NEW YORK — Yvette Mimieux, the blonde, blue-eyed 1960s movie star of “Where the Boys Are,” “The Time Machine” and “Light in the Piazza,” has died. She was 80 years old.
Michelle Bega, a spokeswoman for the family, said Mimieux died in her sleep of natural causes on Monday night at her home in Los Angeles.
In 1960s “The Time Machine”, based on HG Wells’ 1895 novel, Mimieux starred opposite Rod Taylor as Weena, a peaceful, fair-haired member of Eloi’s people in the year 800 000, who don’t realize they are high. as food by the underground Morlocks.
This role and others that soon followed made Mimieux one of the most radiant starlets of the 60s. The same year, she also starred in the MGM teen film “Where the Boys Are” as as one of four students during spring break in Florida. His character, distraught after being sexually assaulted in a motel, walks discouraged through traffic.
“I guess I had a soulful quality,” she told the Washington Post in 1979. “I was often presented as a hurt person, the ‘sensitive’ role.”
Yvette Carmen Mimieux was born on January 8, 1942 in Los Angeles to a French father and a Mexican mother. She was “discovered” at the age of 15 when publicist Jim Byron, as he put it, spotted her on the way to the bride from a helicopter as she flew over the Hollywood Hills. She and a friend were riding; Byron landed in front of them and handed her his card. Mimieux started out as a model before MGM signed her in 1959.
“The subtle approach is the thing,” Byron told the AP in 1961. “I think we’ve got another Garbo on our hands.”
And for a few years, Mimieux was omnipresent. Life magazine put her on the cover with the title: “Warmly Wistful Starlet”. She made eight films before turning 21.
Mimieux acted in four films in 1962, including “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” by Vincent Minnelli and “Lumière sur la place” by Guy Green. In the latter, she played the mentally handicapped beautiful daughter of Olivia de Havilland. During a trip to Italy, Clara, the character of Mimieux, is pursued by a young Italian in Florence, played by George Hamilton.
Mimieux played a bride in “Toys in the Attic” (1963), an epileptic surfer in “Dr. Kildare” (1964), and a bride in “Joy in the Morning” (1965). She has been nominated for a Golden Globe three times, including for her role in the short-lived ABC series “The Most Deadly Game,” by Aaron Spelling. In the 70s and 80s, she appeared more and more in television films, of which she participated in the writing.
Mimieux co-wrote and co-produced the 1984 CBS TV movie “Obsessive Love,” about a deranged fan obsessed with a soap opera star. Mimieux said she had to fight the network to have a woman, played by herself, in such a role. Her idea stems from John Hinckley’s obsession with Jodie Foster, only with the gender roles reversed.
“The network felt that people wouldn’t believe me as this woman. They said, ‘She’s a loner, and she shouldn’t be attractive,'” Mimieux told The New York Times in 1984. Lives?'”
Mimieux said television has never been the “love affair” it has with cinema. But she complained about the kinds of roles she was offered and the one-dimensional kind of women who were written. (One of his last notable films was the 1979 Disney film “The Black Hole.”) So Mimieux retired from show business in his late 40s. His interests – including archaeology, painting and travel – have always gone beyond fame. Off screen, Mimieux was much more than the scarlet naïve in which she was cataloged.
“I decided I didn’t want to have a totally public life,” she told the Post. “When fan magazines started wanting to take pictures of me making sandwiches for my husband, I said no.
“You know, there are tribes in Africa who believe that a camera steals a little piece of your soul, and in a way I think that’s true of living your private life in public. It takes away something to your relationships, it devalues them.
Mimieux first married Evan Harland Engber in 1959 before later divorcing. She was married to director Stanley Donen, from 1972 to 1985. In 1986, she married real estate magnate Howard F. Ruby. She is survived by Ruby and many stepchildren.