Francine was born in a small mining town in northern Minnesota called
Aurora to her parents Frank and Sophie Yerich. She won all the
declamation contests she entered in high school and also starred in all the
class plays. Her drama coach wrote in her yearbook, "To Francine, I
know someday you will be a success in Hollywood because you have the
talent." Well, Hollywood was still a long way away for 17-year-old
Francine. But then, an opportunity came up in a beauty contest which
was part of the Miss America Pageant. Francine entered locally, became
"Miss Eveleth", and Runner-up in Miss Minnesota. her first modeling jobs
started locally after that.
Moving to Minneapolis, she got a job modeling sweaters for Jane
Richards Sportswear and began traveling all over the U.S., ending up in
San Francisco. Taking a modeling course at the "House of Charm"
School and Agency, started her off on a fabulous modeling career for all
the department store ads (Macy's, Magnins, ect.) . But a new
opportunity arose...the Miss San Francisco Pageant, which she entered
and was Runner-up, only to take over the title because the winner got ill.
The Maid of California Beauty Contest followed, which she was also
Runner-up. By this time, Hollywood beckoned. She got a job as a
showgirl at "Bimbo's" which was frowned upon by the modeling agency,
but turned out to be the right choice for Francine as she met the lead
singer star of the show, Mary Meade French, and she brought Francine
to Hollywood and to her first agent.
A series of commercials followed: Chrysler, Betty Crocker, Valley
Federal Bank, Chevrolet, and many more. She soon stared in her first
feature called "Secret File Hollywood" which was premiered in her home
town of Aurora for all the town to see. To this day, she says this was the
biggest thrill of her life seeing the whole town, the press, her parents,
grandparents, and all her friends, plus the high school band turned out at
the airport to greet her. This was just the beginning though, as soon she
was discovered by Jerry Lewis and six films followed, starting with "It's
Only Money"," The Nutty Professor", "Family Jewels". "The Patsy",
"Disorderly Orderly", and her last with him in 1982 where she plays a
noble woman with a French accent from the 15th century called
"Cracking Up". She also went on to star with Marlon Brando and David
Niven in "Bedtime Story" for Universal Studios.
During this period, she also appeared in many Max Factor Cosmetic ads
showing here and in Europe. Her makeup artist was Hal King who was
Lucille Ball's makeup man all during the "Lucy" series. Francine's vast
interest in nutrition put her on the covers of such national magazines as
Let's Live, Fitness Plus, and others. Her appearances on fashion pages of
the STAR, and National Enquirer have been numerous, and Mr.
Blackwell's A-1 Dress List. She is also a gourmet cook and has hosted
dinners for sometimes as many as 80-100 with such stars as Clint
Eastwood, Peter Ustinov, Glenn Ford, Rex Harrison, and her
many more. Her
recipes have also appeared in both Hollywood movie magazines and
Some of Francine's other credits are "Curse of the Swamp
Creature" (now a cult film), "Tickle Me" with Elvis Presley, "Cannon for
Corboda" (shot in Spain with George Peppard), George Stevens' "The
Greatest Story Ever Told," "Sergeant Was A Lady for Universal, etc.
She starred with Bob Hope and Eva Marie Saint in "School for
Bachelors". As Venus De Milo on "Bewitched"; as the agricultural
student all the men fell in love with on "Green Acres" Soon Irwin Allen,
famous disaster film producer, discovered her talents and soon starred
her in "Lost in Space" as the infamous Queen Niolani, "Land of the
Giants" as Dr. North, "The Flood" as Robert Culp's girlfriend, "Time
Traveler", a pilot for ABC which she played a scientist, "Luxury Liner"
opposite Robert Stack, "Batman Soon Came Up" opposite Roddy
McDowell (as Lydia Limpit) his girl . That got her a story in Saturday
Evening Post and later she was known as one of the Bat Girls. "The
Streets of San Francisco", "Columbo", "Kojak", "Wild Wild West",
"Police Story", "Mission Impossible", "Riptide", and "Perry Mason" all
Some of her other television shows were "Ohara U.S. Treasury"
opposite David Janssen and "Police Story". On "Days of Our Lives" she
played the notorious blackmailer Lorraine Temple, and on "General
Hospital" Thelma, and infamous madam from Florida. She also starred in
"Mama's Family", "Brothers", "Mr. Belvedere". "Matlock" opposite Andy
Griffith, and she recently Guest Starred in "Beverly Hills 90210" and
"Lois & Clark" (the new Superman) and "Marilyn Is Alive" Starring as
Excerpts from the upcoming book to be released by McFarland & Co. in
May 2001 To order this book type the title "Fantasy Femmes" in Barnes and
Noble search in right side column.
Fantasy Femmes of Sixties Cinema:
Interviews with 20 Actresses from Beach, Biker, Elvis, & Alienated Youth Movies
by Tom Lisanti
Beach movies, biker flicks, Elvis Presley musicals, and alienated youth films were just some of the genres aimed at young
audiences during the swinging sixties. And though science fiction, fantasy, and horror films weren't exclusive to the decade,
where else could you see talking marauding gorillas, giant rampaging teenagers, suave secret agents, and bikini-clad robots?
Francine York (along with Pamela Tiffin, Diane McBain, Lana Wood, Linda Harrison, Celeste Yarnall, and Deanna
Lund) are just some of the talented actresses interviewed for this book. On celluloid they could be found twisting on the shores of
Malibu, careening down the highway on a chopper, being serenaded by Elvis, and/or taking on the establishment. As cult
fantasy figures, they contributed greatly to that period of filmmaking aimed at the teenage
audience who frequented the drive-ins of America during the 1960's.
After her appearance on Land of the Giants in 1970, Francine 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." Standing 5-foot-8 and
measuring 38-23-35, it is no wonder the beautiful statuesque dark-haired Francine York was usually cast in the Amazonian
roles. Francine made her film debut in the cult low-budget Secret File: Hollywood. She then progressed from featured roles
in the early sixties opposite Jerry Lewis, Marlon Brando, and Elvis Presley to starring roles in such cult drive-in movies as
Curse of the Swamp Creatures, Space Monster, and The Doll Squad. Always a pro, York had the ability to command and
dominate the screen with her poise and confidence. And in a business that can be cruel, especially to older actresses, the self-
determined Francine continues to act today.
A few comments from Francine York: On her first movie Secret File: Hollywood
"We shot this in 1960 and it was my first chance to play a character on the big screen. I had never been in front of a camera
really. And nobody knew! They had no idea because I hit my marks and knew my lines. When you look at this picture I look
like a seasoned actress! I guess I was good right from the beginning."
On Jerry Lewis whom she went on to work with six times:
"Jerry could be a little bit of a maniac sometimes. When he had someone like Frank Tashlin directing him, he'd fool around a
lot. But when he was directing himself using Paramount's money he'd be more careful and serious. Watching him direct
himself in The Nutty Professor was really something! When he called, 'Action!' he'd go from being Jerry the serious director
to Jerry the actor playing the suave Buddy Love or the nerdy Prof. Kelp. It was amazing to watch."
On working with Marlon Brando in the comedy Bedtime Story (1964) "Marlon Brando was adorable. But he was so dreadfully insecure and needed the producer there all of the time�sort of like
Linus with his blanket. He had never done comedy before."
Always a pro, Francine had the ability
to command and dominate the screen with her poise and confidence. And in a
business that can be cruel, especially to older actresses, the self-
determined Francine continues to act today.
To order this book type the title "Fantasy Femmes" in Barnes and
Noble or Amazon search in right side column.
Hot In Cleveland(2012)
Role Of Lady Natalie "What's Behind the Door"
The Epic Adventures of Bucket & Skinner (TV Show) (2012) May 30th
Episode� Epic Crashers (2011) � Aunt Bitsy
Astro Zombies: M3-Cloned (2010))
Miracle at Sage Creek 2005
Las Vegas 2005
Hercules in Hollywood 2005
King of Queens "Evelyn" 2003
Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise
Family Man with Nicolas Cage
The Right Approach (1961)
Sergeant Was a Lady (1961)
Wild Ones on Wheels (1962)
Secret File:Hollywood (1962)
It's Only Money (1962)
The Nutty Professor (1963)
A New Kind of Love (1963)
A Bedtime Story (1964)
The Patsy (1964)
The Disorderly Orderly (1964)
Mutiny in Outer Space (1965)
Tickle Me (1965)
The Family Jewels (1965)
Space Monster/ Space Probe Taurus (1965)
Curse of the Swamp Creatures (1966)
Ride to Hangman's Tree (1968)
Any Second Now (1969)
Cannon for Cordoba (1970)
Welcome Home, Soldier Boys (1972)
I Love A Mystery (1973)
The Doll Squad (1973)
The Centerfold Girls (1974)
Adventures of the Queen (1975)
They Only Come Out at Night (1975)
Time Travelers (1976)
Zero to Sixty/Repo (1978)
Half a House (1979)
The Night the Bridge Fell Down (1983)
Cracking Up (1983)
The Underachievers (1987)
Marilyn Is Alive (1992)
Private Obsession (1995)
Counter Measures (1998)
The Big Tease (1999)
Family Man (2000) with Nicolas Cage
Vanilla Sky (2001) with Tom Cruise (Paramount)
The Roaring Twenties "The Big Town
Bringing up Buddy "Education of Nicky
Shirley Temple Theatre "The Little
Surfside 6 "Portrait of Nicole"(1963)
77 Sunset Strip "Falling Stars" (1963)
I'm Dickens...He's Fenster "Get Off My
Dick Powell Theatre "Luxury Liner"
The Untouchables "The Butcher's Boy"
The Gallant Men "Tommy" (1963)
Burke's Law "Who Killed Jason Shaw"
Burke's Law "Who Killed April" (1964)
The Greatest Show On Earth "A Place to
My Favorite Martian "Uncle Martin's Wisdom
Slattery's People "Question:What Became of
Hazel "Mind Your Own Business" (1964)
Burke's Law "Who Killed Supersleuth"
Burke's Law "Who Killed Rosie Sunset"
Burke's Law "Who Killed the Rabbit's
Perry Mason "The Case of the Wrongful
Cap'n Ahab (unsold pilot) (1965)
Slattery's People (series regular as Wendy
The Smothers Brothers Show "Pay the Man the
Death Valley Days "A Picture of a Lady"
Perry Mason "The Case of the Sausalito
The Double Life of Hentry Phyfle (1966)
Batman "The Bookworm Turns" (1966)
Batman "While Gotham City Burns" (1966)
Gomer Pyle, USMC "Mary Me, Marry Me"
Lost in Space "The Colonists" (1967)
Ironside "Memory of an Ice Cream Stick"
It Takes a Thief "It Takes One To Know
It Takes a Thief "One Illegal Angel"
It Takes a Thief "Totally by Design"
The Outsider "For Members Only" (1968)
The Name of the Game "Collector's
Green Acres "The Agricultural Student"
The Wild Wild West "The Night of the
Ironside "Not With a Whimper, But a
Pioneer Spirit (unsold pilot) (1969)
I Dream of Jeannie "Jeannie and the Bachelor
Love, American Style "Love and the Wild
Courtship of Eddie's Father "Who Pulled the
Blues Right Out of the
. Horn?" (1969)
To Rome with Love "Spring Vacation"
Land of the Giants "Doomsday" (1970)
Family Affair "The Boys Against the
The Tim Conway Show (1970)
Mannix "What Happened to Sunday" (1971)
Adam-12 "Log 88:Reason to Run" (1971)
Bewitched "Bewitched, Bothered and
Love, American Style "Love and the Lovely
The Odd Couple "The Use Horseradish, Don't
The Chicago Teddy Bears (1971)
O'Hara, U.S. Treasury "Operation Lady
Adam-12 "Sub-Station" (1972)
Emergency "Crash" (1972)
Mission Impossible "Break" (1972)
Love, American Style "Love and the Super
Hec Ramsey "The Mystery of the Yellow
Dirty Sally "The Old Soldier" (1974)
Police Story "Dangerous Games (1974)
Kojak "Slay Ride" (1974)
The Streets of San Francisco "Bird of
Petrocelli "Game of Reason" (1975)
Columbo "The Forgotten Lady" (1975)
The Barbary Coast "The Armor Clad Plan"
Petrocelli "Falling Star" (1976)
The Streets of San Francisco "The
Bert D'Angelo/Superstar "Murder in
The Quest "Prairie Woman" (1976)
The Streets of San Francisco "The Monkey is
Future Cop "Girl on the Ledge" (1977)
Days of Our Lives (series regulars Lorraine
General Hospital (recurring role as Madame Thelma)
Jason of Star Command "Web of the Star
Jason of Star Command "Little Girl
Jason of Star Command "Mimi's Secret"
Masquerade "The French Connection"
Berrenger's "Overdrive" (1984)
The Love Boat "There'll Be Some Changes
Riptide "Harmony and Grits" (1985)
Matlock "The Dame" (1993)
Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman
"I'm Seeing .Through You" (1993)
Beverly Hills, 90210 "And Did It...My
Even Stevens (2000) "Ballroom Dancing" Disney