Thursday, January 6, 2011

Anne Francis

The talented (and beautiful) Anne Francis, who passed away this week (at age 80), was probably best known for her 1965-1966 private-eye television series Honey West.

(Certain childhood memories can be so elusive, indistinct. I watched Honey West, at ages nine/ten, yet recall, in essence, nothing about it—other than remembering that I liked Anne Francis.)

Many will also recall Francis’s enjoyable lead performance in an episode of The Twilight Zone (the story concerned department store mannequins). I’ve never seen the well-known 1956 science fiction movie in which she co-starred, Forbidden Planet, though she had a key role in one of my favorite 1950s films, Blackboard Jungle.

(The film, released in 1955, had as its primary stars Vic Morrow , Glenn Ford, and Sidney Poitier, and is remembered in part for the song used at the start of the film, and used elsewhere in it, as well: “Rock Around the Clock.” The record had been released the year before, but did not achieve huge popularity until it was used in the film. After the release of the movie, it became the first number one rock & roll record on the Billboard pop music charts. Blackboard Jungle, one can therefore argue, played a not-insignificant part in the rise of rock & roll.)

The following is a story about Anne Francis, from The Los Angeles Times:

My publisher, incidentally, has a book out about Honey West; it is by author John C. Fredriksen:

(Photo above:  Anne Francis, from Honey West)