Vera Francis

Newton, Massachusetts

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Vera Mae Handwerk (Francis)

Also Known As: "Vera M. Francis", "Vera Mae Handwerk"
Birthdate: (88)
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Death: May 31, 2014 (88)
Newton, Massachusetts
Place of Burial: Newton, Massachusetts
Immediate Family:

Daughter of John Obediah Francis and Alda O'Sullivan Francis
Wife of Harlan Robertson
Ex-wife of George Handwerk, Jr.
Mother of Private; Private; Private and Maya Lilith Handwerk - Richardson
Sister of John O'Sullivan Francis, Sr.; Una Jacqueline Crawford and Private

Occupation: Actress, model, nurse
Managed by: Kenneth Kwame Welsh, (C)
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Vera Francis

ITEM: You are bidding on a very rare vintage pin up photograph of African American 1955 Hollywood sensation, and later boulevard of broken dreams archetype Vera Francis and a number of other showgirls as a proverbial roulette wheel where every spin is a winner. Measures 8″ x 10″

We are happy to be offering examples from the archives of Vera Francis, who was called a Hollywood Tragedy after being blacklisted from the screen for allegedly selling stories to the scandalous tabloid Confidential, about the inappropriate behavior of her often white co-stars and superiors. But the real tragedy of her career is that despite appearing in movies throughout the early 50s and being splashed upon magazine covers (Jet and Ebony notably) for her breakthrough role in “The President’s Lady” a story about the interracial affairs of American president Andrew Jackson, her name isn’t even featured in imdb for many of her known parts. The combination of her outspoken role in civil rights (Lena Horne was her oft mentioned hero), her “loose talk” and the scarcity of roles for black actresses in the 1950s meant that she disappeared quickly from the scene. However, she retained a lot of her allure in African American theater communities, performing in touring productions throughout the 1950s and 1960s and appearing in cabarets and as a model and pitch woman.

According to the San Mateo Times (September 30, 1954), the photo isn’t a true movie still, but promotional photo for MGM’s film, The Prodigal, sent out on the AP.

Researchers working on “The Prodigal” discovered that beautiful girls were the stakes in a gambling game popular in ancient Damascus of about 70 B.C., and so this wheel of feminine fortune was incorporated in the movie now being made at M-G-M. The girls will wear Damascus costumes in the movie, but for this photo the studio dressed the beauties in modern swim suits. The girls, all from Southern California and all making their movie debuts are: (1) Nancy Chudacoff, (2) Alice Arzaumanian, (3) Jolene Burkin, (4) Bobbie White, (Barbara White, (6) Aen-Ling Chow, (7) Marion Ross, (8) Patrizia Magurao, (9) Marjory May, (10) Vera Francis, (11) Jeanette Miller, and (12) Sheela Fenton.

Vera Francis is an African-American actress, known for Devil Goddess (1955), I'll Give My Life (1960) and The Ten Commandments (1956).

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Vera Francis's Timeline

October 13, 1925
Boston, Massachusetts
May 31, 2014
Age 88
Newton, Massachusetts
Newton, Massachusetts