Yvette Mimieux Dies @ 80

About 10 days after turning 80, '60s actress Yvette Mimieux has died.

Mimieux celebrated her 80th on January 8, and reportedly died in her sleep January 18, 2022. A family rep confirmed her death, due to natural causes, to Deadline.

Mimieux got her start on television, first on the Jock Mahoney (1919-1989) action-adventure series Yancy Derringer (1959), and then on the anthology series One Step Beyond (1960).

With Taylor in The Time Machine (Image via MGM)

Her breakthrough came via the first film she ever shot, The Time Machine (1960). Directed by the animator George Pal (1908-1980), known for his deft hand with sci-fi, and starring handsome Rod Taylor (1930-2015), the film was a massive hit, helping to propel Mimieux into stardom and a long-term MGM contract.

In the meantime, her second film — Platinum High School (1960), a Mickey Rooney (1920-2014) farce — had been released first.

Mimieux never quite achieved the same excitement as she had with The Time Machine. An actress capable of great vulnerability and depth, as in Light in the Piazza (1962), she was often relegated to bikini-driven fare like Where the Boys Are (1960) or a famous two-part Dr. Kildare episode, "Tyger, Tyger," on which she became the first woman to show her navel on American television.

Other films of the '60s included The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1962), a disaster; Diamond Head (1962), Toys in the Attic (1963) with Dean Martin (1917-1995) and Geraldine Page (1924-1987), Looking for Love (1964), Joy in the Morning with her Dr. Kildare co-star Richard Chamberlain (b. 1934), Three in the Attic (1968), The Picasso Summer (1969) with Albert Finney (1936-2019) and the actioner The Delta Factor (1970).

She was the star of the Aaron Spelling (1923-2006) series The Most Deadly Game (1970-1971), which lasted only a dozen episodes.

The '70s were dire for Mimieux, who had no end of offers for work, but also had no end of insulting offers. She would later complain about the one-dimensional nature of the women she was offered, a disenchantment that blossomed over time and left to her early retirement.

She switched to television more and more, including in a number of well-liked TV movies, including Death Takes a Holiday (1971), Black Noon (1971), Hit Lady (1974), The Legend of Valentino (1975); Bell, Book and Candle (1976); Snowbeast (1977), Ransom for Alice! (1977), Outside Chance (1978), Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell (1978), Disaster on the Coastliner (1979), Forbidden Love (1982), Night Partners (1983), Obsessive Love (1984), The Fifth Missile (1986) and her last, Perry Mason: The Case of the Desperate Deception (1990).


Along with her biggest late-career film, the massive, unsuccessful Disney production The Black Hole (1979), and her big-screen swan song The Fascination (1985), she sailed on The Love Boat (1984), appeared on Lime Street (1985) and was a regular on the short-lived series Berrenger's (1985), a sort of department-store Dynasty.

Mimieux called it quits after guesting on the series Lady Boss (1992), receding from public view.

She was married three times, including a 13-year union with legendary film director Stanley Donen (1924-2019), and is survived by third husband Howard F. Ruby, to whom she'd been married since 1986.

Mimieux in 2021 (Image via video still)

Though so private that no public memorial of any kind is expected, Mimieux looked stunning and the picture of health in this short YouTube video, which may have been taken during the celebration of her 79th birthday:

Also, this appears to be footage of Mimieux skydiving at 79:

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