, I don't want to trivialize her family's loss by not recognizing the greater body of her work, but I'm glad that this piece was among it, and hope that they can console themselves in part by knowing she was appreciated not only for her beauty but for her achievements in her chosen career.

  3. I saw The Forbidden Planet on the big screen when I was nine years old. It captivated my imagination, and when I saw it again in my 20's, again on the big screen, I was shocked to see that it was even better than I had remembered it being. Ann Francis was very good in it, and I will always remember her fondly.

  4. Looks like an old world is just disappearing...

    This movie and, of course, the scantily clad actress forged my fantasies for years :)

  5. Forbidden Planet was not only head and shoulders above all other science fiction films from the 1950's (possible exception: The Day the Earth Stood Still) but a case could be made that it was the best of ALL time - the Citizen Kane of science fiction movies. I just pray it doesn't suffer a Michael Bay style remake with "acting" provided by Keanu Reeves, as TDTESS did.

    As for the lovely Ms. Francis, she will be missed.

  6. Back on the 4th, amp108 said...
    "I never saw Honey West--do they even show it in reruns or have it available anywhere?"

    The complete Honey West series is available on DVD. It is teh awesome!

    (who happily owns it)