Anne Francis, ‘Honey West’ star, dies at 80

Actress Anne Francis has died at age 80. Most obituaries, such as the one in the Los Angeles Times, begin with how she starred in Forbidden Planet. But for our audience, she’s likely to be remembered as the star of Honey West, a one-season show on ABC.

Here’s some details from the Times obit:

Based on the title character in G.G. Fickling’s series of Honey West paperback mysteries launched in 1957, Francis’ Honey West was introduced to TV viewers in an episode of “Burke’s Law” in the spring of 1965.
(snip)
In what Francis later described as “a tongue-in-cheek, female James Bond,” her karate-chopping private eye drove a custom-built Cobra convertible sports car and, when necessary, worked out of a specially equipped mobile surveillance van that masqueraded as a TV service vehicle.

Also in her long-career, she was also a memorable villain in two first-season episodes of The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (The Quadripartite Affair and The Giuoco Piano Affair) as a power-hungry woman with a rich lover (played by John Van Dreelan) financing her schemes. The two shows were written by Alan Caillou and directed by Richard Donner.

RIP, Ms. Francis. Here’s a look at the main titles of the Aaron Spelling-produced Honey West:

UPDATE: Here’s the opening of The Giuoco Piano Affair, with Anne Francis billed as the special guest star. It was the last episode of U.N.C.L.E. featuring a longer, “documentary” style main titles.

One Response

  1. You doubtlessly forgot to mention the Bond conhnection here: In 1965, the Gilbert Toy Company made a Honey West doll. They likewise produced action figures based on James Bond and The Man From UNCLE, the same year. See her here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=400001076463&hlp=false&rvr_id=193737273346&crlp=1_263602_304652&UA=WXI7&GUID=470f261512c0a02652b32323ffe87744&itemid=400001076463&ff4=263602_304652

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