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Catherine Deneuve Bio
Catherine Deneuve (born 22 October 1943) is a French actress who gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof, mysterious beauties for various directors, including Luis Buñuel and Roman Polanski. She has appeared in more than 120 films. A 13-time César Award nominee, she won for her performances in François Truffaut‘s The Last Metro (1980) and Régis Wargnier‘s Indochine (1992).
Deneuve first came to prominence in Jacques Demy‘s 1964 film The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, before going on to star for Polanski in Repulsion (1965) and for Buñuel in Belle de Jour (1967) and Tristana (1970). She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Belle de Jour and the Academy Award for Best Actress for Indochine. In 1998, she won the Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for Place Vendôme. Her other films include Hustle (1975), The Hunger (1983), Dancer in the Dark (2000), 8 Women (2002) and In the Courtyard (2014).
Deneuve was thirteen when she began her film career with a small role in André Hunebelle‘s Les Collégiennes (1957) with her younger sister Sylvie Dorléac, who acted in a few films casually as a child. Deneuve was credited as Catherine Dorléac but subsequently used her mother’s maiden name as her stage name in order to differentiate herself from her sisters.
After seeing Deneuve in L’Homme à femmes (1960), Jacques Demy cast her in his 1964 musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, the film that brought her to stardom. Deneuve first portrayed the cold but erotic persona, for which she would be nicknamed the “ice maiden”, in Roman Polanski‘s suspense classic Repulsion (1965), reinforcing it in Luis Buñuel‘s Belle de Jour (1967), and reaching a peak in Tristana (1970). Her work for Buñuel would be her most famous.
Further prominent films from this early time in her career included Jean-Paul Rappeneau‘s A Matter of Resistance (1966), and Demy’s musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967). Deneuve remained active in European films during the 1960s and 1970s, though she limited her appearances in American movies of the period to The April Fools (1969), a romantic comedy with Jack Lemmon, and Hustle (1975), a crime drama with Burt Reynolds. Her starring roles at the time were featured in such films as Ça n’arrive qu’aux autres (1972) with Marcello Mastroianni and Le Sauvage (1975) with Yves Montand.
In the 1980s, Deneuve’s films included François Truffaut‘s Le Dernier métro (1980), for which she won the César Award for Best Actress, and Tony Scott‘s The Hunger (1983) as a bisexual vampire, co-starring with David Bowie and Susan Sarandon, a role which brought her a significant lesbian following. She made her debut film as a producer in 1988, Drôle d’endroit pour une rencontre.
In the early 1990s, Deneuve’s more significant roles included 1992’s Indochine opposite Vincent Perez, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a second César Award for Best Actress; and André Téchiné‘s two movies, Ma saison préférée (1993) and Les Voleurs (1996). In 1997, Deneuve was the protagonist in the music video for the song N’Oubliez Jamais sung by Joe Cocker. In 1998 she won acclaim and the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in Place Vendôme. In the late 1990s, Deneuve continued to appear in a large number of films such as 1999’s five films Est-Ouest, Le temps retrouvé, Pola X, Belle maman, and Le Vent de la nuit.
In 2000, Deneuve’s part in Lars von Trier‘s musical drama Dancer in the Dark alongside Icelandic singer Björk was subject to considerable critical scrutiny. The film was selected for the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. She made another foray into Hollywood the following year, starring in The Musketeer (2001) for Peter Hyams. In 2002, she shared the Silver Bear Award for Best Ensemble Cast at the Berlin International Film Festival for her performance in 8 Women. In 2005, Deneuve published her diary A l’ombre de moi-meme (“In My Own Shadow”, published in English as Close Up and Personal: The Private Diaries of Catherine Deneuve); in it she writes about her experiences shooting the films Indochine and Dancer in the Dark. She also provided the voice role of Marjane Satrapi‘s mother in Satrapi’s animated autobiographical film Persepolis (2007), based on the graphic novel of the same name.Deneuve’s more recent work includes Potiche (2010) and Les Bien-aimés (2011), in which she acts alongside her real-life daughter Chiara Mastroianni. During an interview at the Cannes Film Festival with Ali Naderzad, Deneuve was asked which was her own favorite film. “I still say it was The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. To do a film completely with music like an opera was an incredible experience. But to work with music all the time, it’s such a lift, you know? It’s an opera, it’s very different.” Deneuve continues to work steadily making at least two or three films per year.
Career outside of film
Deneuve appeared nude in two Playboy pictorials in 1963 and 1965. Her image was used to represent Marianne, the national symbol of France, from 1985 to 1989. As the face of Chanel No. 5 in the late 1970s, she caused sales of the perfume to soar in the United States – so much so that the American press, captivated by her charm, nominated her as the world’s most elegant woman. In 1983, American Home Products retained her to represent their cosmetics line and hired world-renowned photographer Richard Avedon to promote its line of Youth Garde cosmetics, for which she famously proclaimed, “Look closely. Next year I will be 40.”
She is considered the muse of designer Yves Saint Laurent; he dressed her in the films Belle de Jour, La Chamade, La sirène du Mississipi, Un flic, Liza, and The Hunger. In 1992, she became a model for his skincare line. In 2001, she was chosen as the new face of L’Oréal Paris. In 2006, Deneuve became the third inspiration for the M•A•C Beauty Icon series and collaborated on the colour collection that became available at M•A•C locations worldwide in February that year. Deneuve began appearing in the new Louis Vuitton luggage advertisements in 2007. Deneuve was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013.