Posts Tagged ‘French actresses’

Dominique Marie-Françoise Renée Varaigne (born 11 March 1951) is a French actress and former fashion model.

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Sanda was born in Paris to Lucienne (née Pichon) and Gérard Varaigne. She appeared in such noted European films of the 1970s as Vittorio de Sica‘s Il Giardino dei Finzi-Contini, Bernardo Bertolucci‘s The Conformist andNovecento, and Liliana Cavani‘s Beyond Good and Evil. She also appeared in The Mackintosh Man (with Paul Newman) and Steppenwolf (with Max von Sydow).

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In 1993 at the Théâtre de la Commune, in Aubervilliers, France, she played Melitta in Madame Klein (Mrs. Klein byNicolas Wright), directed by Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman. In 1995 in Italy, she played the marquise de Merteuil in Les liaisons 823_Dominique Sanda_04dangereuses, based on Choderlos de Laclos‘s novel, directed by Mario Monicelli. From 1995-1996 in France and Belgium, she has been Lady Chiltern in An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde, directed by Adrian Brine.

In the 1970s, she lived with late actor/director Christian Marquand, with whom she had a son, Yann Marquand. In 2000, she married Nicolae Cutzarida, a philosopher and University professor of Romanian origin.

She won the award for Best Actress at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival for her role in the film The Inheritance.

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613_irinaIrina Demick (16 October 1936, Pommeuse, Seine-et-Marne – 8 October 2004), sometimes credited as Irina Demich, was a French actress with a brief career in American films.

Born Irina Dziemiach, apparently of Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, or Polish) and Polish Jewish ancestry, in Pommeuse, Seine-et-Marne, she went to Paris and became a model. She made an appearance in a French film Julie la rousse (1959) and met producer Darryl F. Zanuck, whose lover she became: he then cast her in his epic production, The Longest Day as a French resistance fighter. Her career continued with roles in OSS se déchaîne (1963), The Visit (1964), alongside Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn, Un monsieur de compagnie (1964) with Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Pierre Cassel and Up from the Beach (1965) opposite Cliff Robertson and Red Buttons. In 1965, she played in La Métamorphose des cloportes, and seven roles in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, each one of a different nationality.


After making a few more films, Prudence and the Pill (1968), Le Clan des Siciliens (The Sicilian Clan), with Jean Gabin and Alain Delon mostly in France and Italy, Demick’s career faded and came to a standstill in 1972.

She died in Indianapolis, Indiana.


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Sylvia Sorrente was born on July 31, 1941 in Paris, France. She is an actress, known for Ne nous fâchons pas (1966), Danza macabra (1964) and L’éternité pour nous (1963).

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378_Michèle_Mercier_02Michèle Mercier, (born 1 January 1939 as Jocelyne Yvonne Renée Mercier) is a French actress. In the course of her career she has worked with leading directors like François Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Melville, Jacques Deray, Dino Risi, Mario Monicelli, Mario Bava, Peter Collinson and Ken Annakin. Her leading men have included Marcello Mastroianni, Vittorio Gassman, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Gabin, Charles Aznavour, Robert Hossein, Charles Bronson, Tony Curtis and Charlton Heston. Although she appeared in more than fifty films, it is for her role as "Angélique" that she is best known in the world.

The daughter of a French pharmacist father and an Italian mother, she initially wanted to be a dancer. The circumstances of war made this difficult and her parents saw it as only a whim; however, her determination won through and she joined the "ballet-rats", as the dancers of the chorus are termed. She was soon advanced to soloist in the Nice Opéra. At 15 she met Maurice Chevalier, who predicted that she would be a success.


She moved to Paris aged 17, and first joined the troupe of Roland Petit, then the company of the "Ballets of the Eiffel Tower". Parallel to her career as dancer, Mercier studied acting under Solange Sicard. For her film début her birth name seemed too long and old-fashioned. It was suggested she take the name Michèle – which happened to be name of her younger sister, who had died at the age of five from typhoid fever. However, she adopted the name as a tribute to the actress Michèle Morgan.

After some romantic comedies and a small role in François Truffaut’s Tirez sur le pianiste ("Shoot The Pianist", 1960), she worked in England and made some, mainly small-budget, films in Italy, usually playing women of easy virtue.


She needed a role which could make her a star. It was in 1963, when it was decided to make a movie of the sensational novel "Angélique", that Michèle got her chance. Many actresses were approached to play the role of Angélique. Producer Francis Cosne wanted Brigitte Bardot for the part. She refused. Annette Stroyberg was considered next, but judged not sufficiently well-known. Catherine Deneuve was too pale, Jane Fonda spoke French with an American accent, and Virna Lisi was busy in Hollywood. The most serious actress considered was Marina Vlady. She almost signed a contract, but Mercier won the role after trying out for it – she did not appreciate this very much since she was being treated like a beginner at a time when she was already well known in Italy. At the time she was contacted to play Angélique, she had already acted in over twenty films. During the next four years she made five sequels which enjoyed astonishing success. However the role of Angélique, "the Marquise of the Angels", was both a blessing and a curse. It catapulted her to almost instant stardom, rivalling Brigitte Bardot in celebrity and popularity, but the character of Angélique overshadowed all other aspects of her career. By the end of the 1960s, the names Angélique and Michèle Mercier were synonymous.

In 1991 she was a member of the jury at the 17th Moscow International Film Festival.


Attempting to break free from the character Michèle played against Jean Gabin in The Thunder of God directed by Denys de la Patellière. She then appeared with Robert Hossein in La Seconde Vérité directed by Christian-Jaque. Mercier then left France and tried to restart her career in the United States, unfortunately without much success.


After 14-year layoff she returned in the 1998 film La Rumbera, directed by Piero Vivarelli. In 1999, having been swindled out of several million francs in a business venture, Mercier had serious financial problems. She even planned to sell the famous wedding gown of Angélique. The actress confessed in Nice Matin: "I am ruined, I’ll be obliged to sell part of my paintings, my furniture, my properties, my jewels and the costumes of Angélique". In 2002 at the Cannes Film Festival she presented her second book of memoirs. Mercier was made a chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on the 6th of March 2006.

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322_dasa_01Dany Saval (born Danielle Nadine Suzanne Savalle on January 5, 1942 in Paris, France) is a former French actress.

Her career flourished during the 1950s and 1960s. Best known in America as one of a trio of airline stewardesses being shuffled around by Tony Curtis and Jerry Lewis in the slapstick comedy Boeing Boeing in which she played alongside Thelma Ritter, Christiane Schmidtmer and Suzanna Leigh.

Dany Saval retired from the movie and entertainment business in the late 1980s. She has a daughter named Stephanie Jarre (daughter of Maurice Jarre, her first husband), and currently resides in Paris with her second husband, Michel Drucker.

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pascale-petit-s011meo1_5001Pascale Petit was born as Anne-Marie Petit in Paris, France in 1938. Before becoming an actress, she worked as a beautician. Her cinema debut was in Les Sorcières de Salem/The Crucible (Raymond Rouleau, 1957) starring Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. Famous author Jean-Paul Sartre wrote the screenplay, based on the play by Arthur Miller. The following year, Pascale Petit’s role as a rich, existentialist kid in Les tricheurs/The Cheaters (Marcel Carné, 1958) made her a star. A scene in which one of her breasts was shown caused a sensation. Hal Erickson notes at AllMovie: "Of the cast, Pascale Petit stands out as a trendy young girl whose willingness to follow the crowd leads to tragedy." She won the prestigious Prix Suzanne Bianchetti in 1958 as the most promising French actress, and soon more roles as a seductive femme fatale followed.

pascale petite 03Pascale Petit played in such comedies as Faibles femmes/Three Murderesses (Michel Boisrond, 1959) with Alain Delon and Mylène Demongeot, and Une fille pour l’été/A girl for the Summer (Edouard Molinaro, 1960) opposite Micheline Presle. For a while the media compared her to Brigitte Bardot. In 1959 PP married poet and actor Giani Esposito and followed him to Italy. In the 1960s she was mainly seen in German and Italian B pictures, such as the Spaghetti Western Joe… cercati un posto per morire!/Find a Place to Die (Giuliano Carnimeo, 1968) with Jeffrey Hunter. In 1969 she divorced Esposito and married actor Ray Denton, her co-star of the spy thriller Corrida pour un espion/Code Name: Jaguar (Maurice Labro, 1965).

309_pp_01In the early 1970s Pascale Petit tried to make a comeback in France, as well in the cinema with Chronique d’un Couple…/Chronicle of a Couple (Roger Coggio, 1971) as in the music scene with Il ne reste que moi…/What’s Left is Me (1973). The success was lukewarm and in the following decades she worked as a character actress in unremarkable international films and TV productions. Interesting were a small, delicious Dutch gem, A Strange Love Affair (Eric De Kuyper, Paul Verstraten, 1984), and two TV films by Brigitte Bardot’s Svengali – Roger Vadim, the mini-series La nouvelle tribu/The new tribe (1996), and Un coup de baguette magique/A magic wand (1997), both featuring Marie-Christine Barrault. Pascale Petit has a daughter, Douchka, from her marriage with Giani Esposito. Douchka has been a very successful singer in the 1980s. She was specialized in songs for children, inspired by Walt Disney cartoon heroes.


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202_Yvonne Furneaux_001Yvonne Furneaux (born 11 May 1928, Roubaix, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France) is a French film actress.

Furneaux was born Elisabeth Yvonne Scatcherd and came to England in 1946 to study Modern Languages at St Hilda’s, Oxford, where she was known as "Tessa Scatcherd". She began her acting career in England in 1952 with a few minor productions. Later she participated in many great international productions and worked with famous actors and actresses, such as Catherine Deneuve in the movie Repulsion (1965). Later, she married Jaques Natteau, who died on 17 April 2007, leaving Furneaux a widow. Now she is retired from her acting career and lives in Lausanne, Switzerland.

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Filmography (incomplete)
The House of the Arrow (1953)
The Master of Ballantrae (1953)
Le Amiche (1955)
The Dark Avenger (1955)
The Warriors (1955)
Lisbon (1956)
The Mummy (1959)
Le Comte de Monte Christo (1961)
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Io, Semiramide (1963)
Repulsion (1965)
The Champagne Murders (1967)
In nome del popolo italiano (1971)

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201_Ketti Gallian_001Ketti Gallian was a French actress, born 25 December 1912 in Nice, France and died December 1972, aged 59 in Paris, France. She went to Paris at the age of 15 and secured work as a model. She later went back to Nice and appeared in a number of foreign films made by Paramount.

Her performance in The Ace in which she played opposite Raymond Massey on the London stage resulted in a screen contract from Fox. However she never managed to make a big success of acting in America, so returned to France.

201_Ketti Gallian_002Partial filmography

With Assurance 1932
George White’s Scandals 1934
Marie Galante 1934
Espionage 1937
Shall we dance 1937
Mademoiselle X 1945
Du Guesclin 1949
Agnes de Rien 1950
Soupcons 1956

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169_mireille_darc_008Mireille Darc (French pronunciation: ​[miʁɛj daʁk]; born 15 May 1938) is a French model and actress. She was Alain Delon‘s longtime co-star and companion. She appeared as a lead character in Jean-Luc Godard‘s 1967 film Week End. Darc is a Chevalier of the Légion d’honneur and Commandeur of the Ordre national du Mérite.

Early life and career
Born Mireille Aigroz in Toulon, France, she attended the Conservatory of Dramatic Arts (Conservatoire d’art dramatique de Toulon) in Toulon, and went to Paris in 1959. Her debut came in 1960 in Claude Barma’s La Grande Brétèche. Her first leading role came in 1961 with Jean Prat’s "Hauteclaire." She starred as Christine in Le Grand Blond avec une chaussure noire and Le retour du grand blond and alongside Alain Delon in several films: L’Homme pressé, Pouic-Pouic, Les Bons Vivants, Mort d’un pourri, Madly, Jeff, Les Seins de glace, Il était une fois un flic, Borsalino and 2003’s television series Frank Riva.


In the 1980s her career was interrupted by open-heart surgery following a car accident, in which she was seriously injured, and her separation from Alain Delon after fifteen years together. She quit her film career, but returned to television in the 1990s.


In 2006, Jacques Chirac awarded Darc the Légion d’honneur.


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11749177_mis1Mistinguett (5 April 1875 – 5 January 1956) was a French actress and singer, whose birth name was Jeanne Bourgeois. She was at one time the best-paid female entertainer in the world.

The daughter of Antoine Bourgeois, a 30-year-old day-laborer, and Jeannette Debrée, a 21-year-old seamstress, Jeanne Florentine Bourgeois was born at 5 Rue du Chemin-de-Fer (today Rue George-Israël), in Enghien-les-Bains, Val-d’Oise, Île-de-France, France. The family moved to Soisy-sous-Montmorency where she spent her childhood; her parents later worked as mattress-makers.

At an early age Bourgeois aspired to be an entertainer. She began as a flower seller in a restaurant in her hometown, singing popular ballads as she sold blossoms. After taking classes in theatre and singing, she began her career as an entertainer in 11749177_mis21885. One day on the train to Paris for a violin lesson, she met Saint-Marcel, who directed the revue at the Casino de Paris. He engaged her first as a stage-hand, and here she began to pursue her goal to become an entertainer, experimenting with various stage-names, being successively Miss Helyett, Miss Tinguette, Mistinguette and, finally, Mistinguett.

Bourgeois made her debut as Mistinguett at the Casino de Paris in 1895 and went on to appear in venues such as the Folies Bergère, Moulin Rouge and Eldorado. Her risqué routines captivated Paris, and she went on to become the most popular French entertainer of her time and the highest paid female entertainer in the world, known for her flamboyance and a zest for the theatrical. In 1919 her legs were insured for 500,000 francs.

11749177_mis3Though Mistinguett never married, she had a son, Léopoldo João de Lima e Silva, by Brazilian diplomat Leopoldo de Lima e Silva (died 1931); the latter was a grandson of the Duke of Caxias. She also had a long relationship with Maurice Chevalier, 13 years her junior.

She first recorded her signature song, "Mon Homme", in 1916. It was popularised under its English title "My Man" by Fanny Brice and has become a standard in the repertoire of numerous pop and jazz singers.

During a tour of the United States, Mistinguett was asked by Time magazine to explain her popularity. Her answer was, "It is a kind of magnetism. I say ‘Come closer’ and draw them to me."

Mistinguett died in Bougival, France, at the age of 80, attended by her son, a doctor. She is buried in the Cimetiere Enghien-les-Bains, Île-de-France, France.

Upon her death, writer Jean Cocteau observed in an obituary, "Her voice, slightly off-key, was that of the Parisian street hawkers—the husky, trailing voice of the Paris people. She was of the animal race that owes nothing to intellectualism. She incarnated herself. She flattered a French patriotism that was not shameful. It is normal now that she should crumble, like the other caryatids of that great and marvelous epoch that was ours".

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11749130_id1Irina Demick (16 October 1936, Pommeuse, Seine-et-Marne – 8 October 2004), sometimes credited as Irina Demich was a French actress with a brief career in American films.

Born Irina Dziemiach, apparently of Slavic (Russian, Ukrainian, or Polish) and Polish Jewish ancestry, in Pommeuse, Seine-et-Marne, she went to Paris and became a model. She made an appearance in a French film Julie la rousse (1959) and met producer Darryl F. Zanuck, whose lover she became: he then cast her in his epic production, The Longest Day as a French resistance fighter. Her career continued with roles in OSS se déchaîne (1963), The Visit (1964), alongside Ingrid Bergman and Anthony Quinn, Un monsieur de compagnie (1964) with Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Pierre Cassel and Up from the Beach (1965) opposite Cliff Robertson and Red Buttons. In 1965, she played seven roles in Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines, each one of a different nationality.

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After making a few more films, Prudence and the Pill (1968), Le Clan des Siciliens (The Sicilian Clan), with Jean Gabin and Alain Delon mostly in France and Italy, Demick’s career faded and came to a standstill in 1972. She died in Indianapolis, Indiana.

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Marie-France Pisier (10 May 1944 – 24 April 2011) was a French actress. She appeared in numerous films of the French New Wave and twice earned the national César Award for Best Supporting Actress.

117378_mfp2Life and career
Pisier was born in Dalat, French Indochina, where her father was serving as colonial governor of French Indochina. Her younger brother, Gilles Pisier, is a mathematician and a member of the French Academy of Sciences. Her sister, Evelyne, was the first wife of Bernard Kouchner, a French politician and the co-founder of Doctors Without Borders.

The family moved to Paris when Marie-France was twelve years old. Five years later she made her screen acting debut for director François Truffaut in his 1962 film, Antoine and Colette. Pisier had a brief but incendiary romance with the older, married Truffault. Despite its end, she later appeared in Truffaut’s Stolen Kisses (Baiser volés, 1968) and Love on the Run (L’Amour en fuite, 1979). Love on the Run was the fifth and final film in Truffaut’s series about the character Antoine Doinel, and Pisier was credited as a co-writer of the screenplay. In a review in The New York Times, film critic Vincent Canby praised her for a "ravishing performance".

Pisier later collaborated on the screenplay to Jacques Rivette’s Celine and Julie Go Boating (Céline et Julie vont en bâteau, 1974); she also played a significant supporting role in the film. Later in the same year she had a role in Luis Buñuel’s Phantom of Liberty.


She gained widespread public recognition in 1975 when she appeared in Jean-Charles Tacchella’s popular comedy, Cousin, Cousine. Her role as the volatile Karine earned her a César Award for Best Supporting Actress.

117378_mfp4Her subsequent feature films included three with director André Téchiné: French Provincial (Souvenirs en France, 1975); The Bronte Sisters (Les Sœurs Brontë, 1979), in which she portrayed Charlotte; and Barocco (1976), for which she won a second César for her performance alongside Isabelle Adjani and Gérard Depardieu.

Pisier attempted to crack the American film industry with The Other Side of Midnight (1977), adapted from a Sidney Sheldon novel. She appeared on American television in the miniseries The French Atlantic Affair (1979), and Scruples the following year. She made two more Hollywood films, French Postcards (1979) with Debra Winger and Chanel Solitaire (1981) with Timothy Dalton.

Returning to France, Pisier made her directorial debut with The Governor’s Party (Le Bal du gouverneur, 1990), which she adapted from her own novel. She also played Madame Verdurin in Raúl Ruiz’s adaptation of Marcel Proust, Time Regained (Le Temps retrouvé, 1999).

Pisier’s first marriage ended in divorce. She resided in Saint-Cyr-sur-Mer, Var, and was married to Thierry Funck-Brentano. The couple had a son, Mathieu and daughter, Iris.

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In the late 1950’s actress Pascale Petit (1938) formed serious competition for Brigitte Bardot as the sex symbol of the French cinema.

Before becoming an actress, Pascale Petit worked as a beautician. Her cinema debut was in Les Sorcières de Salem (1957, Raymond Rouleau), based on the play by Arthur Miller. Her role as a rich, existentialist kid in Les tricheurs (1958, Marcel Carné) made her a star. A scene in which one of her breasts was shown caused a sensation. She won the prestigious Prix Suzanne Bianchetti in 1958 as most promising French actress and more roles as a seductive femme fatale followed. She played in such films as Une fille pour l’été (1960, Edouard Molinaro), and for a while the media compared her to Brigitte Bardot.


In 1959 Pascale Petit married actor Gianno Esposito and followed him to Italy. In the 1960’s she was mainly seen in German and Italian B-pictures. In 1969 she divorced Esposito and married actor Ray Denton, her co-star of Der Spion, der in die Hölle ging/Corrida pour un espion (1965, Maurice Labro). In the early 1970’s she tried to make a come back in France, as well in the cinema with Chronique d’un Couple …(1971, Roger Coggio) as in the music scene with Il ne reste que moi…(1973). The success was lukewarm and she worked as a character actress in the 1970’s and 1980’s in unremarkable international films and tv productions. Interesting were only a small but delicious Dutch gem, A Strange Love Affair (1984, Eric de Kuyper, Paul Verstraten) and two tv films by Brigitte Bardots Svengali – Roger Vadim, La nouvelle tribu (1996) and Un coup de baguette magique (1997).

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Danielle Yvonne Marie Antoinette Darrieux (French pronunciation: [da.niɛl i.vɔn ma.ʁi ɑ̃.twa.nɛt daʁ.jø]) (born 1 May 1917) is a French actress and singer, who has appeared in more than 110 films since 1931. She is one of France’s great movie stars and her eight-decade career is among the longest in film history.

She was born in Bordeaux, France during World War I to a physician who was serving in the French Army. Her father died when she was seven years old. Raised in Paris, she studied the cello at the Conservatoire de Musique. At 13, she won a part in the musical film Le Bal (1931). Her beauty combined with her singing and dancing ability led to numerous other offers, and the film Mayerling (1936) brought her to fame.

In 1935, Darrieux married director/screenwriter Henri Decoin, who encouraged her to try Hollywood. She signed with Universal Studios to star in The Rage of Paris (1938) opposite Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. Afterwards, she elected to return to Paris.

Under the German occupation of France during World War II, she continued to perform, a decision that was severely criticized by her compatriots. However, it is reported that her brother had been threatened with deportation by Alfred Greven, the manager of the German run film production company in occupied France, Continental. She got a 117376_dd3divorce and then fell in love with Porfirio Rubirosa, a Dominican Republic diplomat and notorious womanizer. They married in 1942. His anti-Nazi opinions resulted in his forced residence in Germany. In exchange for Rubirosa’s freedom, Darrieux agreed to make a promotional trip in Berlin. The couple lived in Switzerland until the end of the war, and divorced in 1947. She married scriptwriter Georges Mitsikidès in 1948, and they lived together until his death in 1991.

She gave a good performance in the 1951 MGM musical, Rich, Young and Pretty. Joseph L. Mankiewicz lured her back to Hollywood to star in 5 Fingers (1952) opposite James Mason. Upon returning to France, she appeared in Max Ophüls’ The Earrings of Madame de… (1953) opposite Charles Boyer, and The Red and the Black (1954) opposite Gérard Philippe. The next year she starred in Lady Chatterley’s Lover, whose theme of uninhibited sexuality led to its being proscribed by Catholic censors in the United States.

117376_dd4Approaching 40, she played a supporting role in her last American film to date, United Artists’ epic Alexander the Great (1956) starring Richard Burton and Claire Bloom. In 1961 she went to England at the request of director Lewis Gilbert to star in The Greengage Summer opposite Kenneth More. In 1963, she starred in the romantic comedy La Robe Mauve de Valentine at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris. The play was adapted from the novel by Françoise Sagan. During the 1960s she also was a concert singer.

In 1970, Darrieux replaced Katharine Hepburn in the Broadway musical, Coco, based on the life of Coco Chanel, but the play, essentially a showcase for Hepburn, soon folded without her. In 1971–72 she also appeared in the short-lived productions of Ambassador. For her long service to the motion picture industry, in 1985 she was given an Honorary César Award. She has continued to work, her career now spanning eight decades, most recently providing the voice of the protagonist’s grandmother in the animated feature, Persepolis (2007), which deals with the impact of the Iranian Islamic revolution on a girl’s life as she grows to adulthood.

She was paid homage to in Quentin Tarantino’s ‘Inglourious Basterds’ (2009) when Shosanna Dreyfus is preparing to take the Nazis down, her assistant calls her Danielle Darrieux.

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Simone Silva (15 August 1928 – 30 November 1957) was an Egyptian-born French film actress who appeared in a handful of British B-movies during the 1950s. Silva, who was once quoted as saying she would "do anything" to get in the newspapers, was known however less for her acting than for her voluptuous figure and shameless publicity-117365_ss11seeking activities. She briefly made global headlines following a notorious incident at the 1954 Cannes Film Festival where she posed topless with Robert Mitchum for photographers, causing a sensation when the photographs were flashed around the world.

Early career
Born in Cairo to French-Italian parents in 1928, Silva moved to England in 1946 after marrying an Englishman (divorced 1953), believing that England would provide opportunities for her to be noticed by American talent scouts and give her a better chance to achieve her ultimate goal of making a career in the U.S.

From the early 1950s until her last days Silva made a living by posing as a photographic pin-up model for the cheesecake magazines of the era. She broke into British films in 1951 with a small uncredited not-speaked part in Lady Godiva Rides Again as a beauty pageant contestant. This was followed by two more anonymous bit part roles before she landed a slightly more substantial part in the adventure film South of Algiers (1953). She was fifth-billed in crime drama Escape by Night, then appeared among a lengthy female cast list in the women’s prison drama The Weak and the Wicked (1954). Her first and only top-billing came as a femme-fatale opposite Lloyd Bridges in the Hammer Films programmer Third Party Risk.

The Cannes incident
In March 1954 Silva travelled to Cannes for the seventh Film Festival in an attempt to get herself noticed. She succeeded, and the festival organisers awarded her the honorary title of "Miss Festival 1954". She was asked to pose for press photographs with Robert Mitchum on a beach of one the French Riviera’s Lérins Islands, near Cannes. The photocall turned into the story of the festival when Silva removed her top and posed cupping her naked breasts in her hands, while Mitchum played along. Such was the scramble to get the best shots that several photographers were injured in the melée, with two reportedly suffering broken limbs.


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The press loved it and the photographs were published around the world. However the festival committee were horrified that what they considered a vulgar and tacky publicity stunt had completely overshadowed the serious business of the fortnight, and Silva was asked to leave the festival.

117365_ss10U.S. disappointment
Immediately after the Cannes furore, Silva travelled to the U.S., hoping to cash in on her new-found notoriety. However she soon ran into trouble with the Immigration and Naturalization Service when it was learned that she had entered the country on a tourist visa and had not applied for a work permit, although she had been offered a contract by an independent filmmaker, Al Petker, and was picking up a salary. In June 1954, the District Immigration Director for Los Angeles refused her retrospective application for a work permit, ordering her to leave the U.S. within 60 days, and observing that: "She did not make a sufficient showing to conclude if she was a person of unusual ability and talent, or professional attainment." The decision was appealed on Silva’s behalf by Petker, and she was granted a temporary work permit pending the appeal being heard. However relations with Petker quickly soured, and by November 1954 Silva was hospitalised with severe vomiting, claiming that worry was the root cause of her illness. Silva accused Petker of failing to pay her salary, while he countered that he had suspended her for gaining a significant amount of weight.

117365_ss12Silva’s application to become a permanent U.S. resident was heard in Los Angeles on 3 December 1954, and was denied. She was again given the right of appeal. In February 1955, Silva was again in court when she filed suit against a nightclub in Palm Beach, Florida, alleging that they had offered her a contract for seven weeks’ work but had reneged at the end of the first week. Silva’s final appeal for U.S. residency was heard on 4 May 1955, and was turned down. She was told to leave the country by 7 June, or face deportation back to England. Silva could not be located on 7 June and it was reported that she had not been seen by her lawyer in Los Angeles for two weeks. It was concluded that she had made her way back to England under her own steam, without notifying the relevant parties.

Return to England and death
After her return to England, Silva found it difficult to resurrect her fledgling film career. She made only one more screen appearance, in a small role in low-budget crime picture The Gelignite Gang in 1956. She briefly tried her hand at stage acting, with little critical success – a performance in Glasgow in June 1956 was described as "too brash, too strident". Her last credit was two episodes of television adventure serial The Gay Cavalier in early 1957. Silva attempted again to garner some publicity by hinting to journalists that she was planning another audacious stunt for the 1957 Cannes Film Festival, but what she had in mind, if anything, is unknown as nothing materialised.

Silva was found dead in her London apartment on 30 November 1957, aged 29. An autopsy gave the cause of death as a stroke. Silva’s struggles with her weight had been ongoing, and friends believed that her lengthy period of excessively rigorous crash-dieting had been a likely contributory factor in her premature death.

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Brigitte Lahaie (born on 12 October 1955) is a radio talk show host, actress and former pornographic actress from France. She began her career at age 15 with a minor role in Africa Erotica (1970) and performed in pornographic films from 1976 through 1980.

In 1980, at the height of her popularity, she decided to put an end to her hardcore career and appear in more traditional movies, such as I as in Icarus (1980) in which she played a stripper, and Pour la peau d’un flic (1981) in which she played a nurse. However, she also made some softcore and Nazi exploitation "video nasties" during this time.

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At the end of her acting career, she became famous to the more general public after appearing on the French radio show, Les Grosses Têtes, broadcast on RTL.

She also recorded and released the single Caresse tendresse, in an effort to start a singing career. She met with neither commercial nor critical success.

She is now the host, on RMC Info, of Lahaie, l’Amour et Vous. The show airs daily, from 14:00 to 16:00, and mostly deals with topics of love and sexual relations. She is also a hostess on a French X-rated TV cable-channel talk show.

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Brigitte Lahaie is also an avid fan of equestrianism, an interest first inspired when she saw the movie White Mane as a teenager.

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116882_csCatherine Spaak (born 3 April 1945) is a French actress and singer.

Spaak was born at Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine (Ile-de-France). She is the niece of Belgian politician Paul-Henri Spaak.

She spent most of her career in Italy, where she became a teenage star. From age 15 to 18, Catherine Spaak was the lead actress in at least twelve movies and, as a singer, was regarded by some as the Italian equivalent of French chanteuse Françoise Hardy, some of whose songs she recorded in 1963. Notable appearances include classic Italian movies such as I dolci inganni (1960), La voglia matta (1961), The Easy Life (1962), The Girl from Parma (1963), The Empty Canvas (1963), L’armata Brancaleone (1965), Hotel (1967) with Rod Taylor, The Libertine (1969), and The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1971). She starred in Take a Hard Ride with Jim Brown (1975). She later hosted several TV shows for RAI TV, and published some books in Italian.

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In 2011 she appeared in BBC TV’s "mini-series" Zen.


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116832_dom1Nationality: France
Birth: 27th April, 1934

Gorgeous French actress Dominique Boschero appeared in a surprisingly large amount of films from the mid 50s to the mid 80s. Starting off with small or uncredited roles in French films, she soon started getting named parts with Jean Delannoy‘s The Baron of the Locks (Le baron de l’ecluse, 60). Before long, however, she’d headed off to Italy, beginning her career with Giorgio Simonelli’s comedy Un dollaro di fifa (60), which also starred Ugo Tognazzi and Walter Chiari.

After appearing in a few peplums and the like – most notably a winning performance as ‘Queen of the Bird Men’ in Mario Caiano‘s fun Ulysses Against the Son of Hercules (Ulisse contro Ercole, 62) – she made her first major impact as a femme fatale in numerous spy films. She appeared in early German / Italian examples of the genre (such as The Secret of the Chinese Carnation (Das geheimnis der chinesischen Nelke, 64), amongst many others.

After the end of the sixties, she continued popping up in a few giallos – Who Saw Her Die (Chi l’ha vista morire?, 72), for instance – but as the decade progressed her appearences became less and less regular. One of her last credited roles was in the 1986 TV series Passioni, directed by Riccardo Donna.

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One of the most underestimated starlet of the 50s and 60s, Dany Carrel was a welcome breath of sexy exoticism in that period’s French cinema. With sometimes gamine looks and a pair of incredible oriental eyes, Dany played more often than not good-willed 11664_darnell2flirtatious girls in many European melodramas and comedies, alongside top directors and stars. She always was one of my favorite and it’s a shame that not much is available online concerning her. So let’s try to correct that unfortunate mistake, shall we?

Born on September 20, 1932 (or is it 1935?), in Tourane, Annam, French Indochina (now Da Nang, Vietnam), Yvonne Suzanne Chazelles du Chaxel was the child of French customs agent Aimé and native cutie Kam. It would be many years later that our actress would learn of her heritage. The truth is that Aimé had a legitimate wife back in Europe and still produced two children with Kam (Yvonne and her sister Alice). He died soon after, as Yvonne was shipped to France to meet a godmother that placed her in a religious institution right away. Dany Carrel eventually wrote an autobiographical novel in the early ’90s, but I can’t get my hands on it! Let’s just say that her exotic look was probably what gave her entry in the world of moviemaking, after some theater studies.

11664_darnell3Let’s jump now to 1953, her movie debut (after a couple of television appearances). The project is Dortoir des grandes (or Inside a Girls’ Dormitory in the USA). The director, Henri Decoin, proposes to the young comedienne a change of name, suggesting Carrel as a medical book written by a doctor named Alexis Carrel was lying on his desk! Talk about scientific reasoning! Young Yvonne, tired of being nicknamed Vovonne ou Vonette, chose herself the Dany part, a diminutive that couldn’t be played with or distorted. The cast of that first film was imposing for a French debutante: Jean Marais, Françoise Arnoul, Jeanne Moreau and Louis de Funès.

For the next few years, Dany Carrel could be seen in minor melodramas and light comedies, often playing saucy girls from the working-class neighborhood, but never with a really mean streak. She co-starred with such acting giants as Jean Gabin or Gérard Philippe… and even Brigitte Bardot in Les grandes manœuvres. Quickly, she got main female starring roles in lower-budgeted pictures, but was a big revelation to the public for Portes des Lilas, a romantic tale of the lower classes. A flirtatious, sexy pixie was a good way to describe Dany’s characters at the time and this is the way she’s still mainly perceived to this day.


Sometimes tricked by wanna-be bad boys, Dany retained her intelligence and never played dumb. She began a phase of international projects, mainly staying in Europe, 11664_darnell5but getting involved in Italian orBritish productions. Fans of horror movies fondly remember her for two 1960 titles, Mill of the Stone Women and The Hands of Orlac.

A Franco-Italian co-production, Mill of the Stone Women remains a worthy discovery, with effective macabre touches. Playing our main heroine Liselotte Carnin, Dany also gets to reveal a bit more of herself, as a perky nipple gets our attention when she’s tied down on a table and menaced by the mad doctor. The latter wants to make a blood transfusion to his sick daughter, resulting in many strange female wax figures popping up mysteriously in his museum. Dany makes for a very believable damsel in distress, even when co-starring with sexy Scilla Gabel. Let’s note that Dany appeared nude a couple of times on screen, as European cinema was not as constipated about naked flesh than the North American censorship of these years. For the times, nude usually meant a sideway glimpse at a naked breast…

11664_darnell6Mel Ferrer and Christopher Lee got to meet Dany for The Hands of Orlac, which was simultaneously filmed in its French version, Les main d’Orlac. Playing Eurasian Li-Lang, assistant to Lee’s knife-thrower, she once again mixed sexiness and innocence to great appeal. Not nearly as successful as Milll of the Stone Women, let’s admit that Dany’ presence makes the whole show. Honestly, now, did you notice her skimpy stage costume?

For some reasons, Dany was not a favorite of the French New Wave directors, like Truffaut, Godard, etc., probably because she was collaborating in too many "popular" films for their tastes. But that snobism didn’t stop her in finding worthwhile work. For the first half of the sixties, she was seen in more gangster pictures, with serious or comedic plots. She began co-starring with the great comedy geniuses of that ear, mainly Jean Lefebvre, Jean Carmet, Jean Rochefort… Still looking like a saucy teenager in her late thirties, Dany began to slow down on movie roles. She got a good supporting part in Henri-Georges Clouzot’s La prisonnière, playing a nude model sweating it out when only wearing a see-through raincoat under harsh lights for a fetish photo session. Very inticing!


After 1972’s Trois milliards sans ascenseur, an heist movie, Dany mainly concentrated her career on television roles (films and mini-series), with a couple of big screen 11664_darnell8comedies in the early eighties. She was last seen in 1987 for an episode of the series Les enquêtes Caméléon. In 1994, she supervised the TV adaptation of her book L’annamite, recalling her youth (she even appeared as herself). Actress Gaëlle Le Fur played the Yvonne/Dany role. The same year, she could also be seen in the play Laisse parler ta mère.

One of a kind in the looks department in French cinema of the fifties and part of the list of actress who began to push the boundaries of frank eroticism on the big screen, Dany Carrel is often remembered for her bob haircut of dark reddish hair, exquisite cheekbones and friendly manners, always being able to save a movie from tedium from her mere presence. You can’t measure how important it was for me to make her a guest at this website.
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Claudine Auger (born Claudine Oger on 26 April 1941) is a French actress best known for her role as Bond girl Dominique "Domino" Derval in the James Bond film Thunderball (1965). She earned the title of Miss France Monde and was also the first runner-up in the 1958 Miss World contest.

Born in Paris, France, she attended St. Joan of Arc College and later Paris Drama Conservatory, where she performed dramatic roles. She made her film debut when she was still at school. Jean Cocteau cast her in an uncredited role as a tall ballerina in The Testament of Orpheus (1960). When she was 18, she married the 41-year-old writer-director Pierre Gaspard-Huit, and he cast her in several films, including The Iron Mask (1962) and The Vengeance of Kali (1963).

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When she was vacationing in Nassau, writer-producer Kevin McClory who was also vacationing there, saw her and recommended that she audition for his film Thunderball (1965). The role of Domino was originally to be an Italian woman: Dominetta Petacchi. Auger impressed the producers so much that they re-wrote the part to that of a French woman to better suit Auger. Although she took lessons to perfect her English, her voice was eventually dubbed by Nikki van der Zyl in this movie. Auger would claim that she related to her character Domino, as she and Domino were involved with older men. The most immediate by-product of Claudine’s stardom was a semi-nude Playboy spread and a guest shot on an American TV special starring Danny Thomas and Bob Hope.

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Thunderball launched Auger into a successful European movie career, but did little for her otherwise in the United States.

In 1971, she starred with two other Bond girls, Barbara Bach and Barbara Bouchet, in Black Belly of the Tarantula, a giallo mystery. She had some roles in European films as Triple Cross (1966) (reuniting her with her James Bond director Terence Young) and The Killing Game (1967).

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