Oscar Actors: Foch, Nina–Supporting Actress Nominee (Executive Suite) Dies at 84

Nina Foch, the Oscar-nominated, Dutch-born actress who often worked in films, theater and television and was a respected coach of aspiring actors and directors, died Friday in Los Angeles of complications from the blood disorder myelodysplasia. She was 84.

She became ill last week while teaching the “Directing the Actor” class at USC. Foch had taught at USC for 40 years and she also lectured at the AFI.

In her youth, she was a concert pianist and painter before taking up acting studies at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC. After appearing in summer theater productions and touring companies, she moved to Hollywood and signed a contract with Columbia, 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 in B-movie classics like “My Name Is Julia Ross.” Her film credits include “A Song to Remember,” “An American in Paris,” “Scaramouche,” “The Ten Commandments.”

She was only once nominated for an Academy Award, as supporting actress in “Executive Suite” in 1955.

On Broadway, she performed in “Tonight at 8:30,” “A Second String,” and on television she appeared in “Murder, She Wrote,” “The Outer Limits,” “Hawaii 5-0.”

Foch earned an Emmy nomination for best supporting actress in a drama series in 1980 for her work on an episode of “Lou Grant.” One of her most recent appearances was in an episode of “The Closr” last year.

Foch was born Nina Consuelo Maud Fock in Leyden, Netherlands. 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.

She tried directing, working as assistant director to George Stevens on “The Diary of Anne Fran,” but decided to focus on teaching, which she claimed was the most rewarding enterprise in her career.