Yvette Mimieux, ‘The Time Machine’ Star, Dies at 80

by Anna Dunn
(Photo by Bryan Wharton/Express/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Yvette Mimieux, star of The Time Machine, has died at 80. She had just turned 80 on January 8th. According to Deadline, Mimieux died in her sleep of natural causes.

She had multiple interesting roles but is well known for starring alongside Rod Taylor in the 1960 film adaptation of the H.G Wells novel, The Time Machine. The film, directed by George Pal, was a hit and she was soon put under a contract with MGM.

Shortly after, she starred in Where the Boys Are. At around the same time, she had roles in Mr. Lucky, Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, Platinum High School, and Light in the Piazza, The Reward, and The Picasso Summer.

Mimieux was often tasked with playing complex roles. She played a disabled character and also played a child bride in the 1963 film, Toys in the Attic. Mimieux also played a surfer suffering from epilepsy. She also played an assassin with no remorse in Hit Lady.

The actress was initially discovered while horseback riding in the Hollywood hills.

But finding good roles became hard to find. In the 1970s, Mimieux discussed the fact that roles for women at that time were difficult to come by. She did have two very notable roles. One in Jackson County Jail and the other in The Black Hole. But at the time, she struggled with finding roles that she found noteworthy.

“The women they write are all one-dimensional,” she said according to Deadline. “They have no complexity in their lives. It’s all surface. There’s nothing to play. They’re either sex objects or vanilla pudding.”

Yvette Mimieux retired from acting in 1992. Her final role was in the film Lady Boss.

Yvette Mimieux Lived a Very Private Life and Had Multiple Artistic Interests

She also pursued a variety of different interests. Mimieux was a writer. She also started a business selling Haitian products. She traveled all over, studied archeology. After retiring from acting, she started a career in real estate.

Mimieux lived an incredibly private life and rarely did interviews. In a rare interview, she discussed why she chose to be private about her romantic life and her personal one.

“I decided I didn’t want to have a totally public life,” she explained to the Post. “When the fan magazines started wanting to take pictures of me making sandwiches for my husband, I said no. You know, there are tribes in Africa who believe that a camera steals a little part of your soul, and in a way I think that’s true about living your private life in public. It takes something away from your relationships, it cheapens them.”

Mimieux is survived by her husband, Howard F. Ruby, to whom she was married for 36 years.