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Yvette Mimieux, who found fame with ‘The Time Machine’, dies at 80

Ms. Mimieux was a child bride in "Toys in the Attic" (1963), based on the Tony Award-winning Lillian Hellman play. Mr. Crowther declared her performance "flashy, but without plausibility" in his Times review, which was not much nicer than what he said about her co-stars Geraldine Page and Dean Martin.

In 1964, Mrs. Mimieux turned her role as a death row inmate with epilepsy on the TV drama "Dr. Kildare" into a starring role in a movie star of the series: She was Richard Chamberlain's new bride for sweet to sex in "Joy in the Morning" ( 1965). She reportedly also became the first actress to show her navel on TV.

Then her career took a clear turn downwards. After a brief stint in TV series in which she solved murder cases as Ralph Bellamy's talented young criminologist partner in "The Most Deadly Game" (1970), she appeared in a number of TV movies - "Hit Lady" (1974) based on her own script ; "The Legend of Valentino" (1975); "Snow Animals" (1977); "Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell" (1978) - and in movies like "Skyjacked" (1972), "Jackson County Jail" (1976) and "The Black Hole" (1979).

Ms. Mimieux was not immune to snipers. It was said that the people who cast "The Time Machine" were impressed not only by her beauty but also by her talent for "delivering a good glossy look", as The Irish Times noted in a profile of her in 2002. In the 1979 Globe and Mail, the Toronto newspaper found her more complicated: "She occupies a vague region far west of Bardot," a reporter wrote, referring to France's most famous sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot, "and just east of Tuesday Weld."

But in general, the critics were not unfriendly. Pauline Kael once called her "a much better actress than the roles she gets." Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times critic, agreed. "Miss Mimieux is better than I imagined she could be," he wrote when he reviewed "Three in the Attic," a dark sex comedy from 1968. "She gets stuck in a lot of hopeless roles."

In the 1980s, she guest starred on "The Love Boat" (1984) and played a department store manager's glamorous merchandising manager mistress in the short-lived series "Berrenger's" (1985). Then, in her 40s, she gave it all up. Years later, however, she retired to play an Ivana Trump-like character in a television movie based on Jackie Collins' novel "Lady Boss" (1992).

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