Deneuve, Catherine 1943- (Catherine Dorieac, Catherine Dorléac)

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Deneuve, Catherine 1943- (Catherine Dorieac, Catherine Dorléac)


Born October 22, 1943, in Paris, France; daughter of Maurice Dorléac (an actor) and Renée Deneuve (an actor); married David Bailey, 1965 (divorced, 1972; some sources say 1970); children: (with director Roger Vadim) Christian Vadim, (with actor Marcello Mastroianni) Chiara Mastroianni. Education: Attended École Lamazou and Lycée La Fontaine.


Office—76, rue Bonaparte, 75006 Paris, France.


Actor, producer, composer, designer, and memoirist. Actor in films, including Les Collegiennes (The Twilight Girls), 1957; Les Petits Chats (Wild Roots of Love), 1959; Les Portes claquent (The Doors Slam), 1960; Ladies Man, 1960; Tales of Paris, 1962; Vice and Virtue, 1962; Satan Leads the Dance, 1962; Portuguese Vacation, 1963; The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, 1964; The Beautiful Swindlers, 1964; La Costanza della ragione, 1964; The Gentle Art of Seduction, 1964; Male Companion, 1964; Repulsion, 1965; Who Wants to Sleep?, 1965; Song of the World, 1965; A Matter of Resistance, 1966; Belle de Jour, 1967; The Young Girls of Rochefort, 1968; Benjamin, 1968; Mayerling, 1968; Manon 70, 1968; Mississippi Mermaid, 1969; The Creatures, 1969; Heartbeat, 1969; The April Fools, 1969; Tristana, 1970; Donkey Skin, 1970; It Only Happens to Others, 1971; Liza, 1972; A Slightly Pregnant Man, 1973; Don't Touch the White Woman!, 1974; The Lady with Red Boots, 1974; Zig-Zag, 1974; Drama of the Rich, 1974; The Savage, 1975; Hustle, 1975; Dirty Money, 1975; Act of Aggression, 1975; If I Had to Do It All Over Again, 1976; The Forbidden Room, 1977; March or Die, 1977; Beach House, 1977; Other People's Money, 1978; Look See …, 1978; These Kids Are Grown-Ups, 1979; Us Two, 1979; Courage—Let's Run, 1979; The Last Metro, 1980; I Love You All, 1980; Hotel des Ameriques, 1981; Choice of Arms, 1981; Contract in Blood, 1982; The Hunger, 1983; The African, 1983; Le Bon plaisir, 1984; Fort Saganne, 1984; Love Songs, 1984; Let's Hope It's a Girl, 1985; Scene of the Crime, 1986; Agent Trouble, 1987; A Strange Place to Meet, 1988; Listening in the Dark, 1988; La Reine blanche, 1991; Against Oblivion, 1991; Indochine, 1992; My Favorite Season, 1993; François Truffaut: Stolen Portraits, 1993; The Young Girls Turn 25, 1993; The Chess Game, 1994; The Convent, 1995; A Hundred and One Nights, 1995; Thieves, 1996; Genealogies of a Crime, 1997; Sans titre, 1997; Place Vendome, 1998; The Wind of the Night, 1999; Beautiful Mother, 1999; Le Temps Retrouve, 1999; East-West, 1999; A Carta, 1999; The Last Napoleon, 1999; Pola X, 1999; Dancer in the Dark, 2000; I'm Going Home, 2001; (narrator) Clouds: Letters to My Son, 2001; The Musketeer, 2001; Tom Thumb, 2001; Absolument fabuleux, 2001; 8 Femmes (8 Women), 2002; Nearest to Heaven, 2002; Un Filme Falado, 2003; Temps qui changent, 2004; King and Queen, 2005; Palais Royal!, 2005; Le Heros de famille, 2006; Apre lui, 2007; Persepolis, 2007; Banks publics, 2008; Je veux voir, 2008; and Un conte de Noel, 2008.

Television appearances include commercials for Chanel, c. mid-1970s; Court toujours: L'inconnu, 1996; Pierre ou les ambiguites, 1999; Les Liaisons dangereuses (miniseries), 2002; Princess Marie, 2004; and Nip/Tuck, 2006;. Composer of film songs, including Zig Zig, 1974; Courage fuyons, 1979; Je vous aime, 1980; Belle maman, 1999; Dancer in the Dark, 2000; and 8 femmes, 2002. Guest on television programs and specials.

Films de la Citrouille (film production company), founder, 1971. UNESCO campaign to protect World's Film Heritage, cochair, 1994. Designer of apparel such as glasses and shoes, as well as jewelry and greeting cards.

A Strange Place to Meet, producer, 1988.


Best Actress Cesar Award, 1980, for Le Dernier Metro; selected as model for Marianne, symbol of French Republic, by the French Ministry of Culture, 1985; Best Actress Cesar Award, and Academy Award nomination, both 1992, both for Indochine; Women in Film Crystal Award, 1993; San Sebastian International Film Festival Golden Seashell for Lifetime Achievement, 1995; Berlin Film Festival Honorary Golden Bear, 1998; Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup as Best Actress, for Place Vendome, 1998; Venice Film Festival Silver Lion for Best Actress, 1998; lifetime achievement award, Cairo International Film Festival, 1999; Actor's Mission Award for contributions toward developing world cinema, International Art Film Festival Trencianske Teplice, 2000; career award, Vasto Film Festival, 2002; Silver Bear Award for Best Individual Artistic Contribution, Berlin International Film Festival, presented to cast of 8 Femmes, 2002; Bangkok International Film Festival Golden Kinnaree Career Achievement Award, 2006; honorary award, San Luis Cine International Festival, Argentina, 2007; Palme D'Or, Cannes Film Festival, for The Umbrellas of Cherbourg; nine-time Cesar Award nominee.


(With Patrick Modiano) Elle s'appelait Françoise, Canal (Paris, France), 1996.

A L'ombre De Moi-meme (memoir), Stock (Paris, France), 2004, published as Close Up and Personal, translated by Polly McLean, Orion (London, England), 2005.


Known as much for her transcendent beauty as for her finely honed acting skills, French actress Catherine Deneuve has been an elegant fixture in both American and international films for some fifty years. "Deneuve's most potent stock in trade has always been a beguiling and complaisant innocence, combined with an ingrained seriousness, even solemnity, that her most unbuttoned action cannot dislodge," observed a biographer in the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers.

Deneuve was born Catherine Dorléac on October 22, 1943, in Paris, France. Her parents, Maurice and Renée Dorléac, were also actors. At the age of thirteen, Deneuve entered the acting field herself, adopting her mother's maiden name and securing her place as an enduring film legend. Her first role was in the film Les Collegiennes. Deneuve credits her sister, Françoise Dorléac, with inspiring her to take up acting as a profession. "Her sister was a talented and beautiful actress," noted David Denicol in a New York Times profile of Deneuve, "with whom the younger, shyer Catherine was very close." In the profile, Deneuve told Denicol: "I never wanted to be an actress. My sister wanted to be an actress—and was—and actually that's how I got involved in film." Deneuve was profoundly affected by her sister's death in a car crash at age twenty-five, a tragedy which still haunts her even today, she reported in her memoir Close Up and Personal.

Deneuve appeared in other films in the early sixties, but it was not until her appearance in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, in 1964, that she began to attract widespread attention. In the film, a musical drama in which the actors sang all their lines, she plays the daughter of an umbrella store owner. "She falls in love with a car mechanic right before he is sent off to the war in Algeria," commented a biographer in Newsmakers. "Despite professing her love and promising to marry, Deneuve's character ends up marrying a kind, rich young man who she does not love because she is pregnant with the mechanic's child. The two meet again years later having settled into their respective lives, hers as an upper-class wife and mother, his as a middle-class gas station owner." The biographer continued, reporting that, "for her performance, Deneuve gained an international audience and impressed upon the film-going public her freshness and innocence."

Her next film, Repulsion, brought her into contact with the first of many prominent actors and directors she would be involved with over the years. The film was directed by Roman Polanski, and "helped establish the cold yet sexual persona that has been identified with Deneuve for the majority of her career," the Newsmakers biographer reported.

Deneuve's personal life, though occasionally turbulent, seemed well removed from her professional life. In 1963, she had a son with film director Roger Vadim, known for his relationships with other leading ladies of the time, including Brigitte Bardot and Jane Fonda. Her marriage in 1965 to photographer David Bailey lasted some seven years, until they were divorced in 1972. Meanwhile, Deneuve had become romantically involved with noted actor Marcello Mastroianni in 1971. The two had a daughter together in May, 1972.

As an actress, Deneuve has remained consistently busy in film throughout her career. She again garnered international attention and critical acclaim in 1992, when she starred in Indochine, portraying Eliane Devries, a French rubber plantation owner whose personal and business life erupted in turmoil. Deneuve has received many awards and honors. She received a Cesar Award, the French equivalent of America's Academy Award, in 1980 for Le Dernier Metro; and in 1992 for Indochine, for which she also received an Academy Award nomination. She served as the model and spokeswoman for the upscale perfume Chanel No. 5, which greatly energized sales. She also launched her own perfume through Avon. In 1985, the French Ministry of Culture selected Deneuve as the model for Marianne, the female symbol of the French Republic, replacing another well-known French film star, iconic sex symbol Brigitte Bardot.

"Now well into middle-age, Deneuve has settled in as one of the French cinema's aristocrats and legends. Any film in which she appears, even in a small role—such as Est-ouest, in which she plays an actress—automatically radiates prestige," commented the International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers biographer. Deneuve finds growing older a natural and acceptable part of nature, even if it has unpleasant consequences. In a Guardian interview with Geoff Andrew, Deneuve said that "getting older is not nice for anyone, not for men, not for women, and even more difficult for people who depend on their physical appearance. But it's not a drama."

In her combination diary and memoir Close Up and Personal, Deneuve reflects back on her long and prestigious career in film. The book is derived from diary entries and thoughts that Deneuve recorded as she worked on film projects outside of France. "This book was company for me—I wrote these things when I was in hotels, far from where I normally live. I never intended to publish it," she told Andrew. After working with an editor who helped her prepare a book of interviews, she asked whether there would be any interest in her older journal entries. The editor read her writings and was convinced they would be appropriate for a book, which led to the publication of Close Up and Personal.

A Kirkus Reviews critic remarked that Deneuve's "film diaries project the very qualities that made their author an international figure of fascination: They are elegant, suffused with sensual beauty and intriguingly remote." She is an "impressive writer," the Kirkus Reviews contributor observed, describing the sights, sounds, and sensations of film sets and shooting locations, such as that of Indochine, with the "observational acumen of a born novelist." She includes cogent observations of the work habits of many of the directors she worked with, including the notorious Polanski and surrealist Luis Bunuel. She also reveals a number of personal quirks, such as her dislike of air conditioners. In assessing her own memoir, Deneuve told Andrew: "It's very difficult for me to speak about being an actor, but this book represents the sound of my voice when I'm working."



Contemporary Theatre, Film, and Television, Volume 50, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.

Deneuve, Catherine, Close Up and Personal (diary and memoir), Orion (London, England), 2005.

International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, Volume 3: Actors and Actresses, 4th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000.

Neuhoff, Eric, Catherine Deneuve, Solar (Paris, France), 1980.

Newsmakers, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2003.

Vadim, Roger, Bardot, Deneuve, Fonda, translated by Melinda Camber Porter, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1985.


Advocate, February 28, 2006, Alonso Duralde, interview with Catherine Deneuve, p. 27.

Ant-Lkbn Antara (Jakarta, Indonesia), November 25, 2004, "Jakarta Public Welcome French Actress Catherine Deneuve."

Daily Variety, May 18, 2004, Alison James, "Deneuve to Get Comic for ‘Palais,’" p. 6; February 10, 2006, Patrick Frater, "Kudos for Deneuve," p. 10; June 15, 2006, Nick Vivarelli, "Deneuve Leads Venice Jury," p. 29; November 9, 2006, Stacy Dodd, "Gena Rowlands, Right, and Catherine Deneuve, Far Right, Have Signed on to Voice Characters in ‘Persepolis,’" p. 2; February 16, 2007, Alison James, "Deneuve, Techine to Take on Art World," p. 50.

Esquire, January, 1997, Phillip Lopate, "Facing Up to Deneuve," profile of Catherine Deneuve, p. 84.

Film Journal International, May, 2007, Andreas Fuchs, "Cinematheque Dotes on Catherine Deneuve," p. 55.

Guardian (London, England), September 21, 2005, Geoff Andrew, "Catherine Deneuve," transcript of interview with Catherine Deneuve.

Harper's Bazaar, March, 2000, William Middleton, "Catherine the Great," profile of Catherine Deneuve, p. 342.

Hollywood Reporter, April 2, 2002, Zorianna Kit, "Deneuve, Everett, Sobieski Play in French ‘Liaisons,’" p. 1; February 10, 2006, "Deneuve's Gold," p. 6; October 9, 2007, Carly Mayberry, "Deneuve, Linney Tributes in AFI Festival's Spotlight," p. 2.

Kirkus Reviews, July 1, 2007, review of Close Up and Personal.

Library Journal, August 1, 2007, Stephen Rees, review of Close Up and Personal, p. 90.

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, October 12, 2002, Duane Dudek, "French Actress Keeps Her Feet on the Ground, Despite 79th Movie Role," profile of Catherine Deneuve.

New York Times, October 16, 1985, "Deneuve's New Role: Symbol of All France," profile of Catherine Deneuve; March 19, 1989, Janet Maslin, "Deneuve, Depardieu and Happenstance," review of A Strange Place to Meet; December 20, 1992, David Denicolo, "Eternally French. She's Deneuve," review of Indochine; December 24, 1992, Vincent Canby, "Deneuve as Symbol of Colonial Epoch," review of Indochine; August 18, 2000, Dave Kehr, "For Deneuve, a Setting in Which She Sparkles," review of Place Vendome, p. 12; September 29, 2000, Rick Lyman, "Deconstructing Deneuve," author profile, p. 12; July 14, 2006, Stephen Holden, "A Decades-Long Love, Reunited but Unrequited," p. 10.

Orlando Sentinel, January 9, 2004, Hal Boedeker, "Catherine Deneuve Relishes Her Role as a Schemer in ‘Liaisons.’"

People, May 3, 1993, "Catherine Deneuve," p. 85.

Telegraph (London, England), August 6, 2001, Erin Baker, "Deneuve Proves Beauty Is Ageless," profile of Catherine Deneuve.

Town & Country, January, 2002, Andrew Sarris, "In a Class by Herself: Catherine Deneuve," profile of Catherine Deneuve, p. 104.

UPI NewsTrack, January 8, 2005, "Catherine Deneuve Questioned by Police."

USA Today, January 29, 2008, Claudia Puig, "For Deneuve, Persepolis Is a Family Destination," p. 10.

Vanity Fair, January, 2006, "Catherine Deneuve; It Has Been Nearly 50 Years since Catherine Deneuve Made Her Film Debut, in Les Collegiennes," interview with Catherine Deneuve, p. 170.

World Entertainment News Network, September 23, 2005, "Deneuve Supports Moss."

WWD, May 16, 1983, Jane F. Lane, "Cool Catherine," profile of Catherine Deneuve, p. 6; December 2, 2005, Jule Naughton, "Deneuve Creates Line for Mac," p. 4.


Catherine Deneuve Home Page, (May 22, 2008)., (May 22, 2008), biography of Catherine Deneuve.

Internet Movie Database, (May 22, 2008), filmography of Catherine Deneuve.


All Things Considered, September 20, 2002, Bob Mondello, "Review: New French Film 8 Women, transcript of radio review of 8 Women.