A model of Gallic elegance, cultivated lust object for art
house filmgoers everywhere, and one of the best-respected
actresses in the French film industry, Catherine Deneuve made
her reputation playing a series of beautiful ice maidens for
directors such as Luis Buñuel and Roman Polanski. The daughter
of French stage and film actor Maurice Dorléac, Deneuve was born
in Paris on October 22, 1943. She made her screen debut at the
age of 13, with a role in the 1956 film Les Collegiennes, and
went on to make a string of films with directors such as Roger
Vadim (with whom she had a child) before getting her
breakthrough role in Jaques Demy's charming musical, Les
Parapluies de Cherbourg(1964). The burst of stardom that
accompanied her portrayal led to two of her archetypal ice
maiden roles, first in Roman Polanski's terrifying Repulsion in
1965 and then in Buñuel's 1967 Belle de Jour. Deneuve's
startling portrayal of an icy, s--ually adventurous housewife in
the latter film helped to establish her as one of the most
remarkable and compelling actresses of her generation. She
further demonstrated her talent that year in Demy's Umbrellas
musical follow-up, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, which she
starred in with her sister, Françoise Dorléac.
Catherine Deneuve continued to work steadily through the 1960s and 1970s in films such as the 1970 Tristana (her second collaboration with Buñuel) and A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973), in which she starred with her lover at the time, Marcello Mastrioanni. Despite or perhaps because of her stardom, Deneuve chose to avoid Hollywood, limiting her appearances in American films to The April Fools (1969) and Hustle (1975). Deneuve also did prolific work through the 1980s, appearing in such films as François Truffaut's Le Dernier Métro (1980) and Tony Scott's The Hunger (1983). The latter film saw Deneuve playing a bis--ual vampire alongside David Bowie and Susan Sarandon, and her performance won her an indelible cult status in the States among lesbians, goths, and artistically inclined teenage boys.
In the 1990s, Catherine Deneuve garnered further international acclaim for her roles in several films, including the 1992 film Indochine (for which she won a César Award and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress) and two films directed by André Téchiné, Ma Saison Préférée (1993) and Les Voleurs (1995). In 1996, she paid homage to the director who had first given her fame by taking part in the documentary L'Univers de Jacques Demy. Closing out the final years of the 1990's Deneuve remained consistantly working in numerous films (in 1999 alone she appeared in no less than five films : Est-ouest, Le temps retrouvé, Pola X, Belle-maman, and Le vent de la nuit ) continuing to turn in compelling performances.
In 2000 Catherine Deneuve received much critical attention when cast alongside eccentric Icelandic singer Bjork in the Lars von Trier's melancholy musical Dancer in the Dark. Though it polarized critics and audiences alike, Dancer nevertheless won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.
Catherine made her movie debut in Les Collégiennes in 1956.
Catherine Deneuve breakthroughs came with the musical film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg) (1964, Jacques Demy), the late Surrealist masterpiece Belle de Jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967), and the Franco-English production Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965).
Catherine Deneuve won the César Award for Best Actress in 1981 for her performance in Le Dernier métro (1980). She won the César Award for Best Actress a second time for her starring role in the 1992 film, Indochine and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for the same performance.
César Award Nominations
Deneuve was the face of Chanel No. 5 in the seventies and
caused sales of the perfume to soar in the United States. So
much so that the American press, captivated by her charm, had
nominated the French actress as the world's most elegant woman.
Deneuve is currently a model for Mac Cosmetics and L'Oréal
Paris. Her visage has also been used to symbolize 'Marianne',
the national symbol of France.
Catherine Deneuve is the mother of two children: Christian Vadim (born 1963), by her relationship with the director Roger Vadim, and Chiara Mastroianni (born 1972), by her four-year relationship with Marcello Mastroianni. She has been married once, from 1965 to 1972, to the British photographer David Bailey.
Deneuve possesses two homes: a country house in France and an apartment in the luxe Parisian neighborhood of Saint-Germain-de-Prés.
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