Francine York is a name that might not jump out as someone you immediately recognize, but her television credits is an amazing who-who list of most of the classic series from the beginnings of the 1960s onward. Sadly it has been announced today that she passed away at the age of 80 after a battle with cancer. From the 60s and into the 70s, she was a guest-star on dozens of series, with some of her most remembered roles from Batman, Lost In Space, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Streets of San Francisco.
Her official website notes that after her appearance on Land of the Giants in 1970, York told an interviewer, “I can’t escape playing the big parts. Why can’t I play the girl next door? It seems I’m always blowing up the world or something.”
A native of Aurora, Minnesota, her drama coach wrote in her yearbook, “To Francine, I know someday you will be a success in Hollywood because you have the talent.” It wouldn’t be until she was 21 and was cast as a receptionist in Rescue 8 alongside Jim Davis and Lang Jeffries. Then only 2 years later, in ’61, she would appear in Bringing Up Buddy, and from there the floodgates opened with her appearing in at least a half dozen series each year throughout the next few decades taking her through Columbo, Kojak, Jason of Star Command, Police Story, Mission Impossible, Riptide, Perry Mason, Matlock, Beverly Hills 90210 and Lois & Clark.
She continued to work on series all the way up to 2016, appearing in Where the Bears Are. She also was credited in a recent Trek fan film, Star Trek: Progeny, but it seems that the project has gone dark.
In 1996, she met director Vincent Sherman (Mr. Skeffington, Adventures Of Don Juan, The Young Philadelphians), and was his companion until his death in 2006. York never married – she once said, “Like Cinderella, I always wanted to marry the handsome prince…but they don’t make glass slippers in size ten!”