Francine York, the alluring model-turned-actress who portrayed a villain on the original “Batman” television series in the 1960s and appeared in films opposite Elvis Presley and Marlon Brando, has died in Van Nuys at age 80.
Her friend, television producer Pepper Jay, told The Hollywood Reporter that York died at Valley Presbyterian Hospital following a bout with cancer.
York gained pop-culture fame for her role as Lydia Limpet, the henchwoman to “Batman” villain The Bookworm, played by Roddy McDowall, in 1966.
Her public career began at age 17 when she finished second in the Miss Minnesota beauty pageant, leading to a career in modeling and later as a showgirl in San Francisco then Los Angeles at the Moulin Rouge on Sunset Boulevard. She was eventually cast in a series of Jerry Lewis films, and later appeared in Brando’s “Bedtime Stories” and Presley’s “Tickle Me.” She portrayed the leader of a team of female assassins in 1973’s “The Doll Squad.”
She made dozens of television appearances on shows including “Lost in Space,” “Green Acres,” “Bewitched,” “I Dream of Jeannie,” “Kojak,” “Perry Mason,” “Mission: Impossible” and, most recently, “Hot in Cleveland” in 2012.
— City News Service
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