Anne Hollingshead Francine (1917 - 1999)


Anne Hollingshead Francine Biography & Family History

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Anne Francine
Born August 8, 1917 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Died December 3, 1999 in New London, Connecticut, USA (stroke)
Birth Name Anne Hollingshead Francine
Nickname Annie
Height 5' 9" (1.75 m)
Mini Bio (1)
Anne Francine was best known for her stage portrayal of the flamboyant Vera Charles in "Mame". She played the role--her favorite--both on Broadway and in touring productions.
Her long and successful career began in the nightclubs. She made her professional debut in New York at the elegant Coq Rouge, where a one-night booking turned into a celebrated three-year engagement. Early in her career she made a successful transition from nightclubs to the legitimate stage, performing in both drama and musical comedy. She was featured on Broadway with Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne in "The Great Sebastions", with Shirley Booth in "By The Beautiful Sea" and with Maurice Evans in "Tenderloin". She spent two seasons as a member of Ellis Rabb's acclaimed APA Repertory Company, alternating with Helen Hayes as "Mrs. Candor" in "School For Scandal", joining Rabb and Rosemary Harris in "You Can't Take It With You" as the "Grand Duchess Olga Katrina", and appearing in Jean Anouilh's "The Flies" under the direction of Vinnette Carroll. In regional theatre she had starred in "Mother Courage", "The Importance Of Being Earnest", "The Skin Of Our Teeth", "Twelfth Night" and "Company". She appeared in films including Federico Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits (1965), Mike Frankovich's Stand Up and Be Counted (1972) and Savages (1972).
Trivia (4)
Best Known for her role of "Mrs. Flora Simpson Reilly" in the TV Show Harper Valley P.T.A. (1981).
Began her career singing in night clubs in New York, London and Paris
From a wealthy, Main Line Philadelphia family.
Played New York's Radio City Music Hall as the Evil Queen in a live stage production of Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".
Personal Quotes (1)
The Lunts [Alfred Lunt and wife Lynn Fontanne] were so good to me that once, as we toured from town to town, I decided to have a tea party for them on the train. Alfred loved good tea. I started heating the water, and blew out every light on the train!


Anne Francine was born on in Atlantic City, New Jersey USA


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Actress and Singer


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Anne Francine died on in New London, New London County, Connecticut United States

Cause of death: sTROKE

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Last Known Residence

Old Lyme, New London County, Connecticut

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1917 - In the year that Anne Hollingshead Francine was born, on July 28, between ten and fifteen thousand blacks silently walked down New York City's Fifth Avenue to protest racial discrimination and violence. Lynchings in Waco Texas and hundreds of African-Americans killed in East St. Louis Illinois had sparked the protest. Picket signs said "Mother, do lynchers go to heaven?" "Mr. President, why not make America safe for democracy?" "Thou shalt not kill." "Pray for the Lady Macbeth's of East St. Louis" and "Give us a chance to live."

1946 - She was 29 years old when on July 4th, the Philippines gained independence from the United States. In 1964, Independence Day in the Philippines was moved from July 4th to June 12th at the insistence of nationalists and historians.

1965 - At the age of 48 years old, Anne was alive when on March 8th, the first US combat troops arrived in Vietnam. The 3500 Marines joined 23,000 "advisors" already in South Vietnam. By the end of the year, 190,000 American soldiers were in the country.

1979 - At the age of 62 years old, Anne was alive when on March 28th, a partial nuclear meltdown occurred at the power plant at Three Mile Island Pennsylvania. Radiation leaked into the environment, resulting in a rating of 5 on a scale of 7 ("Accident With Wider Consequences") . It ended up costing $1 billion to clean up the site.

1999 - In the year of Anne Hollingshead Francine's passing, on January 1st, the Euro became the new official single currency of the eurozone. It was used by Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain and has since spread in use. Daily, over 337 million Europeans use the euro.

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Anne Francine Obituary

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Anne Francine, Actress and Cabaret Star, Dead at 82
DEC 06, 1999
Anne Francine, the Broadway actress and cabaret performer who was part of Manhattan's cafe society heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, died in a Connecticut hospital Dec. 3 after suffering a stroke, according to friend Donald Smith.
Anne Francine, the Broadway actress and cabaret performer who was part of Manhattan's cafe society heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, died in a Connecticut hospital Dec. 3 after suffering a stroke, according to friend Donald Smith.
Despite an earlier stroke six years ago, Smith said, Ms. Francine was a tireless nurturer of young cabaret talent and spent summers as a master class teacher evaluating cabaret performers at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center in Waterford, CT. Ms. Francine was 82, and lived in Old Lyme, CT.
Although she sang in famous international cabaret rooms that sound almost fictional to the modern ear -- Coq Rouge, The Persian Room, Club Cuba, Cafe Pierre, Copacabana -- Ms. Francine was also a respected actress in plays and musicals, appearing as a Vera Charles replacement in Mame in 1996 and as Vera in the Angela Lansbury Broadway revival in 1983. She memorably played a rich matron in the Lincoln Center revival of Anything Goes with Patti LuPone.
Born in 1917 Atlantic City to Philadelphia blueblood parents, Albert and Emilie Francine, the free-spirited Anne went against family wishes and took singing lessons and made her stage debut in Rodgers and Hart's Too Many Girls on the road in Detroit.
After stock theatre, she made her Broadway debut in Marriage Is for Single People in 1945. She played Flora Busch in By the Beautiful Sea on Broadway in 1954 and appeared in New York and on the road in The Great Sebastians. She also appeared as a replacement in Tenderloin on Broadway in 1960, and toured with Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She was an Off-Broadway, Broadway, London, stock and regional performer in between her celebrated club dates. Ms. Francine was known for the comic ideas she brought to her club performances, sometimes adding physical gags to certain standard numbers. Crooning "Dancing in the Dark," for example, she clawed the walls for a light switch when singing the line, "looking for the light," cabaret advocate Smith told Playbill On-Line.
"The act was like going to a party," said Smith, who knew Ms. Francine for 35 years. "She was an original, one of the funniest."
Her signature songs included "The Lamp is Low" and "Raggedy Ann."
Smith remembers how Ms. Francine relished taking a curtain call at Lincoln Center for Anything Goes and then donned an evening gown and took a rented limo to her late-night engagement at the Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel. She would sweep into the lobby and into her act.
She was a natural who developed her gift with vocal lessons, according to Smith, executive director of the Mabel Mercer Foundation. Ms. Francine and Mercer were friends. Ms. Francine never married.
"She was an enormously striking Garboesque woman, a real head-turner in those giddy days when there was a real cafe society," said Smith. "She played very big role in that."
Despite her upbringing and popularity, she was not a diva, said Smith: "She was the salt of the earth."
And she apparently did a smashing impersonation of Marlene Dietrich.
"She never left a room like most people do, she was always departing it," Smith said. "You were aware she was leaving. The personality commanded your attention."
A memorial will be planned.
-- By Kenneth Jones


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