Francine York Dead at 80

Francine York died on Friday, January 6.  Her TV credits included
Days of our Lives and General Hospital.
Actress Francine York died Friday morning at Valley Presbyterian Hospital in Van Nuys, California, after a battle with cancer, her friend, television producer Pepper Jay, told The Hollywood Reporter. She was 80.

A native of Aurora, Minnesota, York appeared in numerous TV shows, from Rescue 8 in 1959 to The Mindy Project in 2015, with appearances in daytime soap operas along the way.

At age 17, the 5-foot-8 York was runner-up in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant. She toured the U.S. modeling in department stores and landed in Northern California, where she finished second in the Miss San Francisco contest.

York was working as a showgirl at the popular Moulin Rouge nightclub on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood when she decided to purse acting. She studied under Jeff Corey and Jack Kosslyn and spotted by a producer who cast her as a duplicitous magazine editor in her film debut, Secret File: Hollywood (1962).

In film, she starred in It's Only Money (1962), In Cannon for Cordoba (1970) and The Doll Squad (1973). She also appeared in Bedtime Story (1964), Tickle Me (1965), Marilyn: Alive and Behind Bars (1992) and The Family Man (2000).

Francine York (third row from bottom on the left) with the
cast of Days of our Lives in 1978.
Her credits included Berrenger's, Bewitched, The Odd Couple, Perry Mason and Gomer Pyle: USMC. She also appeared in five different roles on Burke's Law. In 1961, York portrayed a princess opposite her childhood idol Shirley Temple in Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid for the NBC kids anthology series Shirley Temple's Storybook.

York was memorable as the willowy Lydia Limpet, the henchwoman of The Bookworm (Roddy McDowall), in a first-season episode of ABC primetime series Batman in 1966. She uses a boring book to lure Robin to sleep and gets to ride in the Batmobile.

On daytime television, York played ex-prostitute/blackmailer Lorraine Temple on NBC soap opera Days of our Lives in 1978. Four years later, she appeared as Thelma, the madam from Florida, on ABC's General Hospital.

York also was known as a gourmet cook and fitness and nutrition expert who hosted lavish parties in Hollywood. She was the decade-long companion of director Vincent Sherman (The Young Philadelphians) until his death in 2006.

Never married, she is survived by her nieces Delinda, Gina and Ava and nephew Dominic; grandnieces Ashley, Candice, Holly, Daliss and Isabella Negrete; and grandnephew Franklin.

York was finishing her autobiography at the time of her death.

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