Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve Photo


Date of Birth: October 22, 1943

Best known for her breathtaking beauty and distinctive, emotionally complex roles, Deneuve was born as one of four daughters in Paris, France. Following in her parents' footsteps, she entered the acting profession by her teen years, using her mother's maiden name and appearing in several routine movies such as Les Portes Claquent (1960). By 1964 she had risen to international star status with her performance in the musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. The burst of stardom that accompanied her portrayal led to two of her archetypal ice maiden roles, first in the terrifying Repulsion in 1965 and then in Belle de Jour (1967).

In the seventies, she mingled comedy and drama, but her best performances came in the eighties, in The Last Metro (1980), with Gérard Depardieu, Ma Saison Préférée (1993), and Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre (1988).

Even though her face was known throughout France, she did not venture off to Hollywood to increase her fame. Deneuve limited her U.S. exposure to TV commercials and occasional films such as The Hunger (1983) and Scene of the Crime (1986).

Deneuve hit a hard place when she ventured into production with A Strange Place to Meet in 1988, but four years later she was cast in Indochine (1992), for which she won an Oscar nomination playing an ideal Frenchwoman who has never seen her "native" land. She also gave a good, unglamorous account of herself as a repressed wife and mother coping with an aging mother and an unreliable brother in My Favorite Season (1993).

Throughout her career she has earned over eight César award nominations (France's highest film honor) winning at least two, and one BAFTA nomination for Best Actress.

After an affair with director Roger Vadim, whom she met in 1962's La Vice et la Vertu, the two began an intense love affair and had a son, Christian, in 1963. Deneuve later had another affair with actor Marcello Mastroianni which produced a daughter, Chiara in 1972. An accomplished actress in her own right, Chiara co-starred with her mother in the 1993 film Ma Saison Préférée. Catherine has been married once to David Bailey, but the marriage only lasted eight years.