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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