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Anne Francine
Anne Francine
December 3, 1999
Age 82
 
 Mymmm? 
 
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NY TIMES
        
Anne Francine, Actress and Cabaret Singer, Dies at 82
          
          Anne Francine, an actress who worked in film, theater and television 
          and who was also a prominent cabaret performer for six decades, 
          died on Friday at the Lawrence and Memorial Hospital in London, 
          Conn. She was 82 and lived in Old Lyme, Conn.  

          Born into Main Line Philadelphia society, Miss Francine came of age 
          during the 1930's, when New York's numerous intimate night spots 
          offered opportunities for beginners. With her imposing good looks, 
          bawdy humor and raspy contralto, she made her performing debut at the 
          Coq Rouge, after winning an amateur contest, and went on to 
          engagements at the Pierre, the Persian Room, the Copacabana and the 
          Algonquin.  

          In the mid-1940's she traveled abroad, singing in late-night haunts in 
          London and Paris. Impeccably mannered and beautifully spoken, she 
          centered her programs on the flippant high-society songs of Cole Porter 
          and Jerome Kern, inserting comedic gestures often funny enough to bring 
          the house down.  

          Miss Francine made her Broadway debut in 1954 with Shirley Booth in 
          "By the Beautiful Sea" before going on to work with Alfred Lunt and 
          Lynn Fontanne in "The Great Sebastians" the next season. In the 
          A.P.A.-Phoenix Repertory Company production of "The School for 
          Scandal" she stepped in for a vacationing Helen Hayes. But her favorite 
          role was that of Vera Charles in the 1966 Broadway production of 
          "Mame," starring Angela Lansbury. She and Ms. Lansbury reprised their 
          characters in the 1983 revival. Ms. Francine last appeared on Broadway 
          in 1987 as Mrs. Harcourt in the Lincoln Center revival of "Anything 
          Goes," starring Patti LuPone.  

          Miss Francine's film work included "Crocodile Dundee" and Fellini's 
          "Juliet of the Spirits." On television she was best known for her portrayal 
          of the conniving matriarch Flora Simpson Reilly in "Harper Valley 
          P.T.A.," with Barbara Eden, in the early 1980's.  

          A frequent performer on the summer stock circuit, Miss Francine was a 
          regular presence at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, 
          Conn., where she taught at the annual cabaret symposium. Even after a 
          1992 stroke left her unable to speak, she would instruct students by 
          pantomiming her commands or writing them on an erasable box designed 
          for that purpose.  

          No immediate relatives survive.  
 

 
 
     
  
    
  
 
 

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