Model of Marianne
“I like to be directed, it’s true. If I didn’t like that, I’d do something else. Being an actor means being an instrument for someone else.” Catherine Deneuve
A daughter of actor parents, Catherine Deneuve first proved herself through her touchy performance as Séverine Serizy in Belle de Jour (1967). She fascinated French audiences with the role of Marion Steiner in François Truffaut’s Le Dernier métro (1980, won a César Award and a David di Donatello Award) and gained international recognition after playing Eliane in the drama Indochine (1992, received a César Award and an Oscar nomination). She also presented award-winning performance in Place Vendôme (1998, won a Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup) and the crime comedy 8 femmes (collected a European Film Award and a Berlin International Film Festival’s Silver Berlin Bear). In appreciation for her work, the seven-time César nominee was garnered the 1993 Women in Film Crystal International Award, the 1995 San Sebastián International Film Festival’s Donostia Lifetime Achievement award, the 1997 Moscow International Film Festival’s Silver St. George, the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival’s Honorary Golden Berlin Bear, an Actor’s Mission award from the 2000 Art Film Festival and a Bambi award for International Film.
Outside her gleaming movie career, Deneuve currently appears in advertisements for Mac Cosmetics and L’Oréal Paris. During the 80s, she was famous as the model for “Marianne,” the statuette symbolizing the French Republic. The French sweetheart, who was one of Empire (UK) magazine’s “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History,” also designs glasses, shoes, jewelry and greetings cards. The head juror of the 2006 Venice Film Festival previously became a jury member for several international film and TV festivals.
Deneuve, who had a brand of perfume named after her, was linked with several cinema stars, such as director Roger Vadim (has a son with him), actor Marcello Mastroianni (1971-1975, has a daughter with him), director François Truffaut and Pierre Lescure (1984-1991). The actress, with a granddaughter, owns a country house in France and an apartment in Saint-Germain-de-Prés.
Childhood and Family:
Catherine Deneuve was born Catherine Dorleac, on October 22, 1943, in Paris. She is the daughter of French actors Maurice Dorléac and Renee Deneuve.
Inheriting her parents’ flair, teen Catherine appeared onscreen at age 14 with a supporting role in the teen drama Les Collegiennes (1957, billed as Catherine Dorleac). Besides acting, she also modeled for several cosmetic companies.
As for her romantic life, Catherine was once married to British photographer David Bailey (1965-1972). She has a son named Christian Vadim (born on June 18, 1963) from her relationship with director Roger Vadim, and is the mother of daughter Chiara Mastroianni (born on May 28, 1972, father: actor Marcello Mastroianni). She is also the grandmother of Anna, the daughter of Chiara and singer Benjamin Biolay.
Following her entrance to the cinematic industry at age 14, Catherine Deneuve rapidly acquired the starring turn of Dany in Les Portes claquent (1960). She was then seen in Et Satan conduit le Bal (1962, as Manuelle) and Roger Vadim’s Le Vice et la Vertu (1963, starred as Justine Morand, la Vertu) before playing Geneviève Emery in the award-winning musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg (1964), for which she also provided the soundtrack “I Will Wait For You” (original French version).
In 1965, Deneuve had the leading part of Carole Ledoux in her first English film, the Roman Polanski-helmed Repulsion. It was followed with her turn as unhappy Marie in the romantic comedy La Vie de château (1966) and the BAFTA-nominated performance as Séverine Serizy, a bored housewife-turned-prostitute, in Belle de Jour (1967). After earning wider admiration through her roles in Mayerling (1968), The April Fools (1969) and Tristana (1970, had the title role), Deneuve unluckily went to the underrated movies Ça n’arrive qu’aux autres (1971), Liza (1972) and the comedy L’Événement le plus important depuis que l’homme a marché sur la lune (1973).
After playing Marie-Hélène de Boismonfrais in the western comedy Touche pas à la femme blanche (1974), the actress received a César (French Oscar) nomination for Best Actress for her fine portrayal of Nelly, a runaway fiancée, in the drama comedy Le Sauvage (1975). Deneuve, who at the time was famous as the face of fragrance Chanel No. 5, was cast as Catherine Berger in the uneven drama Si c'était à refaire (1976), costarred with Gene Hackman in the war film March or Die (1977) and played banker’s wife Cécile Rainier in the adaptation of Nancy Markham’s novel, L’Argent des autres (1978). A year later, she acted and sang for the romantic comedy Courage fuyons (1979).
Deneuve’s screen breakthrough arrived after working with actor Gérard Depardieu in François Truffaut’s romantic comedy Le Dernier métro (1980), where she beautifully portrayed actress Marion Steiner. Before long, she was garnered with a César for Best Actress and a David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress. The performer also gave a critically praised performance as Hélène, a distracted pill-popping anesthetist, in Hôtel des Amériques (1981, received a César nomination).
The French beauty costarred with international stars in the thriller Le Choc (1982, opposite Alain Delon) and in Tony Scott’s vampire movie The Hunger (1983, alongside David Bowie and Susan Sarandon), before taking part in the political drama Le Bon plaisir (1984), as Claire Després. Deneuve’s appearance in the psychological thriller Le Lieu du crime (1985, played Lili Ravenel) led to her next César-nominated roles; Amanda Weber in the thriller Agent trouble (1987) and France in the self-produced romantic drama Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre (1988, acted opposite Gérard Depardieu).
After disappearing for three years, the actress returned to the screen with the turn of Liliane Ripoche in La Reine blanche (1991) and won praise for her superb acting as Eliane, the French owner of a rubber-tree plantation in Vietnam, in the drama Indochine (1992), in which her performance won a César award for Best Actress and an Oscar nomination. She also received another César nomination after carrying out the role of Emilie in Ma saison préférée (1993). The same year, Deneuve was given the 1993 Women in Film Crystal International award.
Next, she appeared in La Partie d'échecs (1994), the star-studded Les Cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma (1995), Les Voleurs (1996, had the César-nominated role of Marie Leblanc) and the short TV film Court toujours: L’inconnu (1996) and Généalogies d’un crime (1997). For impressively delivering the part of Marianne Malivert in Place Vendôme (1998), the performer won a Venice Film Festival’s Volpi Cup and earned a César nomination.
The recipient of the 1995 San Sebastián International Film Festival’s Donostia Lifetime Achievement award, the 1997 Moscow International Film Festival’s Silver St. George and the 1998 Berlin International Film Festival’s Honorary Golden Berlin Bear, Deneuve received rave reviews for her role of Kathy in the musical drama Dancer in the Dark (2000), starring Björk. For the movie, Deneuve also performed the songs “Cvalda” and “In The Musicals, Part 1.” Previously, the actress beautifully delivered the role of Odette de Crecy in Le Temps retrouvé (1999), adapted from Marcel Proust’s novel. She then shared the frame with younger actors Mena Suvari and Justin Chambers in 2001’s The Musketeer.
Soaring even higher, the actress won a European Film award for Best Actress and a Berlin International Film Festival’s Silver Berlin Bear for Outstanding Artistic Achievement thanks to her proficient acting in the colorful crime comedy 8 femmes (2002), as Gaby, a woman whose husband was mysteriously murdered. She then went to the small screen with the role of Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil in the miniseries “Les Liaisons dangereuses” (2003) and the titular turn in the biopic Princesse Marie (2004).
Deneuve, who formerly accepted an Actor’s Mission award from the 2000 Art Film Festival and a Bambi award, took home a César nomination for Best Supporting Actress after wittily playing Queen Eugénia in the comedy Palais royal (2005). The fine victory was ensued with her appearance in the drama thriller Le Concile de Pierre (2006), as Sybille.
Deneuve will play Alice in the drama Le Héros de la Famille (2006) before taking part in her first animated movie, Persepolis (2007). In the animation project, the actress is set to voice the mother of a precocious and outspoken young Iranian girl. Reportedly, she will also be seen as a guest star in an episode of the dark humor American series “Nip/Tuck,” slated for release between September and December 2006.
- Berlin International Film Festival: Silver Berlin Bear – Outstanding Artistic Achievement, 8 femmes, 2002
- European Film: Best Actress, 8 femmes, 2002
- Bambi: Bambi Film – International, 2001
- Art Film Festival: Actor’s Mission Award, 2000
- Berlin International Film Festival: Honorary Golden Berlin Bear, 1998
- Venice Film Festival: Volpi Cup – Best Actress, Place Vendôme, 1998
- Moscow International Film Festival: Silver St. George – Contribution to World Cinema, 1997
- San Sebastián International Film Festival: Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award, 1995
- Women in Film Crystal: International Award, 1993
- César: Best Actress (Meilleure actrice), Indochine, 1993
- César: Best Actress (Meilleure actrice), Le Dernier métro, 1981
- David di Donatello: Best Foreign Actress (Migliore Attrice Straniera), Le Dernier métro, 1981