Jeanne Moreau

Jeanne Moreau (French pronunciation: ​[ʒan mɔʁo]; born 23 January 1928) is a French actress, singer, screenwriter and director. She is the recipient of a César Award for Best Actress, a BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress and a Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award for individual performances, and several lifetime awards.

Moreau made her theatrical debut in 1947, and established herself as one of the leading actresses of the Comédie-Française. She began playing small roles in films in 1949, impressing in a Fernandel vehicle Meutres? in 1950 and alongside Jean Gabin as a showgirl/gangster's moll in Touchez Pas au Grisbi, eventually achieving prominence as the star of Lift to the Scaffold (UK)/Elevator to the Gallows (USA) (1958), directed by Louis Malle and Jules et Jim (1962), directed by François Truffaut. Most prolific during the 1960s, Moreau continues to appear in films to the present day.

    Early life and education

    Moreau was born in Paris the daughter of Katherine (née Buckley), a dancer who performed at the Folies Bergère (d.1990), and Anatole-Désiré Moreau, a restaurateur (d.1975). Moreau's father was French; her mother was English, a native of Lancashire in England, and of part-Irish descent. Moreau's father was Catholic and her mother, originally a Protestant, converted to Catholicism upon marriage. When a young girl, "the family moved south to Vichy, spending vacations at the ancestral village of Mazirat, a town of 30 houses in a valley in the Allier. 'It was wonderful there,' Jeanne says. 'Every tombstone in the cemetery was for a Moreau.'" During the war, the family was split and Moreau lived with her mother in Paris. Moreau ultimately lost interest in school at age 16 and, after attending Jean Anouilh's Antigone, found her calling as an actor. She later studied at the Conservatoire de Paris. Her parents separated permanently while Moreau was at the conservatory and her mother, "after 24 difficult years in France, returned to England with Jeanne's younger[] sister, Michelle."

    Career

    Jeanne Moreau as depicted on the poster for Jules et Jim, 1962

    In 1947, Moreau made her theatrical debut at the Avignon Festival. She debuted at the Comédie-Française in Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country and, by her twenties, was already one of leading actresses in the theatre's troupe. After 1949, she began appearing in films with small parts but continued primarily active in the theatre for several years—a year at the Théâtre National Populaire opposite among others Gérard Philipe and Robert Hirsch, then a breakout two years in dual roles in The Dazzling Hour by Anna Bonacci, then Jean Cocteau's La Machine Infernale and others before another two-year run, this time in Shaw's Pygmalion. From the late 1950s, after appearing in several successful films, she began to work with the emerging generation of French film-makers. Elevator to the Gallows (1958) with first-time director Louis Malle was followed by Malle's The Lovers (Les Amants, 1959). The latter film, controversial in its day, led the media to tag her 'The New Bardot'.

    Largely thanks to those films, Moreau went on to work with many of the best known New Wave and avant-garde directors.François Truffaut's New Wave film Jules et Jim (1962), her biggest success internationally, is centred on her magnetic starring role. She has also worked with a number of other notable directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni (La notte and Beyond the Clouds), Orson Welles (The Trial, Chimes at Midnight and The Immortal Story), Luis Buñuel (Diary of a Chambermaid), Elia Kazan (The Last Tycoon), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Querelle), Wim Wenders (Until the End of the World), Carl Foreman (Champion and The Victors), and Manoel de Oliveira (Gebo et l'Ombre). In 1983 she was head of the jury at the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival. In 2005, she was awarded with the Stanislavsky Award at the 27th Moscow International Film Festival.

    Moreau has enjoyed success as a vocalist. She has released several albums and once performed with Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall. In addition to acting, Moreau has also worked behind the camera, as a writer, director and producer. Her blended accomplishments were the subject of a 1988 film profile, Calling The Shots, by Janis Cole and Holly Dale.

    Personal life

    Jeanne Moreau and Amos Gitai during filming of Plus tard, 2008

    Throughout her life, Moreau has maintained friendships with prominent writers such as Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Henry Miller and Marguerite Duras (an interview with Moreau is included in Duras's book Outside: Selected Writings). She has been married to Jean-Louis Richard (1949–1964) and then to American film director William Friedkin (1977–1979). Director Tony Richardson left his wife, Vanessa Redgrave, for her in 1967 but they never married. She has also had affairs with directors Louis Malle and François Truffaut, fashion designer Pierre Cardin, jazz trumpeter Miles Davis and Theodoros Roubanis, the Greek actor/playboy.

    Moreau is a close friend of Sharon Stone, who presented a 1998 American Academy of Motion Pictures life tribute to Moreau. Orson Welles called her "the greatest actress in the world", and she remains one of France's most accomplished actresses.

    Selected filmography

    Actress

    Year Title Role Director
    1950 Meutres? Martine Annequin Richard Pottier
    1952 L'Homme de ma vie Suzanne Dubreuil Guy Lefranc
    1953 Dortoir des grandes Julie Henri Decoin
    Julietta Rosie Facibey Marc Allégret
    1954 Touchez pas au grisbi Josy Jacques Becker
    Les Intrigantes Mona Rémi Henri Decoin
    La Reine Margot Margaret of Valois Jean Dréville
    1958 Ascenseur pour l'échafaud Florence Carala Louis Malle
    The Lovers (Les amants) Jeanne Tournier
    1959 Les liaisons dangereuses Juliette de Merteuil Roger Vadim
    The Four Hundred Blows (cameo appearance) François Truffaut
    1960 Dialogue with the Carmelites Mère Marie de l'Incarnation Philippe Agostini
    Moderato Cantabile Anne Desbarèdes Peter Brook
    1961 A Woman Is a Woman (uncredited cameo, discussing Jules et Jim) Jean-Luc Godard
    La Notte Lidia Michelangelo Antonioni
    1962 The Trial Miss Burstner Orson Welles
    Jules et Jim Catherine François Truffaut
    Eva Eva Olivier Joseph Losey
    1963 Banana Peel (fr) (Peau de banane) Cathy Marcel Ophüls
    The Victors the French lady Carl Foreman
    The Fire Within (Le feu follet) Eva Louis Malle
    Bay of Angels Jacqueline "Jackie" Demaistre Jacques Demy
    1964 Diary of a Chambermaid Célestine Luis Buñuel
    The Train Christine John Frankenheimer
    The Yellow Rolls-Royce Eloise, Marchioness of Frinton Anthony Asquith
    Mata Hari, Agent H21 Mata Hari Jean-Louis Richard
    1965 Viva Maria! Maria I Louis Malle
    Chimes at Midnight Doll Tearsheet Orson Welles
    1966 Mademoiselle "Mademoiselle" Tony Richardson
    1967 The Oldest Profession (episode "Mademoiselle Mimi") Mimi Guillotine Philippe de Broca
    The Sailor from Gibraltar Anna Tony Richardson
    1968 The Immortal Story Virginie Ducrot Orson Welles
    Great Catharine Catharine Gordon Flemyng
    The Bride Wore Black Julie Kohler François Truffaut
    1970 The Little Theatre of Jean Renoir the singer Jean Renoir
    Monte Walsh Martine Bernard William A. Fraker
    1972 Chère Louise Louise Philippe de Broca
    Nathalie Granger "the other woman" Marguerite Duras
    1974 Les Valseuses Jeanne Pirolle Bertrand Blier
    1975 Joanna Francesa Joanna Cacá Diegues
    Hu-man Sylvana Jérôme Laperrousaz
    1976 The Last Tycoon Didi Elia Kazan
    Monsieur Klein Florence Joseph Losey
    1982 Querelle Lysiane Rainer Werner Fassbinder
    La Truite Lou Joseph Losey
    1986 Le Tiroir secret (TV miniseries) Vivi (different directors)
    1987 The Miracle Sabine Jean-Pierre Mocky
    1990 Nikita Amande Luc Besson
    Alberto Express the Baroness Arthur Joffé
    1991 Anna Karamazoff the Lady Rustam Khamdamov
    To meteoro vima tou pelargou the Lady Theo Angelopoulos
    The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea Lady M Laurent Heynemann
    Until the End of the World Edith Farber Wim Wenders
    1993 A Foreign Field Angelique Charles Sturridge
    Catherine the Great Empress Elizabeth Petrovna Marvin J. Chomsky
    Map of the Human Heart Sister Banville Vincent Ward
    Lili Waris Hussein
    1995 Beyond the Clouds a Lady Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders
    1996 The Proprietor Adrienne Mark Ismail Merchant
    I Love You, I Love You Not Nana Billy Hopkins
    1997 Witch Way Love Eglantine René Manzor
    1998 Ever After Marie Thérèse of France Andy Tennant
    2001  (fr) Marguerite Duras Josée Dayan
    2003 Love Actually Lady at Marseilles Airport (cameo) Richard Curtis
    Tante Leo Josée Dayan
    2005 Time to Leave Laura François Ozon
    Les Rois maudits (fr) (TV miniseries) Mahaut, Countess of Artois Josée Dayan
    2006 Roméo et Juliette Laurence Yves Desgagnés
    2007 Désengagement Françoise Amos Gitai
    2009 Face Jeanne Ming-liang Tsai
    2012 Gebo et l'Ombre Candidinha Manoel de Oliveira
    2012  (fr) Frida Ilmar Raag

    Director

    • Lumière (1976)
    • L'Adolescente (1979)
    • (1983, TV documentary)

    Awards and nominations

    Films

    Year Group Award Film Result
    2008 César Awards Honorary César Lifetime achievement Won
    2005 Moscow International Film Festival Stanislavsky Prize Lifetime achievement Won
    2003 Cannes Film Festival Honorary Golden Palm Lifetime achievement Won
    2003 Taormina International Film Festival Taormina Arte Award Lifetime achievement Won
    2001 Pusan International Film Festival Hand Printing (tribute) Lifetime achievement Won
    2000 Berlin International Film Festival Honorary Golden Berlin Bear Lifetime achievement Won
    1999 Hamptons International Film Festival Distinguished Achievement Award Lifetime achievement Won
    1999 Créteil International Women's Film Festival Homage Lifetime achievement Won
    1998 Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Tribute Lifetime achievement Won
    1997 European Film Awards Life Achievement Award Lifetime achievement Won
    1997 San Sebastián International Film Festival Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award Lifetime achievement Won
    1996 BAFTA Awards Academy Fellowship Lifetime achievement Won
    1995 César Awards Honorary César Lifetime achievement Won
    1994 Women in Film Crystal Award International Award Lifetime achievement Won
    1992 Venice Film Festival Career Golden Lion Lifetime achievement Won
    1992 César Awards Best Actress The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea Won
    1988 César Awards Best Actress Le Miraculé Nominated
    1987 César Awards Best Supporting Actress Nominated
    1984 Razzie Awards Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Original Song Querelle – song: "Young and Joyful Bandit" Nominated
    1979 Berlin International Film Festival Golden Berlin Bear L'adolescente Nominated
    1979 Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo L'adolescente Nominated
    1976 Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo Lumière Nominated
    1976 Taormina International Film Festival Golden Charybdis Lumière Nominated
    1967 BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Actress Viva Maria! Won
    1964 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival Best Actress Diary of a Chambermaid Won
    1963 BAFTA Awards Best Foreign Actress Jules et Jim Nominated
    1962 Jussi Awards Diploma of Merit – Foreign Actress La notte Won
    1961 Fotogramas de Plata Best Foreign Performer Le dialogue des Carmélites Won
    1960 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Moderato cantabile Won
    1958 Venice Film Festival Best Actress Won

    Theater

    Year Group Award Play Result
    1988 Molière Awards Best Actress Won

    References

    External links

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