A little over a month after the death of legendary actor Leslie Nielsen, his Forbidden Planet co-star Anne Francis has also passed away. Both Nielsen and Francis appeared in the 1956 cult sci-fi film alongside Walter Pidgeon. She played the role of Altaira, Pidgeon’s beautiful daughter and Nielsen’s love interest. The movie recently aired Sunday evening on the TCM network, which makes the news of her death even more surreal.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Francis died on Sunday after a long battle with lung cancer. She was diagnosed with the disease in 2007. The actress had a steady career in both television and film during the fifties and sixties. Besides her role in Forbidden Planet she also appeared in Blackboard Jungle, The Hired Gun, Don’t Go Near the Water, Brainstorm, Funny Girl and Hook, Line and Sinker.
She played the title character in the television series “Honey West,” and was the first female detective on TV. West was introduced to the world via an episode of another series, “Burke’s Law.” Even though Francis never became a huge movie star she was revered in smaller circles. Her portrayal of Altaira in Forbidden Planet has been cemented in sci-fi history.
Francis is survived by her daughters Jane and Maggie, and a grandson.
R.I.P. Anne Francis.