Still rhymes with “Gosh”

Upon Nina Foch’s death in 2008, I recalled a scene from An American in Paris:

Milo (Foch’s character) has invited Jerry (Gene Kelly) to a party; Jerry is not sure about this sort of thing, but Milo reassures him that there will be an “extra girl” on hand, so it shouldn’t be a total loss for him.

And then he arrives, and:

Jerry: Where is everyone?
Milo: Here.
Jerry: Downstairs?
Milo: No, here in this room.
Jerry: What about that extra girl?
Milo: That’s me.

At the time I first saw this film (late 1960s), I was startled at this sheer demonstration of forwardness on her part, although in retrospect it occurs to me that the only startling aspect of it was that I couldn’t imagine anyone coming on to me in such a way.

And it’s not like Milo didn’t have anything to offer:

Nina Foch circa 1951

Foch was twenty-seven at the time; I suspect they made her look Just A Tad Older to provide contrast with the object of Jerry’s fixation, played by 20-year-old Leslie Caron. This is what he was turning down:

Nina Foch late-1940s photo

Incidentally, the “Foch” pronunciation was probably an invention of Hollywood: her name at birth was Nina Consuelo Maud Fock. In 1954, she married James Lipton, he of Inside the Actors Studio; the marriage lasted five years. Her last role was in 2007, in an episode of The Closer.

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