Actress Yvette Mimieux, who starred in films including “Where the Boys Are”, “The Time Machine”, “Light in the Piazza”, “Toys in the Attic”, “Dark of the Sun” and “The Picasso Summer”, died Tuesday. She was 80.
The beautiful blonde Mimieux made most of her films in the 1960s, but she was also among the stars of Disney’s 1979 sci-fi film “The Black Hole”.
Among the films Mimieux made in 1960 were MGM’s glossy teenage film “Where the Boys Are”, in which four coeds including Mimieux’s Melanie go to Fort Lauderdale on spring break in search of fun and the “real” boy, and George Pal’s adaptation of HG Wells ‘”The Time Machine,” starring Rod Taylor, and starring Mimieux for the third time as Weena, Taylor’s romantic interest living among Eloi, a peaceful race living in the year 802,701.
In 1962, she appeared in four films, including the critical and commercial big-budget disaster “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” and “The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm,” in which she played the princess.
However, in the classic “Light in the Piazza” (later turned into a musical that eventually played Broadway in 2005), Mimieux had the interesting challenge of playing the beautiful, charming Clara, who is still mentally handicapped as a result of a childhood headache harm and thus very naive in the ways of the world. Olivia de Havilland played Clara’s mother, who is extremely protective of her while traveling through Italy and very upset when a young Italian in Florence (played with a rather convincing accent by George Hamilton) pursues Clara romantically. In “Diamond Head,” set in Hawaii, she played the sister of Charlton Heston’s Richard “King” Howland, the controlling, powerful agricultural titan (and hypocritical racist) who insists that Mimieux’s Sloane end his relationship with a native Hawaiian played by James Darren.
In George Roy Hills’ “Toys in the Attic” (1963), based on the play by Lillian Hellman, Mimieux played Lily, the child bride of ne’er-do-well con man Julian, portrayed by Dean Martin, who returns home to New Orleans; Mimieux’s Lily is manipulated by Julian’s sister, who has incestuous feelings for her brother.
In a 2001 article on Mimieux, the New York Daily News declared: “She gave her two best screen performances as beautiful young women who are emotionally arrested,” referring to “Light in the Piazza” and “Toys in the Attic.”
In Jack Cardiff’s action film “Dark of the Sun” from 1968, Mimieux teamed up with his “Time Machine” co-star Rod Taylor. Jim Brown also starred in the story of mercenaries in the Congo who tried to retrieve millions of dollars in diamonds, some refugees and Mimieux’s character.
The following year, she co-starred with Albert Finney in “The Picasso Summer,” a film with a legendary and troubled story. Finney starred as a San Francisco artist married to Mimieux, who becomes insecure after a party and decides to seek inspiration by traveling to Europe and finding Picasso; Mimieux’s boring wife jumps at the chance of such an adventure.
The actress tried out TV series with “The Most Deadly Game” in 1970-71 starring George Maharis and Ralph Bellamy. Bellamy’s character led a group of independent agents who take on particularly difficult murder cases, but the show’s run on ABC was short. She then appeared in television movies and some feature films, including “Skyjacked” (1972), in which she starred alongside Heston and James Brolin; Daniel Petries underwater scientist “The Neptune Factor” (1973), who also played Ben Gazzara, Walter Pidgeon and Ernest Borgnine; “Journey Into Fear” (1975), also starring Sam Waterston and Zero Mostel; “Jackson County Jail” (1976), which also starred a young Tommy Lee Jones; and Disney’s expensive, effects-heavy film “The Black Hole” from 1979, which also starred Anthony Perkins and Maximilian Schell.
For the 1984 CBS TV movie “Obsessive Love”, Mimieux shared the story, co-produced and starred opposite Simon MacCorkindale.
Mimieux’s tired series of regular television again with NBC’s primetime soap “Berrenger’s” from 1985, which takes place among a family that owns and operates a department store in New York, but the show’s run was short. She appeared on “The Love Boat” a few times, starred in a “Perry Mason” movie in 1990 and appeared for the last time in the 1992 NBC TV movie “Lady Boss”.