Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Forbidden Honey

"Science fiction double feature
Doctor X will build a creature
See androids fighting Brad and Janet
Anne Francis stars in Forbidden Planet
Wo oh oh oh oh oh
At the late night, double feature, picture show."

Miss Anne Francis, one of those rare creatures who was more famous for having her name featured in a song from a worldwide smash hit musical than she ever was as an actress, would have been 90 years old today.

In fact, Miss Francis has more of a cult following today than probably at any time during her acting career. Apart from the aforementioned Forbidden Planet (beloved of 50s sci-fi B-movie geeks everywhere), she was also the star of America's answer to (the far better-remembered) The Avengers, Honey West - in which she portrayed a feisty private detective (often referred to as the "private eyeful" for her voluptuous figure) who dressed to kill, drove a super-cool AC Cobra convertible, was trained in martial arts, used loads of cunningly-disguised spy gadgetry, and kept an ocelot as a pet! Surprisingly, the series only managed one season before being itself replaced by Steed and Mrs Peel in the US TV schedules.

Her career continued in character roles in daytime soaps and popular shows such as Cannon, The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, Dallas, Wonder Woman and The Golden Girls, almost to the end.

It makes one wonder - what if the legendary Sydney Newman had never masterminded the creation of The Avengers; would Honey West now be "the" fondly-remembered femme fatale-led action series that formed part of the mystique of the Swinging Sixties?

Anne Lloyd Francis (16th September 1930 – 2nd January 2011)


  1. I had not heard of her outside that song! She's stunningly beautiful though she sort of looks different in every one, whereas you see a picture of Diana Rigg or Honor Blackman, whatever they're wearing it's always them.

    Actually the weirdest thing about Science Fiction Double Feature is the fact it mentions Thora Hird's daughter.

    What an absolute genius Sidney Newman was

    1. Certainly Honor Blackman was instantly recognisable whatever she appeared in as she rarely changed her signature "look" (albeit she ditched the leathers early on), but Dame Diana was much more of a "chameleon" over her long career. And yes, it was always a bit of a mind-fuck that cosy "national treasure" Thora Hird was mother to Janette Scott, ex-Mrs Mel Tormé and star of 60s films like School for Scoundrels and The Day of the Triffids. Jx

  2. Ps what kind of spammers are you getting?

    1. Fake prostitutes, Indonesian con-artists, Bitcoin scams, the usual shit. Jx

    2. Cafe muscato has filled up with them. Sad.

      Also, "fake prostitutes"? How do you be a fake prostitute?

      Thora Hird wasn't a straightforward cosy character, thar was one side of her in Songs of Praise or Praise be. I like how a lot of her successes were playing quite unlikeable women like Aunty Kitty in Intensive Care

    3. I didn't know Jannette Scott was married to Mel Torme

    4. I miss Muscato. Hope he is OK. Jx

    5. I miss him a lot, he's one of few people worth bothering with on twotter, but i don't go on there any more, it's doing almost as much harm as Facebook. He seems as happy as is possible, from what he posts there.

      I miss Post Apocalyptic Bohemian too, I don't know if he is even alive. I know he stopped posting for a long time because of illness, I hope the worst hasn't happened

    6. The last few posts from Stephen at PAB (before he republished a few "famous birthday" ones in 2016) did seem a bit pessimistic. His cancer came back.

      Glad to know Muscato's still OK, even if no longer blogging, per se. Jx

  3. I don't think Dame Diana Rigg had anything to worry about.
    And The Avengers had a much better theme tune too.

    1. Quality produce from Swinging London was always going to win the battle, methinks. Jx

  4. You can read his Twitter comments on the blog itself if you reguse to go on Twitter (i don't refuse to go on Twitter, it was more realising I have to stop using it)

    Is there any way of finding out if a blogger has died? He is a huge loss, if that is the case.


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