the death of his sister Françoise Dorléac, “the great drama of his life”

the death of his sister Françoise Dorléac, “the great drama of his life”

CATHERINE DENEUVE. The documentary “Deneuve, Queen Catherine” broadcast on France 3 on April 14 looks back on the life of the great French actress, both in terms of her career and her private life.

[Mis à jour le 14 avril 2022 à 20h55] Catherine Deneuve is the subject of a documentary broadcast this Thursday, April 14 on France 3, Deneuve, Queen Catherine. The opportunity to return to his relationship with his sister, Françoise Dorléac. The two women were particularly complicit, while they were like two opposite sides of the same coin. “We were so close that we argued all the time, she commented in the columns of Paris-Match in 2016. Provocations, a way of seeing how the other will react”.

Catherine Deneuve will be deeply upset by the death of Françoise Dorléac on June 26, 1967. She was 25 when the fatal road accident took place which killed her sister. “The day I lost my sister, I lost my joy of living”, she remembers in the columns of Paris-Match in 2016. The same year, Catherine Deneuve returns with emotion to the death of her great sister in Madame Figaro, revealing that “her disappearance remains the great drama of my life, it is the most painful thing that I have experienced”.

Born October 22, 1943 in Paris, Catherine Deneuve is considered one of the greatest French actresses of her generation. Faithful to the cinema of Jacques Demy, she appeared in Les Umbrellas de Cherbourg, Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, but also Donkey Skin. But Catherine Deneuve has marked generations of film buffs in many other works, such as Belle de jour, The Last Metro (which earned her the César for best actress), but also 8 women.

The youth of Catherine Deneuve was very early marked by the cinema. Daughter of a couple of French actors, Catherine Dorléac began on the screen by doing extras as a teenager. Her stage name is Deneuve, her mother’s surname. She was engaged at the age of 20 in Le Vice et la Virtue by the pygmalion of female stars: Roger Vadim. From his union with the director will be born a son, Christian, who will also become an actor.

It was Jacques Demy who imposed Catherine Deneuve thanks to the astonishing success of Les Umbrellas de Cherbourg (1964, Louis Delluc prize and Palme d’Or at Cannes). The film made her immediately famous, in a role which emphasized her neat elegance as a beautiful young girl, pure and blonde, and representative of a certain idea of ​​French chic and the feminine ideal. Faithful to this filmmaker, Catherine Deneuve also directed Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967) – which she shared with her sister Françoise Dorléac -, Peau d’âne (1970), and The most important event since man walked on the moon (1973).

Roman Polanski was the first director to sense the dramatic potential of the actress: the following year, he shattered her smooth image by giving her the role of a female serial killer in Repulsion (1965). The same year, in a diametrically opposed genre, Catherine Deneuve gave free rein to her imagination in La Vie de château by Jean-Paul Rappeneau (Louis Delluc Prize in 1965). With Luis Buñuel, she creates unforgettable characters of icy sophistication and psychological ambiguity. Belle de jour (1967), in which she plays Séverine, a young middle-class woman who decides to prostitute herself freely, will offer her a turning point. During a filming that she will admit to being difficult, Catherine Deneuve will have to make people forget the romantic and reserved young girl from “Umbrellas” for a more vicious, even masochistic character. From this collaboration will also be born Tristana (1970).

During the 1960s and 1970s, Catherine Deneuve toured with Michel Deville (Benjamin, 1968), François Truffaut (La Sirène du Mississippi, 1969), Marco Ferreri (Liza, 1972; Touche pas à la femme blanche, 1974) and Jean- Pierre Melville (A cop, 1972). It was at this time that she met actor Marcello Mastroianni with whom she had a daughter, Chiara. A happiness that never comes alone, her performance in The Last Metro by François Truffaut (1980), who wrote this role especially for her, earned her the César for Best Actress. At the height of her national and international popularity, Catherine Deneuve was chosen in 1985 as the model for the new bust of Marianne.

In the early 80s, the actress met André Téchiné, an author who allowed her to renew her palette of emotions and her range of characters: Hôtel des Amériques (1981), Le Lieu du crime (1986) up to My favorite season (1993), Les Voleurs (1996) and more recently Les Temps qui change (2004). Catherine Deneuve is today one of the rare actresses of her generation who has achieved the status of an essential star, admired and respected by all. She led a career shared between mainstream films such as Fort Saganne (1984) by Alain Corneau, Indochine (1992) and Est-Ouest (1999, Régis Wargnier), Belle Maman (1998, Gabriel Aghion), 8 femmes (2002, François Ozon), and riskier works such as Funny place for a meeting (1987) by François Dupeyron, The Convent (1995) by Manoel de Oliveira, Genealogy of a crime (1996) and Time regained (1999) by Raúl Ruiz, Place Vendôme by Nicole Garcia (1998, for which she won the interpretation prize at the Venice Festival), Le Vent de la nuit (1999) by Philippe Garrel, Pola X (1999) by Léos Carax, Dancer in the Dark by Lars von Trier (2000, Palme d’Or at Cannes) or Kings and Queen (2004) by Arnaud Desplechin.

Many films since 2010

Far from stopping filming, Catherine Deneuve continued her career in the 2010s with regular cinema outings accompanied by numerous César nominations. For example, she was nominated for Potiche in 2011, Elle s’en va in 2014, Dans la cour in 2015 and La Tête haute in 2016. Lyon for his entire career. She was also awarded the Praemium Imperiale prize awarded by the Imperial Family of Japan in Tokyo in 2018.

Born Catherine Dorléac on October 22, 1943, Catherine Deneuve dated several men in her life, starting with director Roger Vadim, with whom she had a son, Christian, in 1963. The actress was married once, to photographer David Bailey in 1965. Her sister Françoise Dorléac and singer Mick Jagger witnessed the wedding. If the couple did not divorce until seven years later in 1972, the separation was effective in 1967. Catherine Deneuve then saw a love affair with the Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni. From their union will be born a daughter, Chiara Mastroianni in 1972. In the 1980s, we could count among the idylls of Catherine Deneuve the businessman Bertrand de Labbey or even Pierre Lescure, figure of journalism on television and radio.

We often forget it but Catherine Deneuve is not the real name of the actress who was actually born Catherine Dorléac, the name of her father which she used at the very beginning of her career before using the name of his mother Renée Simonot, whose real name is none other than Deneuve. It is for this reason that his sisters, Françoise and Sylvie Dorléac, are not called Deneuve. Born on March 21, 1942, Françoise is therefore the eldest sister. Close to Catherine, Françoise Dorléac was a witness at her marriage to David Bailey in 1965. The two sisters both worked towards acting and even starred in Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967). It was while going to the London screening of Jacques Demy’s film that Françoise Dorléac was cut down on June 26, 1967 in the prime of life, following a car accident. She was 25 years old.

In the columns of Madame Figaro in 2016, Catherine Deneuve returned to the death of her older sister: “Her disappearance remains the great drama of my life, it is the most painful thing that I have experienced”. Sylvie Dorléac, the younger sister, was born on December 14, 1946 in Paris. She was also an actress but only in her youth, notably in Les collégiennes with her sister Catherine in 1957. Subsequently, Sylvie worked alongside Catherine as her secretary for 38 years.

Catherine Deneuve is a mother, she gave birth to a boy and a girl during two different unions. Christian Vadim (real name Christian Plemiannikov) was born on June 18, 1963 from his relationship with director Roger Vadim. Christian is also an experienced actor who has distinguished himself in cinema, television and also in the theatre. Chiara Mastroianni, the daughter of Catherine Deneuve, was born on May 28, 1972 in Paris from her union with the actor Marcello Mastroianni. She also made a name for herself as an actress in the cinema in the films of Christophe Honoré in particular.

Catherine Deneuve suffered an ischemic vascular accident, a kind of stroke, in November 2019 on the set of Emmanuelle Bercot’s new film “In his lifetime”. The scene was shot at the Garges-lès-Gonesse hospital, which allowed the detection and very rapid management of the stroke of the French actress. The actress’s entourage later qualified her ischemic vascular accident as being “very limited and therefore reversible”. According to Le Parisien, the actress spent ten days in the hospital before entering a rehabilitation center where she spent two weeks. She then returned to her home in the sixth arrondissement of Paris at the beginning of December. After several months of recovery, the actress resumed filming In her lifetime in July 2020.

“I took a long time to recover.” It is with these words that Catherine Deneuve remembers, in the columns of Elle, her convalescence, after her stroke in November 2019. In an interview in Quotidien, on November 16, Catherine Deneuve remembers “a violent thing. I I had a great chance because it was violent, fast and short. It was something all the same finally quite light, with painful consequences, but quite light. And the actress of the Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Caesarized for The Last Metro, does not intend to end her career after this health glitch: “It could have stopped me, but I have not decided to stop”, she assures in Daily, even if she plans to slow down the pace of filming, to “two films a year”.


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