Actress Anne Francis, who starred in such big-screen adventures as Forbidden Planet and small-screen shows as Honey West, passed away at 80 years of age.
Francis passed on Sunday due to complications from pancreatic cancer in her Santa Barbara nursing home. She was first diagnosed with lung cancer in 2007 and had undergone both surgery and chemotherapy.
Although she appeared in more than 30 movies, Anne achieved cult fame with her role as Altaira 'Alta' Morbius in the 1956 sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet, where she starred alongside Walter Pidgeon and Leslie Nielsen.
She also broke new ground in television with her 1965 series Honey West, where she played the first female detective in a weekly series. Francis won a Golden Globe and scored an Emmy nomination for the show, which was canceled in 1966 after just 30 episodes. Despite the show's short life on the air, it was highly influential to women across the world. Here's what the actress had to say about the character in a 1997 interview:
She was probably the forerunner of what we would call the good aspects of female independence. Producers and writers I work with, young women in their 30s and 40s, tell me all the time, 'You have no idea what an influence you had on me with Honey West. You showed that I could do something unusual with my life, that I could have my freedom and not be dependent on another human being for my livelihood.'"
Anne Francis was born in 1930 in Ossining, New York and moved to New York City with her family at the age of 7 to start modeling. She first arrived in Hollywood in 1946 when she signed on with MGM. Anne Francis is survived by two daughters, Jane and Maggie, and a grandson.