Catherine Deneuve

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Catherine Deneuve at the Berlinale 2017

Catherine Fabienne Deneuve , b. Dorléac [ katʁin dənœv ] (born October 22, 1943 in Paris ) is a multi-award-winning French film actress . She has received numerous awards for portraying mysterious reserved beauties in films by eminent directors such as Roman Polański , Luis Buñuel and François Truffaut . Since her film debut in 1957, Deneuve has appeared in over 130 films, mainly in the cinema.

life and work


Catherine Deneuve comes from a family of actors. Her mother Renée Deneuve (* 1911) is a stage actress and her father Maurice Dorléac (1901–1979) was a film actor and director of the Paramount dubbing studio . Her older sister, the actress Françoise Dorléac , who brought Catherine into the film business, was killed in a car accident in 1967. Deneuve said it took a long time to come to terms with the death of her beloved sister. Other sisters are Sylvie Dorléac and her half-sister Danielle, whose father was Aimé Clariond. Catherine is the third of the family's four sisters. Her natural hair color is brunette; but since she has been coloring her hair since the 1960s, she is known as a blonde . In 1963, Roger Vadim gave her son Christian Vadim . Marcello Mastroianni is the father of their daughter Chiara Mastroianni, who was born in 1972 . Both children are also actors. From 1965 to 1972 Deneuve was married to the British fashion photographer David Bailey . Today she says about marriage: “Why marry if there is a possibility of divorce?” Deneuve holds back on providing information about her private life, but she says of her childhood that she “grew up very sheltered”.

Film career

Deneuve, who did not take acting lessons, worked in the film business from an early age. She had her first role at the age of 13, at that time still under the name Catherine Dorléac, in Les Collègiennes in 1957 . Her sister Françoise had asked her to play during the summer holidays. In 1960 she played again with Françoise Dorléac in The Little Sinner .


Catherine Deneuve 1969

She achieved her breakthrough at the age of 21 in the musical film The Regenschirme von Cherbourg (1964), directed by Jacques Demy . The director Benoît Jacquot considers this film to be of decisive importance for her type and appearance in her later films, Demy's film is "the heart of her art". Her next success was Roman Polański's Disgust , in which she plays a young woman who becomes a murderess in a maddened state. In 1967 she played the lead role again in a Demy film, in The Girls of Rochefort - at the side of her sister Françoise and the then 50-year-old Danielle Darrieux , with whom she also appeared in 8 women 35 years later . She starred in Belle de Jour in 1967, directed by Luis Buñuel . The film became an international success and is considered one of Buñuel's best-known works.

Catherine Deneuve 1995

In 1969 Deneuve played alongside Jean-Paul Belmondo in The Secret of the False Bride . The internationally successful film was directed by François Truffaut . Deneuve played a marriage fraud here. The last Metro was the next internationally successful Truffaut film in 1980, in which Deneuve was seen as the director of a Parisian theater who hid her Jewish husband in the basement of the theater. Your film partners this time were Gérard Depardieu and Heinz Bennent . In 1970 Deneuve starred in the Buñuel film Tristana, which was also praised by critics and audiences . In the late 1970s she was to take part in The Short Night , Alfred Hitchcock's last unfinished film project .

Alongside Susan Sarandon and David Bowie , she played 1983 in desire , the bisexual vampire Miriam Blaylock. According to their own admission, the two actresses became close friends through the film to this day. In 1993 she was nominated for an Oscar for her role as the rubber plantation owner Elaine in Indochine . Régis Wargnier directed and wrote the role of Elaine for her with other screenwriters. Together with Björk , she played a factory worker in the Lars von Trier film Dancer in the Dark in 2000 . According to his own statements, Deneuve wants to have asked von Trier by letter - contrary to their custom - for a role in one of his films after she had made a lasting impression on him with Breaking the Waves . The next success was 8 women , in which director François Ozon brought together many of the most famous French actresses.

To date, Catherine Deneuve has starred in over 100 feature films, including more than 90 feature films. She was almost always seen in one of the leading roles. In 1988 she was also the producer of the film Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre , in which she starred with Gérard Depardieu. Princesse Marie by Benoît Jacquot (via Marie Bonaparte ), Life is Strange and André Téchiné's Changing Times , a Balzac film adaptation in which, among others, Depardieu, who became one of her favorite colleagues, came from the last few years .

Play with sexually ambiguous roles

With her role of a lesbian vampire in lust , Deneuve caught the attention of the lesbian audience. Deneuve also played sexually ambiguous roles in several other films: in Zig Zig in 1975 she played a prostitute who kisses her friend. In Ecoute voir she portrayed a private detective in a trench coat, partly Emma Peel , partly Humphrey Bogart, including the attractive secretary. In Thieves of the Night , she played a professor who is having an affair with a student. In 8 women there is a kiss between her and Fanny Ardant , which is supposed to allude to Deneuve's previous roles and her associated image.

further activities

Chart positions
Explanation of the data
Paris Paris (with Malcolm McLaren )
  FR 26th 11/26/1994 (13 weeks)

In 1965 she posed naked for Playboy . From 1969 to 1977 Deneuve was the face of Chanel in the USA . She also promoted products by Yves Saint Laurent (1993), L'Oréal (2001), M • A • C (2006) and her own perfume Deneuve (1986). She also worked as a designer of various consumer items such as glasses, shoes, jewelry, greeting cards and furnishings.

Catherine Deneuve also used her voice successfully, although she had not taken any singing lessons. She read several audio books for the Édition des femmes and interpreted various chansons. She sang duets with other stars such as Bernadette Lafont (1975), Gérard Depardieu (1980), Malcolm McLaren (1993), Joe Cocker (1995) and Alain Souchon (1997). In 1981 she recorded a full album of Serge Gainsbourg chansons .

Deneuve has worked as a journalist for Liberation , Madame Figaro, France 5 and other media. In 2005 her diary “A l'ombre de moi-même” (German book title: “In my shadow”; better translation would be: “In the shadow of myself” or “In my own shadow”), in which she spoke of the Shooting of " Dancer in the Dark " and " Indochine " told.

Social and political engagement

Catherine Deneuve has been committed to social and political issues since the 1970s. In 1971 she campaigned to legalize abortion in France. She signed the Manifesto of 343 ("le manifeste des 343"), a commitment to abortion written by Simone de Beauvoir and published on April 5, 1971 in Le Nouvel Observateur magazine.

In 2001, she supported a petition against the death penalty in the US by the French group Together against the death penalty , which was presented to the US embassy in Paris. Deneuve is also involved in Amnesty International's program to abolish the death penalty . In 1991, in the Amnesty film Writing Against Oblivion (Contre l'Oubli / Against Oblivion), she remembered the Salvadoran union leader Febe Elizabeth Velásquez , who was murdered in a bomb attack in 1989 with her colleagues.

Deneuve was 1994 Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO appointed to sign up for the preservation of film heritage use. On November 12, 2003, she resigned from her honorary office to protest against the appointment of French businessman Pierre Falcone as Angola representative, as this would give him legal immunity in relation to investigations into the illegal arms trade.

At the end of 2003 Deneuve used a radio commercial for “Douleur sans frontières” to solicit donations for the victims of landmines .

Since 2008 she has been a member of the Waris Dirie Foundation, a foundation that campaigns against genital mutilation of women and girls .

As part of a collective of 100 women, Catherine Deneuve participated in an open letter that appeared in the French daily Le Monde on January 9, 2018 , criticizing the effects of the debate sparked by the #MeToo initiative. Since the letter was seen by many as an attempt to relativize the meaning of the grievances mentioned in the #MeToo debate, it sparked a controversial discussion.


"You don't have to be drunk to want to sleep with Catherine Deneuve - no matter what sexual orientation you had before."

- Susan Sarandon , 1995 (in an interview on the film Desire (1983)

"She is so beautiful that a film in which she plays can do without a story."

“Of all the actresses I've worked with, whether they're beginners or stars, she's probably the most permeable. That has nothing to do with docility, it is simply the most adaptable, the most plastic, the most permeable in relation to what is currently being done in the film. "

- Benoît Jacquot , 2009

Filmography (selection)


A bust of the French national figure Marianne was created in 1985 based on Catherine Deneuve's image . She donated the proceeds from the municipalities' purchase to Amnesty International . Before her, Brigitte Bardot (1970) and Mireille Mathieu (1978) had already received this honor , her successor was Inès de la Fressange in 1989 . In 2000, a "Golden Palm" star was dedicated to Catherine Deneuve on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars .



  • Catherine Deneuve. Beautiful and mysterious (OT: Catherine Deneuve, belle et bien là). TV documentary, France, 2009, 86 min., Director: Anne Andreu, production: arte France, Cinétévé, INA , first broadcast in German: April 11, 2010, summary by arte

Web links

Commons : Catherine Deneuve  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c d e f Catherine Deneuve. Beautiful and mysterious ( Memento of the original from December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , arte , April 11, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  2. Anne Verlahac: blondes , ISBN 978-3-89904-337-2
  3. Matthew Sweet: My lips are sealed… In her new film, 8 Women, the French icon Catherine Deneuve shares a kiss with her co-star Fanny Ardant. It's not her favorite part of the movie, she tells Matthew Sweet , The Independent . November 29, 2002. Archived from the original on June 2, 2007. Retrieved September 10, 2008. "She cackles with delight when I ask her if the scene has pleased her army of lesbian fans ... She acquired this following Tony Scott's vampire flick" The Hunger "(1983), in which she played a fanged seductress… who took her sweet time getting to Susan Sarandon's jugular…" 
  4. Chart sources: FR
  5. James Coomarasamy: "French horrified by execution" , BBC News, 14 May 2001
  6. ^ Contre l'oubli. Internet Movie Database , accessed June 10, 2015 .
  7. cf. .
  8. ^ "Catherine Deneuve resigns from UNESCO" , 2003
  9. Passions de Catherine Deneuve ( Memento of September 3, 2008 in the Internet Archive ),
  10. collective: “Nous défendons une liberté d'importuner, indispensable à la liberté sexual”. , January 9, 2018, accessed January 22, 2018 .
  11. Martina Meister: France's answer to #MeToo: "We demand the freedom to be intrusive"., January 10, 2018, accessed on January 12, 2018 .
  12. Thomas Pany: Instead of #MeToo: For more insolence between women and men., January 9, 2018, accessed on January 11, 2018 .
  13. Vincy Thomas: Un collectif de 100 females défend la "liberté sexual"., January 9, 2018, accessed on January 10, 2018 (French, quote: “Ruwen Ogien défendait une liberté d'offenser indispensable à la création artistique. De la même manière, nous défendons une liberté d'importuner, indispensable à la liberté sexual. " ).
  14. Tanja Kuchenbecker: Headwind for MeToo critics around Deneuve., January 12, 2018, accessed January 22, 2018 .
  15. Catherine Deneuve. (No longer available online.) In:, formerly in the original ; Retrieved May 25, 2008 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Toter Link /  
  16. ^ Jacquot in: Catherine Deneuve. Beautiful and mysterious ( Memento of the original from December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , arte , April 11, 2010 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  17. A heart in winter in FAZ of June 9, 2017, page 14
  18. Catherine Deneuve . In: Der Spiegel . No. 45 , 1985, pp. 313 ( online ).
  19. Patricia Batlle on Frauenpower at the Filmfest Hamburg ( memento from October 4, 2015 in the Internet Archive ) from October 6, 2015 (accessed on October 7, 2015)