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'Forbidden Planet' Starlet Anne Francis Dies

Actress also appeared in 'Twilight Zone' and 'Alfred Hitchcock Presents'

Anne Francis, the beautiful heroine of the 1956 film "Forbidden Planet" who also made guest appearances on shows such as "Twilight Zone" and "Alfred Hitchcock Presents" in the 1960s, died Sunday.

She was 80.

Francis played Alta Morbius in "Forbidden Planet," the Fred M. Wilcox film that also starred the late Leslie Nielsen, who died in November.

Both actors were upstaged in the film by Robby the Robot, the character that would appear in other sci-fi productions in the 1950s and 1960s, and who would later be included among the most iconic screen robots.

Francis had been diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007, according to the Associated Press. However, her family said she actually died from pancreatic cancer.

She appeared in films with Spencer Tracy, Paul Newman and others.

However, it was "Forbidden Planet" that she would be best known for. A sci-fi version of "The Tempest" from William Shakespeare, "Forbidden Planet" was filmed as a serious movie, and not tongue-in-cheek, as future Nielsen films were.

"We could have hammed it up, but we wanted to be as sincere as we could," Francis said in a 1999 interview.

Francis started in radio and Broadway in New York, but went to Hollywood after getting a contract with Metro Goldwyn Mayer.

She appeared in two episodes of "Twilight Zone." Francis played Jess-Belle Stone in the 1963 episode "Jess-Belle," and also played Marsha White in the 1960 episode "The After Hours."

Francis also appeared in two episodes of Alfred Hitchcock's series in 1960 and 1961. She was Nyla Foster in "Hooked" and Julia Reddy in "Keep Me Company."

Francis is survived by two daughters and a grandson.

About the Author

Michael Hinman is the founder and editor-in-chief for Airlock Alpha and the entire GenreNexus. He owns Nexus Media Group Inc., the parent corporation of the GenreNexus and is a veteran print journalist. He lives in Tampa, Fla.
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