Danielle Yvonne Marie Antoinette Darrieux
May 1917) is a French actress and singer, who has appeared in more
than 110 films since 1931. As one of France's great movie stars,
her eight-decade career is among the longest in film history.
born in Bordeaux, France
during World War I to a physician who
was serving in the French Army.
Her father died when she was
seven years old. Raised in Paris, she studied the cello
at the Conservatoire de Musique. At 13, she won
a part in the musical film Le Bal
(1931). Her beauty combined with her
singing and dancing ability led to numerous other offers, and the
brought her to fame.
In 1935, Darrieux married a director
, who encouraged her to try Hollywood. She signed with
to star in
The Rage of Paris
opposite Douglas Fairbanks,
Afterwards, she elected to return to Paris.
Under the German
occupation of France during World War II
, she continued to
perform, a decision that was severely criticized by her
compatriots. However, it is reported that her brother had been
threatened with deportation by Alfred
, the manager of the German run film production company
in occupied France, Continental
. She got a divorce and then fell in love with
Porfirio Rubirosa, a Dominican
Republic diplomat and notorious womanizer.
married in 1942. His anti-Nazi
resulted in his forced residence in Germany. In exchange for
Rubirosa's freedom, Darrieux acceded to making a promotional trip
in Berlin. The couple lived in Switzerland until the end of the
war, and divorced in 1947. She married scriptwriter Georges
Mitsikidès in 1948, and they lived together until his death in
She gave a good performance in the 1951 MGM
musical, Rich, Young and
. Joseph L.
lured her back to
Hollywood to star in 5 Fingers
(1952) opposite James Mason
returning to France, she appeared in Max
Earrings of Madame de...
(1953) opposite Charles Boyer
, and The Red and the Black
(1954) opposite Gérard
. The next year she starred in Lady Chatterley's Lover
whose theme of uninhibited sexuality led to its being proscribed by
censors in the United
Approaching 40, she played a supporting role in what would be her
last American film, United Artists
epic Alexander the Great
starring Richard Burton
and Claire Bloom
. In 1961 she went to England at
the request of director Lewis Gilbert
to star in The Greengage
opposite Kenneth More
she starred in the romantic comedy La Robe Mauve de
Valentine at the Chatelet Theatre in Paris.
The play was adapted from the
novel by Francoise Sagan
. During the
1960s she also was a concert singer.
Darrieux replaced Katharine
Hepburn in the Broadway musical,
Coco, based on the life of
Coco Chanel, but the play, essentially a
showcase for Hepburn, soon folded without her.
she also appeared in the short-lived productions of Ambassador
. For her long service
to the motion picture industry, in 1985 she was given an Honorary César Award
. She has continued
to work, her career now spanning eight decades, most recently
providing the voice of the protagonist's grandmother in the
animated feature, Persepolis
(2007), which deals with
the impact of the Iranian Islamic revolution on a girl's life as
she grows to adulthood.