Feuillère, Edwige (1907–1998)

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Feuillère, Edwige (1907–1998)

French actress. Name variations: played minor roles early in career under stage name Cora Lynn. Born Caroline Vivette Edwige Cunati on October 29, 1907, in Vesorel, France; died on November 13, 1998; daughter of Guy (an architect) and Berthe (Koenig) Cunati; studied acting at the Conservatory of Dijon and the Conservatory of Paris, with Georges Le Roy; married Pierre Feuillère (an actor), in 1931 (divorced).

Made her stage debut at the Comédie Française, Paris, as Suzanne in Mariage de Figaro (1931); remained with that company until 1933; her subsequent roles in French and international theater include: Marguerite Gautier in La Dame Aux Camélias (1940), Lia in Sodome et Gomorrhe (1943), the Queen in L'Aigle à Deux Têtes (1946), Ysé in Partage du Midi (1948), Paola in Pour Lucrèce (1953), Clothilde in La Parisienne (1957), La Périchole in Le Carosse du Saint-Sacrement (1957), title role in Phèdre (1957), title role in Lucy Crown (1958), title role in Constance (1960); later plays included Kopit's Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad (1963), Giraudoux's La Folle de Chaillot (1965), Williams' Sweet Bird of Youth (1971), Dürrenmatt's Der Besuch der alten Dame (1976), Arbuzov's Old World, known in French as Le Bateau pour Lipaïa (1977), Anouilh's Léocadia (1984).

Selected films:

La Fine Combine (1931); Mam'zelle Nitouche (1931); Le Cordon Bleu (1931); La Perle (1932); Une Petite Femme dans le Train (1932); Topaze (1932); Monsieur Albert (1932); Maquillage (1932); Toi que J'Adore (1933); Matricule 33 (1933); Les Aventures du Roi Pausole (1934); Le Miroir aux Alouettes (1934); Stradivarius (1935); La Route Heureuse (1935); Lucrece Borgia (1935); Golgotha (1935); Barcarolle (1935); Amore (1935); Mister Flow (1936); Marthe Richard, Espionne au Service de la France (1937); Feu! (1937); La Dame de Malacca (1937); J'étais une Aventuriére (1938); Sans Lendemain (1940); Mayerling to Sarajevo (1940); L'Idiot (1946); L'Aigle à Deux Têtes (The Eagle Has Two Heads, 1947); Woman Hater (1948); Olivia (1950); Adorables Creatures (1952); Le Blé en Herbe (1953); En Cas de Malheur (1957); Le Crime ne paie pas (1962); Do You Like Women? (1964); Let's Make Love (1968); Clair de Terre (1970); La Chair de l'Orchidée (1974); Julia (1977).

After playing minor roles on the stage under the name Cora Lynn, French actress Edwige Feuillère joined the renowned Comédie Française in 1931, the same year she married actor Pierre Feuillère. Two years later, she parted with both her husband and the Comédie Française to pursue a film career. Eventually becoming the "first lady" of French cinema, the beautiful Feuillère excelled both in drama and comedy, playing desirable but heartless femmes fatales. Her classical style lent itself particularly well to costume roles. Feuillère returned to the Paris stage in 1934, where she added considerably to her stature as an actress. In 1946, Jean Cocteau wrote the play L'Aigle à Deux Têtes (The Eagle Has Two Heads) especially for her, and she recreated her stunning portrayal of the Queen in a later film version. The actress made several appearances on the London stage and also produced and directed for her own repertory company. She was named a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur and was honored by the French Film Academy with a César Award in 1984. Her autobiography, Les Feux de la Mémoire, was published in 1977.