Anne Francis (born September 16, 1930, as Ann Marvak, in Ossining, New York) is an American actress, famous for her role in the film science fiction classic, Forbidden Planet (1956), and as the TV-series private detective Honey West (1965-1966).
For her role in Honey West, Ms. Francis won the Golden Globe award as best actress in a TV series, and she was nominated for an Emmy award for the same role.
Anne Francis entered show-business at a young age, working as a model at age 5, to help her family make ends meet during the Great Depression, and making her Broadway debut at age 11. Over her career, Ms. Francis appeared in scores of TV shows and several movies, including several appearances on Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, most notably as Marsha White, who turns out to really be a mannequin on a vacation amongst the living. She was a mainstay of 1970s television movies, and she returned to TV to portray "Mama Jo" for the 1984-86 TV-detective series Riptide.
In 1956, Anne appeared as Altaira in Forbidden Planet, a quite literate and well-produced "A" picture, released by Metro Goldwyn Mayer, and starring Walter Pigeon and Leslie Nielson. It was essentially a 'futuristic' retelling of Shakespeare's "The Tempest". In this film, the leggy (5'8" tall) Ms. Francis appeared in miniskirts and minidresses years before they became popular in the general public. Playing the teenage daughter of Walter Pidgeon's brilliant, but conflicted. Dr. Morbius (the "Prospero" character from the play), she added a needed touch of budding sexuality to shake up the otherwise wooden acting talents of her intended love interest, a serious starship captain, Leslie Nielsen, along with the rest of the MGM second-string stock company appearing alongside her, which included Richard Anderson, Jack Kelly (actor), Warren Stevens, Earl Holliman, and James Drury. The role garnered her a generation of baby-boomer S.F. fans. Her other significant roles included such films as Susan Slept Here (1954), the classic Blackboard Jungle (1955), The Satan Bug (1968), and The Crowded Sky (1970), with Rhonda Fleming and Dana Andrews. In fact, Anne acted in a total of four movies with Andrews, three projects with Pidgeon, and three projects with Nielsen.
In 1965, Ms. Francis turned to series television and was cast as "Private Eyeful" Honey West in the series by the same name. The character was initially introduced on the popular "Burke's Law" ABC-TV series. Although the half-hour Honey West lasted only one season, the role added lustre to the actress' reputation. Anne is still widely recognized, as indicated in the lyrics of the song Science Fiction Double Feature from The Rocky Horror Show. During the 1981-82 television season, she had a recurring role as Alyssa Cooper on Dallas (TV series).
Francis was married to Bamlet L. Price, Jr., in May 1952 to April 1955, and to Dr. Robert Abeloff from 1960-1964. Abeloff and Francis had one daughter. She has never married again after divorcing Dr. Abeloff. As of March 2006, Ms. Francis has made her home in Santa Barbara, California.
In 1953, Anne's measurements were a trim 34-22-34 as a starlet. By 1965, in time for her "Honey West" role, she was a lusher 36-24-36. The Honey West character was noted for wearing tight, black catsuits, in strong contrast to Anne's honey-blonde hair, and for performing martial arts kicks, a-la Mrs. Emma Peel from The Avengers.