• When Actresses Had Class: Actress Nina Foch (The Ten Commandments and My Name is Julia)

    October 23, 2011 5:47 am 2 comments
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    In today’s edition of When Actresses had Class, we take a look a the beautiful and legendary Nina Foch.
    Actresses today are Jezebels.  They flash their legs and their bosoms in movies to make up for lack of grace and talent.  Can you really say Angelina Jolie has more than two sets of talent?  Is it just me who sees her acting as wooden and stiff as Al Gore in a carbonite bath?
    Contrast the actresses of today with real women.  Nina Foch had such talent and oft played cool, calculating women in forms from the 40s and 50s.  Even when she was in her 80s, Foch was a vital coach of aspiring actors in the Los Angeles area.  In fact, she passed away right after teaching at USC, at the age of 84.
    Here is a small peak at her accomplishments:

    CareerFoch’s movie career came during the height of the 1940s, when she played cool, aloof, and oftentimes foreign women of sophistication.[Because she is not a whore-devil like the new actressses.] She would ultimately be featured in over 80 films and hundreds of television shows. The actress was a regular in John Houseman’s CBS Playhouse 90 television series. In 1951, she appeared with Gene Kelly in the musical An American in Paris, which was awarded the Best Picture Oscar. Foch appeared in Scaramouche (1952) as Marie Antoinette, and in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) as Bithia, Pharaoh’s sister who finds the baby Moses in the bullrushes, adopts him as her son, and joins him and the Hebrews in their Exodus from Egypt.

    Foch received a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in the boardroom drama Executive Suite (1954), starring William Holden. In Spartacus (1960), starring Kirk Douglas and Laurence Olivier, she played a woman who chooses gladiators to fight to the death in the ring, simply for her entertainment. In 1963, she appeared as herself in the National Broadcasting Company game show Your First Impression. In 1964, she played the title role of the episode “Maggie, Queen of the Jungle” of Craig Stevens’s CBS drama Mr. Broadway.

    She was cast as Eva Frazier in the Outer Limits episode “The Borderland”. On television, she was cast as the first murder victim of the Columbo mystery series starring Peter Falk, appearing in the pilot movie, Prescription: Murder (1968), with Gene Barry as her husband, a homicidal psychiatrist. In the early 1970s, she guest starred on NBC’s The Brian Keith Show. In 1975, she appeared in the film Mahogany starring Diana Ross.

    Later in her career, Foch appeared in War and Remembrance (1988) as the seemingly-nice librarian who soon advises Jane Seymour’s character that the best place for her and her uncle would be the un-aptly named “Paradise Ghetto”. She also appeared as ‘Frannie Halcyon’ in the TV miniseries Tales of the City (1993). Another notable TV role was as the Overseer Commander (or “Kleezantzun”) in the first of the Alien Nation TV movies, Alien Nation: Dark Horizon (1994).

    More recently, she appeared on the television series Just Shoot Me, Bull, and NCIS, the latter portraying Dr. Donald “Ducky” Mallard’s elderly mother.

    Foch taught “Directing the Actor” classes at the USC School of Cinematic Arts, classes she had taught since the 1960s up to her death. She also worked as an independent script-breakdown consultant for many prominent Hollywood directors.


    • Wagon Wheels West (1943)
    • The Return of the Vampire (1944)
    • Nine Girls (1944)
    • She’s a Soldier Too (1944)
    • Shadows in the Night (1944)
    • Cry of the Werewolf (1944)
    • Strange Affair (1944)
    • She’s a Sweetheart (1944)
    • A Song to Remember (1945)
    • I Love a Mystery (1945)
    • Escape in the Fog (1945)
    • Boston Blackie’s Rendezvous (1945)
    • A Thousand and One Nights (1945)
    • My Name is Julia Ross (1945)
    • Prison Ship (1945)
    • Johnny O’Clock (1947)
    • The Guilt of Janet Ames (1947)
    • The Dark Past (1948)
    • The Undercover Man (1949)
    • Johnny Allegro (1949)
    • St. Benny the Dip (1951)
    • An American in Paris (1951)
    • Young Man with Ideas (1952)
    • Scaramouche (1952)
    • Studio One (Television series, 8 episodes from 1952 to 1956)
    • Sombrero (1953)
    • Fast Company (1953)
    • Executive Suite (1954)
    • Four Guns to the Border (1954)
    • You’re Never Too Young (1955)
    • Illegal (1955)
    • The Ten Commandments (1956)
    • Three Brave Men (1956)
    • Rawhide (1959), Season 1/20 Incident of the Judas Trap, Madrina Wilcox
    • Ten Little Indians (1959)
    • The Diary of Anne Frank (1959); assistant director (uncredited)
    • Cash McCall (1960)
    • Spartacus (1960)
    • Rebecca (1962)
    • Prescription: Murder (1968)
    • Gidget Grows Up (1969)
    • Such Good Friends (1971)
    • The Scarecrow (1972)
    • Female Artillery (1973)
    • Salty (1973)
    • Mahogany (1975)
    • The Great Houdini (1976)
    • Jennifer (1978)
    • Ebony, Ivory and Jade (1979)
    • Getting It Right (1989); creative consultant[5]
    • Sliver (1993)
    • Tales of the City (1993)
    • Hush (1998)
    • Family Blessings (1999, made for TV); actress, co-director with Deborah Raffin[6]
    • How to Deal (2003)
    • NCIS (2005) 2 episodes as Mrs. Victoria Mallard[7]
    • The Closer (2007), 1 episode as Doris Donnelly
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