Nina Foch, Actress, Renowned Coach and Directing Teacher, Dead at 84

The Los Angeles Times has reported that Nina Foch, a veteran actress from Hollywood's film noir era of the 1940s who became a widely respected acting coach and teacher of directors, died Friday at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. She was 84. The cause was complications of long-term myelodysplasia, a blood disorder, according to her son, Dr. Dirk De Brito.

Her students have included a number of accomplished directors, including Randal Kleiser, Amy Heckerling, Ed Zwick and Marshall Herskovitz, reports the Times.

Her acting inspired a recent UCLA Film & Television Archive series celebrating Columbia's "noir girls" of the '40s. In addition to "Julia Ross," the series featured such films as Fritz Lang's "Human Desire" and Rudolph Mate's "The Dark Past," which starred Foch opposite William Holden and Lee J. Cobb.

Foch was born Nina Consuelo Maud Fock on April 20, 1924, in Leyden, Netherlands. Her father was the renowned Dutch composer-conductor Dirk Fock; her mother was actress Consuelo Flowerton. They divorced when Foch was a toddler.

Foch appeared on Broadway, including the 1947 hit "John Loves Mary." She briefly tried directing, serving as assistant director to George Stevens on "The Diary of Anne Frank" (1959), but turned to television acting when it became clear to her that the time was not ripe for a female director.
Her lengthy television credits include "Prescription: Murder" (1968), which launched the popular "Columbo" detective series starring Peter Falk, the miniseries "War and Remembrance" (1989) and episodes of "Gunsmoke," "Bonanza," "The Mod Squad," "Dharma & Greg" and "NCIS." She earned an Emmy nomination for best supporting actress in a drama series in 1980 for her work on an episode of "Lou Grant."

Foch ran her own actors studio in Hollywood for many years and taught two classes a week at USC, where her course was a requirement for a masters in fine arts.

"Believe it or not, teaching is the most rewarding thing I do," Foch told United Press International in 1994. "It has been the most successful thing I've done in my life."

Thrice married and divorced, she is survived by three grandchildren, in addition to her son.

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