Frances Rich

Frances Rich (born Irene Frances Lither Deffenbaugh; January 8, 1910 October 14, 2007) was an American actress, artist, and sculptor. She was the daughter of actress Irene Rich.

Frances Rich
Frances Rich and Tina Jackson, Rich's last model, 1996
Irene Frances Luther Deffenbaugh

(1910-01-08)January 8, 1910
DiedOctober 14, 2007(2007-10-14) (aged 97)
OccupationActress and sculptor



Frances Rich appeared in six films in the early 1930s: Unholy Love (1932), The Thirteenth Guest (1932), Officer Thirteen (1932), Diamond Trail (1933), Zoo in Budapest (1933), and Pilgrimage (1933). She also appeared on Broadway in Brief Moment at the Belasco Theatre from November 1931 through February 1932.


Born in Spokane, Washington, Rich received a B.A. from Smith College in 1931. In 1933 she met sculptor, Malvina Hoffman, and studied with her in Paris for two years.[1] Upon returning to America, she did intensive work at the Boston Museum School and established her own studio in New York City. Between 1937 and 1940 she was a resident student at Cranbrook Academy of Art. There she met sculptor Carl Milles, with whom she worked for the next eighteen years.

Her works include portrait busts at Smith College; the Army-Navy Nurse Monument in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C.; a bronze pelican in front of Pelican Building, University of California, Berkeley; marble bust of Alice Stone Blackwell for the Boston Public Library (featured on the Boston Women's Heritage Trail);[2] and portrait busts of Lotte Lehmann, Margaret Sanger, Diego Rivera, Katharine Hepburn, among others.

Architectural sculpture by Rich includes six monumental limestone bas reliefs at the Purdue University student union building, executed in 1938.[3]


Frances Rich died in Payson, Arizona on October 14, 2007, aged 97.


  1. Opitz, Glenn B, Editor, Mantle Fielding's Dictionary of American Painters, Sculptors & Engravers, Apollo Book, Poughkeepsie NY, 1986 p. 770
  2. "Back Bay West". Boston Women's Heritage Trail.
  3. Armitage, Merle, The Sculpture of Frances Rich, Manzanita Press, 1974 p.18
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