Nina Foch, the Dutch-born actress who often played cool, calculating women in films, theater and television and was a respected coach of aspiring actors and directors, has died. She was 84.
Foch died Friday at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center of complications from the blood disorder myelodysplasia, her son, Dr. Dirk De Brito, told the Los Angeles Times. She became ill last week while teaching at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.
Foch had taught at the school for 40 years. In her youth, she was a concert pianist and painter before taking up acting studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City.
After appearing in summer theater productions and touring companies, she moved to Hollywood and signed a contract with Columbia Pictures, where she made her movie debut in 1943's "Wagon Wheels West."
Although she never achieved star status, Foch became a distinguished supporting player, often as "the other woman" or figures of wealth and connivance. She was nominated for an Academy Award for supporting actress for "Executive Suite" in 1955.
Other film credits included "The Ten Commandments," "Spartacus," "Rich and Famous" and "Sliver."
On Broadway, she performed in "Tonight at 8:30," "A Second String," "Twelfth Night" and "King Lear," and on television she appeared in "Murder, She Wrote," "The Outer Limits," "Hawaii 5-0," "L.A. Law" and "Just Shoot Me." She appeared last year in an episode of "The Closer."
Foch was born on April 20, 1924, in Leyden, Netherlands, as Nina Consuelo Maud Fock. She was the daughter of conductor-composer Dirk Fock, who moved the family to New York when she was a child. Her mother, Consuelo Flowerton, became a well-known actress in New York, and Nina followed her into the theater world.
Foch said in a 1992 interview that she wanted to diversify her career by directing. She worked as an assistant to producer John Houseman and with directors George Stevens, Ron Woodward, and Randal Kleiser, but she eventually gave up that ambition in favor of teaching.
"I love them and they love me," she once said of her students. "I have one son, but I really don't. I have hundreds of children."
Foch's son is from her second marriage, to Dennis Brite. She married and divorced three times.