Anouk Aimee
Birth Date:
April 27, 1932
Birth Place:
Paris, France
Famous for:
Her role in 'A Man and a Woman' (1966)
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A Man and a Woman


"It is always better to have a few scenes with a good director, than many scenes with a bad one." Anouk Aimee

Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning French actress Anouk Aimee garnered international praise for her stunning performance as Anne Gauthier, a young widow and a film script supervisor who falls for Jean-Louis Trintignant's character, in the French-made international hit film "Un homme et une femme" (aka “A Man and a Woman”), which was directed by Claude Lelouch.

Making her film debut at age 14 in "La Maison sous la mer" (1946), Anouk, daughter of French actors Geneviève Sorya and Henri Murray, has starred in such films as "Golden Salamander" (1950), "The Journey" (1959), "Lola" (1961), "Justine" (1969), "Salto nel vuoto" (1980; aka "A Leap in the Dark"), "Tragedia di un uomo ridicolo, La" (1981; aka "Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man"), "Un homme et une femme, 20 ans déjà" (1986; aka "A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later") "Prêt-à-Porter" (1994; aka "Ready to Wear"), and "Petite prairie aux bouleaux, La" (2003; aka "The Birch-Tree Meadow").

"You can only perceive real beauty in a person as they get older." Anouk Aimee

The 5' 8½" sultry, enigmatic leading lady was one of Empire magazine's “100 Sexiest Stars in Film History” (1995). She has been married and divorced four times and has one daughter. She was married to acclaimed English actor Albert Finney from 1970 to 1978.

Theatrical Family

Childhood and Family:

Born Françoise Sorya Dreyfus on April 27, 1932, in Paris, France, Anouk Aimee adopted the stage name “Anouk” after playing a character of that name in her debut film, "Maison sous la mer, La" (1947). Her parents are French actors Geneviève Sorya and Henri Murray (born Henri Dreyfus; January 30, 1907-January 29, 1984).

Born into a theatrical family, Anouk was trained in acting and dancing at the Bauer-Therond Dramatic School, in Paris, France.

Anouk has married and divorced four times. Her first husband was Edouard Zimmermann, whom she was married to for one year (1949-1950). From 1951 to 1954, she was married to Greek film director Nikos Papatakis (born in 1918 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), with whom she has one daughter. She was next married to French actor Pierre Barouh (born on February 19, 1934) from 1966 to 1969, before eventually marrying acclaimed English actor Albert Finney (born on May 9, 1936) in 1970. Anouk and Finney divorced in 1978.

A Leap in the Dark


At age 14, Anouk Aimee began her acting career after she was spotted by filmmaker Henri Calef who stopped her and asked if she would like to be in a movie. Anouk had been walking in Paris with her mother.

The aspiring actress soon made her film acting debut in Calef's adaptation of Paul Vialar's novel, "Maison sous la mer, La" (1947). Two years later, in 1949, she made her English language debut in "Golden Salamander," director Ronald Neame's big screen version of Victor Canning's novel, "Golden Salamander," playing the beautiful Anna opposite Trevor Howard, Herbert Lom, and Walter Rilla.

Anouk subsequently received roles in the films "Bergère et le ramoneur, La" (1952; voice; aka. "Adventures of Mr. Wonderful"), "The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By" (1952; as Jeanne the prostitute), "Ich suche dich" (1953), "Rideau cramoisi, Le" (1953; aka "The Crimson Curtain"), "Contraband Spain" (1955), "Noche de tormenta" (1955), "Mauvaises rencontres, Les" (1955; aka "Bad Liaisons"), and "Nina" (1956; portrayed the title role). She also acted in "Stresemann" (1957), "Pot-Bouille" (1957; aka "Lovers of Paris"), "Tous peuvent me tuer" (1957; aka "Everybody Wants to Kill Me"), "Amants de Montparnasse (Montparnasse 19), Les" (1958; aka "Hero of Montmatre"), "Tête contre les murs, La" (1959; aka "Head Against the Wall"), and "Dragueurs, Les" (1959; aka "The Chasers").

In 1959, Anouk made her first United States film with "The Journey," a romantic drama by director Anatole Litvak set in the backdrop of the Hungarian revolution of 1956. The movie starred Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, and Jason Robards. After appearing in "Quai Notre-Dame" (1960), "Dolce vita, La" (1960; aka "The Sweet Life"), and "Farceur, Le" (1961; aka "The Joker"), she received a BAFTA Film Award nomination for Best Foreign Actress for her role of a cabaret singer in “Lola” (1961), a romantic drama written and directed by Jacques Demy.

Anouk spent the early 1960s acting in the films "Imprevisto, L'" (1961; aka "Unexpected"), "Giudizio universale, Il" (1961; aka "The Last Judgement"), "Giorno più corto, Il" (1962; aka "The Shortest Day"), "Sodom and Gomorrah" (1962; aka "The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah"), "Successo, Il" (1963; aka "The Success"), "8½" (1963; aka "Federico Fellini's 8½"), and "Grands chemins, Les" (1963; aka "Of Flesh and Blood"). She was also seen in "Terrorista, Il" (1963; aka "The Terrorist"), "Liolà" (1964; aka "A Very Handy Man"), "Voci bianche, Le" (1964; aka "Undercover Rogue"), "Fuga, La" (1964; aka "The Escape"), "Stagioni del nostro amore, Le" (1965; aka "Seasons of Our Love"), "Morbidone, Il" (1965; aka "The Dreamer"), and "Scandalo, Lo" (1966).

In 1966, Anouk was launched toward international stardom when she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her stunning performance as Anne Gauthier, a young widow and a film script supervisor who falls for Jean-Louis Trintignant's widower character, in the French-made international hit, "Un homme et une femme" (aka “A Man and a Woman”), which was helmed by Claude Lelouch. Her outstanding work in the film also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Actress – Drama, a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress, and a Fotogramas de Plata Award for Best Foreign Performer. Following her Oscar-nominated work, Anouk was asked to star as the wife of an Egyptian banker who is involved in a plot against the British in order to arm the Jewish underground movement in Palestine, in George Cukor and Joseph Strick's film adaptation of the novel by Lawrence Durrell, "Justine" (1969).

After taking a deserved seven-year break, Anouk returned to the big screen in 1976 and was reunited with writer/director Claude Lelouch for his melodrama film "Si c'était à refaire" (aka "If I Had to Do It All Over Again"), alongside Catherine Deneuve. She was then nominated for the César Best Actress Award for her brilliant turn as Jane Romain in Elie Chouraqui's take on Jack-Alain Léger's novel, "Mon premier amour" (1978).

Entering the new decade, Anouk won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival for her solid performance as Marta Ponticelli, Michel Piccoli's older sister who is affected by psychic problems and suicide fantasies, in Marco Bellocchio's drama/comedy movie "Salto nel vuoto" (1980; aka "A Leap in the Dark"). She then went on to act in Bernardo Bertolucci's dramatic film "Tragedia di un uomo ridicolo, La" (1981; aka "Tragedy of a Ridiculous Man") and reprised her Oscar-nominated role in Lelouch's "Un homme et une femme, 20 ans déjà" (1986; aka "A Man and a Woman: 20 Years Later"). She also appeared in print ads for Ungaro and appeared as herself in the documentary that aired on PBS in the United States, "Haute Couture: The Great Designers" (1987).

The 1990s saw Anouk acting opposite Jacqueline Bisset in Elie Chouraqui's romantic drama/comedy "Marmottes, Les" (1993; aka "The Groundhogs") and return to American films in Robert Altman's satirical dark comedy shot during the Paris, France, Fashion Week, "Prêt-à-Porter" (1994; aka "Ready to Wear"), alongside Marcello Mastroianni, Sophia Loren, and Julia Roberts. Her work in the latter film won a National Board of Review Award for Best Acting by an Ensemble.

Anouk next co-starred as herself in Mika Kaurismäki's film adaptation of Richard Rayner's novel, "L.A. Without a Map" (1998). She received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Palm Beach International Film Festival in 2000 as well as an Honorary César at the César Awards in 2002. She was also awarded an Honorary Golden Berlin Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2003, the same year she received the Bernhard Wicki Film Honorary Award at the Munich Film Festival for her touching performance as Myriam in Marceline Loridan Ivens's drama film "Petite prairie aux bouleaux, La" (aka "The Birch-Tree Meadow").

During the next few years, Anouk starred in writer/director Yvan Attal's drama/comedy "Ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants" (2004; "...And They Lived Happily Ever After"), Brice Cauvin's drama "De particulier à particulier" (2006; aka "Hotel Harabati"), and narrated a documentary TV movie titled "Claude Lelouch, on s'aimera" (2007).


  • Berlin International Film Festival: Honorary Golden Berlin Bear, 2003

  • Munich Film Festival: Bernhard Wicki Film Award - Honorary Award, "Petite prairie aux bouleaux, La," 2003

  • César: Honorary César, 2002

  • Palm Beach International Film Festival: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2000

  • National Board of Review: Best Acting by an Ensemble, "Prêt-à-Porter," 1994

  • Cannes Film Festival: Best Actress, "Salto nel vuoto," 1980

  • BAFTA: Best Foreign Actress, "Un homme et une femme," 1968

  • Fotogramas de Plata: Best Foreign Performer, "Un homme et une femme," 1967

  • Golden Globe: Best Motion Picture Actress - Drama, "Un homme et une femme," 1967

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