Nina Foch (; born Nina Consuelo Maud Fock; April 20, 1924 – December 5, 2008) was a Dutch American actress. After signing a contract with Columbia Pictures at age 19, the Foch became a regular in the studio's horror pictures and films noir before establishing herself as a leading lady in the mid-1940s through the 1950s, often playing roles as cool, aloof sophisticates. Her career spanned six decades, consisting of over 50 feature films and over 100 television appearances.
She is perhaps best known for her roles in An American in Paris (1951); Robert Wise's Executive Suite (1954), which earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress; Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956); and Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus (1960).
Foch also worked extensively in television, making a multitude of appearances from 1951 until 2007. In addition to acting, Foch taught drama at the American Film Institute and at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, where she was a faculty member for over 40 years until her death in 2008.
Nina Foch was born Nina Consuelo Maud Fock in Leiden, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands, to American actress and singer Consuelo Flowerton and Dutch classical music conductor Dirk Fock. Her parents divorced when she was a toddler, and her mother and she moved to the United States, settling in New York City. As Foch grew up, her mother encouraged her artistic talents; she learned piano and enjoyed art but was more interested in acting. After graduating from the Lincoln School, Foch attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and also studied method acting under Lee Strasberg and Stella Adler.
After signing a contract with Columbia Pictures at age 19, Foch made her feature film debut in the studio's horror picture The Return of the Vampire (1943) with Bela Lugosi, subsequently appearing in Columbia's Cry of the Werewolf the next year. This was followed with a role in the biopic A Song to Remember (1945), the drama I Love a Mystery (1945); and a string of films noir, including Escape in the Fog, My Name is Julia Ross (1945), Johnny O'Clock (1947), The Dark Past (1948), The Undercover Man (1948), and Johnny Allegro (1949). During this time, she was also a regular in John Houseman's CBS Playhouse 90 television series.
In 1951, Foch appeared with Gene Kelly in the musical An American in Paris, which was awarded the Best Picture Oscar that year. Foch appeared in Scaramouche (1952) as Marie Antoinette, and in Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1956) as Bithiah, the pharaoh's daughter, who finds the infant Moses in the bulrushes, adopts him as her son, and joins him and the Hebrews in their exodus from Egypt. In 1957, Foch was honored by the Maryland State Council of the American Jewish Congress with a special award for her performance in The Ten Commandments.
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, Fredric March, and Barbara Stanwyck. 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 1961, she guest-starred in the NBC series about the family divisions from American Civil War entitled The Americans. In 1963, she appeared on the NBC game show Your First Impression. In 1964, she played the title role in the episode "Maggie, Queen of the Jungle" of Craig Stevens's short-lived CBS drama series, Mr. Broadway.
Foch was cast as Eva Frazier in the Outer Limits episode "The Borderland". She appeared in an episode of Gunsmoke as the widowed matriarch of a lawless town, and played in an episode on Combat! titled episode "The Casket". She was also 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, Foch 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 inaptly 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).
In her final years, she appeared on the television series Just Shoot Me, Bull, Dharma & Greg, 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 taught from the 1960s to her death. She also worked as an independent script-breakdown consultant for many Hollywood directors. Foch has stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, located at 6300 Hollywood Boulevard, and 7000 Hollywood Boulevard.
Foch lived in Beverly Hills, California, for 40 years and married three times. Her first marriage was to James Lipton, future host of Inside the Actors Studio. She married her second husband, Dennis de Brito, in 1959; and the couple had one child before divorcing in 1963. Her third and last marriage was to Michael Dewell in 1967. The couple divorced in 1993.
Foch died on December 5, 2008, aged 84, at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Her only son, Dirk de Brito, told the Los Angeles Times that she died of complications from the blood disorder myelodysplasia. She had become ill the day before, while teaching at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Foch was cremated by the Neptune Society of Sherman Oaks, California, and her ashes are in the custody of her son.
||The Philco-Goodyear Television Playhouse
||Episode: "Three Cornered Moon"
|The Chevrolet Tele-Theatre
||Episodes: "Temporarily Purple", "Half an Hour"
||Lux Video Theatre
||Episodes: "The Key", "The Magnolia Touch", "Dames Are Poison", "Mine to Have"
||Two Girls Named Smith
|The Nash Airflyte Theatre
||Episode: "The Case of the Calico Dog"
|Faith Baldwin Romance Theatre
||Episode: "The Bride from Broadway"
|Somerset Maugham TV Theatre
||Episode: "In Hiding"
||Episodes: "Blood Relation", "The House of Dust"
|Pulitzer Prize Playhouse
||Episodes: "The Jungle", "The Skin of Our Teeth", "The Buccaneer", "Icebound"
||Episode: "A Moment of Memory"
||Episode: "World So Wide"
|Tales of Tomorrow
||Episode: "Bound Together"
||Studio One in Hollywood
||Hollywood Opening Night
||Episode: "Legal Affair"
|Armstrong Circle Theatre
||Episodes: "Ski Story", "Only This Night"
|The Philip Morris Playhouse
||Episode: "Room 203"
||Episode: "Ride with Terror"
||Episodes: "See No Evil", "Hand Me Down"
||Episode: "State of the Union"
||The United States Steel Hour
||Julia Walton / Grace Barlow
||The Colgate Comedy Hour
||Caroline Emmet / Emily Rone
||Episodes: "Deadly Climate", "Night of Execution"
||The Loretta Young Show
||Joan Rogers / Mrs. Graff
||Episodes: "The Red Dress", "Reunion"
||The 20th Century-Fox Hour
||Susan Harland / Joan Byrnes
||Episodes: "One Life", "Yacht on the High Sea"
||Belle Thurmond / Mrs. Scott
||Episodes: "The Undiscovered Country", "The Answer"
||The Alcoa Hour
||Episode: "A Double Life"
||Episodes: "Nothing Personal", "A Night of Rain"
||Episode: "The Clara Beauchamp Story"
||Episodes: "Much Ado About Nothing, Pt. 1", "Much Ado About Nothing, Pt.2"
||Mrs. Claire Holden
||Episode: "Ticket to Tangier"
||The Thin Man
||Episode: "Lady Frankenstein"
||Episode: "Incident of the Judas Trap"
||Play of the Week
||Episode: "Tiger at the Gates"
|Moment of Fear
||Episode: "The Golden Deed"
||Episode: "The Rebellious Rose"
|Shirley Temple's Storybook
||Episode: "The Little Mermaid"
||Episode: "State of Shock"
||Samantha / Autumn Ely / Lillian Aldrich
||Episode: "Cry to Heaven"
|The Dick Powell Theatre
||Episode: "The Seeds of April"
||Kitty Lamson / Maude Hutchinson
||Episodes: "The Sweetly Smiling Face of Truth", "The Fingers of Henri Tourelle"
||Episode: "Vengeance is the Spur"
||Episode: "Of Rusted Cannons and Fallen Sparrows"
|Arrest and Trial
||Episode: "My Name is Martin Burnham"
|Kraft Suspense Theatre
||Episode: "The End of the World, Baby"
|The Greatest Show on Earth
||Episode: "Leaves in the Wind"
|The Outer Limits
||Episode: "The Borderland"
||Episode: "Who Killed 1/2 of Glory Lee?"
||Episode: "Maggie, Queen of the Jungle"
||Episode: "My Name is Lisa, and I Am Lost"
||Episode: "The Casket"
||A Man Called Shenandoah
|The Long, Hot Summer
||Episode: "Carlotta, Come Home"
||Episode: "Child Out of Time"
|Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre
||Vera Stannard / Dee
||Episodes: "A Time to Love", "And Baby Makes Five"
||The Name of the Game
||Mrs. Fredericks / Angela Morgan
||The Mod Squad
||Mrs. Dykstra / Virginia Westphal
||Episodes: "Don't Kill My Child", "Love"
||The Wild Wild West
||Episode: "The Night of the Cossacks"
||Episode: "No Place to Hide"
||Episode: "The Dealer"
|To Rome with Love
||Episode: "Beautiful People"
||Police Sergeant F.J. Dameron
||Episode: "Walk in the Dark"
||Episode: "That Script"
|Men at Law
||Episode: "Little Girl Blue"
|The Brian Keith Show
||Episode: "Sean's Midas Touch"
|The Wide World of Mystery
||Episode: "A Little Bit Like Murder"
|Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law
||Episode: "A Lesson in Loving"
||Myra Westmore / Eleanor DeRoche
||Episodes: "The Stalking Horse", "Divorce - Murderer's Style"
||Episode: "The Illusion of the Stainless Steel Lady"
|The ABC Afternoon Playbreak
||Episode: "Oh Baby, Baby, Baby"
||Kolchak: The Night Stalker
||Episode: "The Trevi Collection"
||"McMillan" (formally McMillan and Wife
Episode: "Phillip's Game"
||Dr. Juliana Moorhouse
||Trapper John, M.D.
||Episode: "Play Your Hunch"
|The New Mike Hammer
||Episode: "The Golden Lady"
||War and Remembrance
||Comtesse de Chambrun
||Room for Romance
||Episode: "A Midsummer Night's Reality"
||Episode: "Smoke Gets in Your Thighs"
||Episode: "Acapulco Holiday"
||Episode: "Homeward Bound"
||Murder, She Wrote
||Rebecca Kinkaid / Katie Emhardt
||Episodes: "Death in Hawaii", "Tainted Lady"
||Episodes: "Lifelines, Pt. 1", "Lifelines, Pt. 2"
||Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City
||Episode: "If You Could Pick Your Own Parents..."
||Dharma & Greg
||Episode: "Death & Violins"
|Just Shoot Me!
||Episode: "Dial 'N' for Murder"
||Mrs. Victoria Mallard
||Episodes: "Untouchable", "The Meat Puzzle"
||Episode: "The Round File", (final television appearance)
- ^ a b LoBianco, Lorraine. "Starring Nina Foch: 10-22". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
- ^ a b Woo, Elaine (2008-12-06). "Nina Foch, actress and influential coach and teacher, dies at 84". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-12-06.
- ^ Gates, Anita (2008-12-08). "Nina Foch, Actress in Sophisticated Roles, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-04-20.
- ^ Bergan, Ronald (2008-12-05). "Obituary: Nina Foch". The Guardian. Retrieved 2015-04-18.
- ^ Obituary in Washington Post
- ^ Biography at FilmReference.com
- ^ Obituary in London Telegraph
- ^ "DeMille Honored For Bible Movie". Spokane Daily Chronicle. Associated Press. March 19, 1957. Retrieved September 12, 2015.
- ^ Woo, Elaine. "Nina Foch". The Los Angeles Times. Hollywood Star Walk. Retrieved 2015-05-28.
- ^ Woo, Elaine. "Nina Foch, actress and influential acting teacher, dies at 84". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-07-27.
- ^ https://books.google.com/books?id=FOHgDAAAQBAJ&pg=PA248&lpg=PA248&dq=Nina+Foch+cremated&source=bl&ots=UkPFNzFAO7&sig=afHPv6_QOr8ygY5JGPLAaCA_02M&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwihkZD31aLYAhVK94MKHbjNAm04ChDoAQgwMAM#v=onepage&q=Nina%20Foch%20cremated&f=false
- ^ Simonson, Robert (2008-12-08). "Nina Foch, Cultured Blonde of Stage and Screen, Dies at 84". Playbill. Retrieved 2015-04-19.
- ^ Cooper, Roberta Krensky. The American Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford 1955-1985. p. 36. ISBN 978-0918016881.
- ^ a b Kirby, Walter (April 6, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 52. Retrieved May 16, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^ Kirby, Walter (December 28, 1952). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 36. Retrieved June 5, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^ Kirby, Walter (February 15, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 42. Retrieved June 21, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
- ^ Kirby, Walter (March 1, 1953). "Better Radio Programs for the Week". The Decatur Daily Review. p. 46. Retrieved June 23, 2015 – via Newspapers.com.
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