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Catherine Deneuve

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Basic Information

Catherine Deneuve

Date of Birth: 22 October 1943
Place of Birth: Paris, France
Birth Name: Catherine Fabienne Dorléac
Height: 5' 6" (1.68 m)


Catherine Deneuve (French IPA: [katʁin dəˈnœv], born 22 October 1943) is a French actress. She gained recognition for her portrayal of aloof and mysterious beauties in films such as Repulsion (1965) and Belle de jour (1967). Deneuve was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1993 for her performances in Indochine; she also won César Awards for that film and The Last Metro (1980). Considered one of France's most successful actresses, she has also appeared in seven English-language films, most notably the 1983 cult classic The Hunger. In 2008, she appeared in her 100th film, Un conte de Noël.

Early life

Deneuve was born Catherine Fabienne Dorléac in Paris, as the third of four daughters to French stage and screen actor Maurice Dorléac and actress Renée Deneuve. Deneuve was raised Catholic. Her three sisters are actress Françoise Dorléac (who died in a car crash on 26 June 1967), Sylvie Dorléac and Danielle Dorléac.

Film career

Deneuve made her film debut with a small role in Les Collégiennes (1957). She subsequently appeared in films directed by Roger Vadim, such as Vice and Virtue (1963). The film that brought her to stardom was Jacques Demy's 1964 musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, which led to additional prominent roles in Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) and Luis Buñuel's Belle de Jour (1967). In the Polanski film, Deneuve first portrayed the character archetype for which she would be nicknamed the "ice maiden", an emotionally distant and mysterious woman; her work for Buñuel would be her most famous. Deneuve remained active in European films throughout the 1960s and 70s, but limited her appearances in American movies of the period to The April Fools (1969) and Hustle (1975). Her significant films at the time included the musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967) with her sister Françoise Dorléac and Tristana (1970) directed by Buñuel. She co-starred with a young Jodie Foster in Casotto (1977).

In the 1980s, Deneuve's most notable films were François Truffaut's Le Dernier métro (1980), which garnered her the César Award for Best Actress, and Tony Scott's cult classic The Hunger (1983), her third American film in which she starred as a bisexual vampire, co-starring with David Bowie and Susan Sarandon. Deneuve's sex scene with Sarandon in The Hunger brought her a significant lesbian following.

Deneuve won a second Cesar Award and received an Academy Award nomination for her performance in the period piece Indochine (1992). Her other significant movies were André Téchiné's Ma saison préférée (1993) and Les Voleurs (1995). In 1994 she was Vice President on the jury of the Cannes Film Festival. In 1996, Deneuve joined the documentary L'Univers de Jacques Demy, to show tribute to the director who made the film that brought her to fame. In 1998, she won acclaim and the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in Place Vendôme. In 1999 Deneuve appeared in five films, including: Est-Ouest, Le temps retrouvé, and Pola X. Her part in Lars von Trier's musical drama Dancer in the Dark (2000) alongside Icelandic singer Björk was subject to considerable critical scrutiny. The film was selected for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Deneuve's fourth and most recent American film was The Musketeer (2001). She shared the Silver Bear Award for Best Ensemble Cast at the Berlin International Film Festival for her performance in 8 Women (2002). 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; and working with leading men such as Burt Reynolds, Jack Lemmon, Vincent Perez, William Hurt, and Marcello Mastroianni. In 2006, she headed the jury at the Venice Film Festival. She made another brief return to Hollywood with a guest-starring role on the FX TV series Nip/Tuck during its fourth season in November 2006. She also lent her voice to the Oscar-nominated animated feature Persepolis (2007). In 2008, she appeared in her 100th film, Un conte de Noël, which co-starred her daughter Chiara Mastroianni. That same year she was honored at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival for her work.

Deneuve continues to work steadily making at least two or three films per year.

Career outside of film


Deneuve is considered designer Yves Saint Laurent's muse; he dressed her in the films Belle de Jour, La Chamade, La Sirène du Mississippi, Liza, and The Hunger.

Deneuve was the face of Chanel No. 5 in the late 1970s and 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.

Her image was used to represent Marianne, the national symbol of France, from 1985 to 1989.

In 1992, Deneuve became a model for Yves Saint Laurent's 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. Deneuve and Make-up Art Cosmetics closely collaborated on the colour collection that became available at M•A•C locations worldwide in February 2006.

In late 2007, Deneuve began appearing in the new Louis Vuitton luggage advertisements.


Deneuve introduced her own perfume, Deneuve, in 1986. She is also a designer of glasses, shoes, jewelry and greeting cards.


  • Deneuve was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Safeguarding of Film Heritage in 1994. On 12 November 2003, she resigned her position as Goodwill Ambassador at UNESCO to protest the nomination of French businessman Pierre Falcone as the Angola representative, which enables him to escape justice and investigation for illegal arms dealing.
  • Deneuve asked that the rights owed to her from her representation of Marianne be given to Amnesty International.
  • Louis Vuitton made a donation to The Climate Project, spearheaded by Al Gore, on behalf of Deneuve.
  • Deneuve is also involved with Children Action, Children of Africa, Orphelins Roumains and Reporters sans frontières (Reporters Without Borders).
  • Douleur sans frontiers (Pain Without Borders) - At the end of 2003, Deneuve recorded a radio commercial to encourage donations to fight against the pain in the world, notably for the victims of landmines.
  • Handicap International - In the middle of July 2005, Deneuve lent her voice to the message of radio commercials, TV and cinema, which denounced the use of the BASM (cluster bombs).
  • Voix de femmes pour la démocratie (Voice of women for democracy) - Deneuve read the text, "Le petit garçon," of Jean-Lou Dabadie, on the entitled CD, "Voix de femmes pour la démocratie." The CD was sold for the benefit of the female victims of the war and the fundamentalisms that fight for democracy.
  • Deneuve has also been involved with various charities in the fight against AIDS and cancer.

Political involvement

  • In 1972, Deneuve signed the Manifesto of the 343 (Manifeste des 343 salopes, Manifest of the 343 bitches). The manifesto was an admission by its signers to have practiced illegal abortions, and therefore, exposed themselves to judicial actions and prison sentences. It was published in Le Nouvel Observateur on 5 April 1971. That same year, feminist lawyer Gisèle Halimi founded the group, Choisir (“To Choose”), to protect the women who had signed the Manifesto of the 343.
  • Deneuve is involved with Amnesty International's program to abolish the death penalty.
  • In 2001, Deneuve delivered a petition organized by the French-based group, "Together Against the death penalty," to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
  • In April 2007, Deneuve signed a petition on the internet protesting the "misogynous" treatment of socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal. More than 8,000 French men and women signed the petition, including French actress Jeanne Moreau.

Personal life

Deneuve speaks fluent French, Italian, English and is semi-fluent in German. Her hobbies and passions include gardening, drawing, photography, reading, music, cinema, fashion, antiques and decoration.

Deneuve was married to photographer David Bailey from 1965 to 1972. They divorced but remain friends, and she has since said "Marriage is an obsolete trap." She has had relationships with directors François Truffaut and Roger Vadim, actors Marcello Mastroianni,Burt Reynolds, and Clint Eastwood, and Canal+ tycoon Pierre Lescure.

Deneuve has two children: son Christian Vadim, from her relationship with Roger Vadim, and daughter Chiara Mastroianni, from her relationship with Marcello Mastroianni.

Deneuve has four grandchildren: Christian's son Igor and daughter Lou, and Chiara's son Milo and daughter Anna.


Year Film Role Notes
1957 Les Collégiennes Une grande (The Twilight Girls)

Credited as Catherine/Sylvie Dorléac

1960 L'Homme à femmes Catherine (Murder by Two)
Les portes claquent Dany (The Door Slams)
1962 Et satan conduit le bal Manuelle (And Satan Calls the Turns)
Les Parisiennes Sophie (Tales of Paris)

Segment: "Sophie"

1963 Le vice et la vertu Justine Morand (Vice and Virtue)
Vacances portugaises Catherine (Portuguese Vacation)
1964 La Costanza della ragione Lori
Les Parapluies de Cherbourg Geneviève Emery (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)
Les plus belles escroqueries du monde Swindler (The World's Most Beautiful Swindlers)

Segment: "L'homme qui vendit la Tour Eiffel"

La Chasse à l'homme Denise (Male Hunt)
Un monsieur de compagnie Isabelle (Male Companion)
1965 Repulsion Carole Ledoux
Les Petits chats (Wild Roots of Love)
Das Liebeskarussell Angela Claasen (The Daisy Chain)
La Chant du monde Clara (Song of the World)
1966 La Vie de château Marie (A Matter of Resistance)
Les Créatures Mylène (The Creatures)
1967 Les Demoiselles de Rochefort Delphine Garnier (The Young Girls of Rochefort)
Belle de jour Séverine Serizy (Beauty of the Day)
1968 Benjamin Anne
La Chamade Lucile (Heartbeat)
Manon 70 Manon
Mayerling Maria Vetsera
1969 The April Fools Catherine Gunther
La Sirène du Mississippi Julie Roussel/Marion Vergano (Mississippi Mermaid)
Tout peut arriver Interviewee (Don't Be Blue)
1970 Tristana Tristana
Peau d'Âne La princesse/Peau d'âne (Donkey Skin)
1971 Ca n'arrive qu'aux autres Catherine (It Only Happens to Others)
1972 Liza Liza
Un flic Cathy (A Cop)
1973 L'Evènement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la lune Irène de Fontenoy (A Slightly Pregnant Man)
1974 Don't Touch the White Woman! Marie-Hélène de Boismonfrais
Fatti di gente perbene Linda Murri (Drama of the Rich)
La Femme aux bottes rouges Françoise LeRoi (The Woman with Red Boots)
1975 Zig zig Marie
L'agression Sarah (Act of Aggression)
Le Sauvage Nelly (The Savage)
Hustle Nicole Britton
1976 Si c'était à refaire Catherine Berger (I Had to Do It All Over Again)
1977 Anima persa Sofia Stolz (Lost Soul)
March or Die Simone Picard
Casotto Donna del sogno (Beach House)
1978 L'Argent des autres Cécile Rainier (Other People's Money)
1979 Ecoute voir... Claude Alphand (See Here My Love)
À nous deux Françoise (Us Two)
1980 Ils sont grands, ces petits Louise Mouchin (When I Was a Kid, I Didn't Dare)
Courage fuyons Eva (Courage - Let's Run)
The Last Metro Marion Steiner
Je vous aime Alice (I Love You All)
1981 Le Choix des armes Nicole Durieux (Choice of Arms)
Hôtel des Amériques Hélène (Hotel of the Americas)
1982 Le choc Claire (The Shock)
1983 L'Africain Charlotte (The African)
The Hunger Miriam Blaylock
1984 Le Bon plaisir Claire Després
Fort Saganne Louise
1985 Paroles et musique Margaux (Love Songs)
1986 Speriamo che sia femmina Claudia (Let's Hope It's a Girl)
Le lieu du crime Lili Ravenel (Scene of the Crime)
1987 Agent trouble Amanda Weber
1988 Fréquence meurtre Jeanne Quester (Frequent Death)
1989 Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre France (Strange Place for an Encounter)
1991 La Reine blanche Liliane Ripoche
1992 Indochine Eliane (Indochina)
1993 Ma saison préférée Emilie (My Favorite Season)
1994 La Partie d'échecs Marquise (The Chess Game)
1995 Les Cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma La star-fantasme (A Hundred and One Nights)
O Convento Hélène (The Convent)
1996 Les Voleurs Marie Leblanc (The Thieves)
Court toujours: L'inconnu Marianne
1997 Généalogies d'un crime Jeanne/Solange (Genealogies of a Crime)
Sans titre N/A
1998 Place Vendôme Marianne Malivert
1999 Le Vent de la nuit Hélène (The Wind of the Night)
Belle maman Léa (Beautiful Mother)
Pola X Marie
Time Regained Odette de Crecy
Est-Ouest Gabrielle Develay (East-West)
2000 Dancer In The Dark Kathy
2001 Je rentre à la maison Marguerite (I'm Going Home)
Absolument fabuleux Une spectatrice du défilé (Absolutely Fabulous)
The Musketeer The Queen
Le Petit poucet La reine (Tom Thumb)
2002 8 femmes Gaby (8 Women)
Au plus près du paradis Fanette (Nearest to Heaven)
2003 Les Liaisons dangereuses Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil (The Dangerous Liaisons)

TV mini-series

Um Filme Falado Delfina (A Talking Picture)
2004 Princesse Marie Marie Bonaparte
Rois et reine Mme Vasset (Kings and Queen)
Les Temps qui changent Cécile (Changing Times)
2005 Palais royal! Eugénia
2006 Le Concile de Pierre Sybille Weber (The Stone Council)
Nip/Tuck Diana Lubey TV series

(One episode, first run 11/21/06)

Le Héros de la famille Alice Mirmont (The Family Hero)
2007 Après lui Camille (After Him)
Persepolis Mrs. Satrapi, Marjane's mother Voice
Frühstück mit einer Unbekannten Elegante Dame (Suddenly Gina)
2008 Un conte de Noël Junon (A Christmas Tale)
Je veux voir Herself (I Want to See)
Mes stars et moi Solange Duvivier (My Stars)
2009 La Fille du Rer Louise (The Girl on The Train)
Cyprien Vivianne Wagner
Bancs publics (Versailles rive droite) La cliente armoire
2010 Potiche


  • Souviens Toi De M'oublier (1981)

Awards and nominations

César Awards

Year Award Film Result
1981 Best Actress Le dernier métro Won
1993 Indochine
Year Award Film Result
1976 Best Actress Le Sauvage Nominated
1982 Hôtel des Amériques
1988 Agent Trouble
1989 Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre
1994 Ma saison préférée
1997 Les Voleurs
1999 Place Vendôme
2006 Best Supporting Actress Palais Royal!

Academy Awards

Year Award Film Result
1993 Best Actress Indochine Nominated

BAFTA Awards

Year Award Film Result
1967 Best Actress Belle de jour Nominated

Other Awards

Year Group Award Film Result
1981 David di Donatello Awards Best Foreign Actress Le Dernier métro Won
1993 Women in Film Crystal Awards International Award N/A
1995 San Sebastián International Film Festival Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award N/A
1997 Moscow International Film Festival Silver St. George Contribution to World Cinema
1998 Venice Film Festival Volpi Cup, Best Actress Place Vendôme
2000 Art Film Festival Actor’s Mission Award N/A
2002 Berlin International Film Festival Silver Berlin Bear 8 Women, shared with ensemble cast
2002 European Film Awards Best Actress 8 Women, shared with ensemble cast
2005 Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or d'honneur N/A
2006 Bangkok International Film Festival Golden Kinnaree Career Achievement Award N/A
2006 Istanbul International Film Festival Cinema Honarary Award N/A
2008 Cannes Film Festival Prix spécial du jury du 61 Festival de Cannes Special Jury award with Clint Eastwood

See also

  • Cinema of France


  • 1995: Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#38).
  • An archetype for Gallic beauty, she succeeded Brigitte Bardot as the model for Marianne, the symbol of the French Republic seen on French coins and stamps.
  • October 1997: Ranked #89 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Top 100 Movie Stars of All Time" list.
  • Son: Christian Vadim (b. 18 June 1963). Father is Roger Vadim.
  • Daughter: Chiara Mastroianni (b. 28 May 1972). Father is Marcello Mastroianni.
  • Catherine is the third of four daughters born to the French actors Maurice Dorléac and Renée Deneuve (whose name she uses).
  • Sister of Françoise Dorléac, Sylvie Dorléac and Danielle Dorléac (b.1946).
  • She liked Breaking the Waves (1996) by Lars von Trier so much that she wrote a personal letter to him, asking him for a role in a film of his. The result of this is her part in Dancer in the Dark (2000).
  • Has never performed in the theatre due to stage fright.
  • 1994: Festival tribute at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, France.
  • Was once fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent's muse, who dressed her for the films Belle de Jour (1967), Heartbeat (1968), Mississippi Mermaid (1969), and Un flic (1972).
  • Had a brand of perfume named after her.
  • Measurements: 33 1/2-24-35 (1965 - "My bust is small."), 34 1/2B-25 1/2-36 (in 1985) (Source: Celebrity Sleuth magazine).
  • She speaks fluent Italian and French, as well as semi-fluent English and German.
  • Marilyn Monroe is her favorite actress, and The Misfits (1961) is her favorite movie starring Marilyn.
  • 1994: Vice president of jury at the Cannes Film Festival.
  • Former mother-in-law of singer Benjamin Biolay.
  • Her role in Mississippi Mermaid (1969) was played by Angelina Jolie in Original Sin (2001), the American remake of the movie.
  • Published her diary "A l'ombre de moi-meme" (In my shadow) in which she writes about the shootings of Indochina (1992), and Dancer in the Dark (2000) (2005).
  • Sang duets with Bernadette Lafont (1975), Gérard Depardieu (1980), Malcolm McLaren (1993), Joe Cocker (1995) and Alain Souchon (1997). In 1981, she released an album with songs of Serge Gainsbourg.
  • Designer of glasses, shoes, jewelry, and greetings cards.
  • 1988: Member of the international jury of the Shangaï Television festival.
  • Her performance as Séverine Sérizy in Belle de Jour (1967) is ranked #59 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
  • She had a relationship with François Truffaut in the 1970s. When the relationship failed, Truffaut had a nervous breakdown. Deneuve attended his funeral in 1984 and later appeared in 8 Women (2002) with Fanny Ardant, who was Truffaut's partner at the time of his death and the mother of his youngest daughter.
  • 2006: Head juror of the Venice Film Festival.
  • She and Marcello Mastroianni made five movies together: Les cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma (1995), Liza (1972), Touche pas à la femme blanche (1974), It Only Happens to Others (1971), and L'événement le plus important depuis que l'homme a marché sur la lune (1973).
  • 2005: Guest of Belgrade Film Festival - FEST 2005.
  • "Me and Catherine Deneuve Split up" is a song by Eton Crop.
  • Song "Catherine Deneuve and the Deus ex machina" is sung by band Kelly and the Kellygirls.
  • Juan Antonio Canta sings a song called "Catherine Deneuve".
  • As of the 5th edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), she ties, with Mae Marsh (most of whose performances amount to cameos), as the most represented actress with 7 films. Included are the Deneuve films The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), Repulsion (1965), The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), Belle de Jour (1967), Tristana (1970), The Last Metro (1980) and Dancer in the Dark (2000).
  • Is a grandmother. Her grandsons are Igor (b. 1988) and Milo (b. 1996), and her granddaughters are Anna (b. 2003) and Lou (b. 2010).
  • Was originally cast in the role of Caterine Vauban in I Heart Huckabees (2004) but dropped out at the last minute. The part went to Isabelle Huppert.
  • Turned down an offer to play the Bond girl Tracy in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969). That role went to Diana Rigg.
  • Would have starred in "The Short Night" directed by Alfred Hitchcock, but the film was never made due to Hitchcock's death.
  • Wanted to play Lillian in Bobby Deerfield (1977) but the role went to Marthe Keller.
  • Auditioned for the role of Francesca Johnson in The Bridges of Madison County (1995); the part went to Meryl Streep.
  • Turned down the role of Bond girl Tracy DiVicenzo in the James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969).