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Catherine Deneuve

Biography from Baseline's Encyclopedia of Film

Occupation: Actress

Birth Name: Catherine Dorléac

Born: October 22, 1943, Paris, France

Entered films as a teenager using her actress mother's maiden name and appeared in several routine movies such as Les Portes Claquent (1960) with elder sister Françoise Dorléac. Her youthfulness mirrored the sparkle of Jacques Demy's playful musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964), and Deneuve became a leading international star. Later an icy charm would brilliantly embody contemporary repression and ennui in Roman Polanski's Repulsion (1965) along with Luis Buñuel's Belle de Jour (1967) and Tristana (1970). Hollywood has occasionally beckoned the stunningly photogenic Deneuve, but neither the romantic comedy of The April Fools (1969) nor the neo-noir Hustle (1975) garnered her the popular acclaim she (and the films) deserved.
    Although her impassive quality has produced powerfully underplayed performances studded with sexual tension (François Truffaut's The Last Metro (1980) André Téchiné's Scene of the Crime (1986)), too often she has merely decorated films, cast as obligatory romantic heroines. 1983's The Hunger polarized critics who either despised or delighted in the decadent vampires whose modishness brought the former model's career around full circle. Deneuve ill-advisedly ventured into production with A Strange Place to Meet in 1988, but had by then become thoroughly institutionalized by the French Republic, which chose her profile as the model for symbolic "Marianne" statues to be displayed across the country. Her indelible, glossy womanliness earmarked her casting in Indochine (1992), in which she played an ideal Frenchwoman who has never seen her native land; this performance brought her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.
    Daughter of veteran French actor Maurice Dorléac, Deneuve was formerly married to photographer David Bailey and has children by director Roger Vadim and actor Marcello Mastroianni.

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