Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Birthday Catherine Dorleac

 She is an Oscar nominated and Cesar award winning actress, a former face of Chanel, the muse of Yves St. Laurent and her image was used for Marianne, the national symbol of France. And how many women can make that claim? Happy birthday to Catherine Fabienne Dorleac a.k.a. Catherine Deneuve who turned 67 this past week.

Bust of Marianne

The iconic beauty has appeared in over 100 films and her classic looks are legendary. She rose to stardom in The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and appeared in a variety of roles ranging from a bisexual vampire opposite Susan Sarandon  in cult-classic The Hunger, an ice maiden in Roman Polanski's Repulsion and an Academy Award nominated performance in Indochine. (One role that was not of interest -- the Bond girl in On Her Majesty's Secret Service). Perhaps one of my favorite Deneuve films was the comedy The April Fools (1969) where she plays the neglected wife of Peter Lawford and falls in love with stockbroker Jack Lemmon. (Wonderful costumes and a great Burt Bacharach soundtrack too).

The April Fools


As the face of Chanel No. 5 in the seventies, perfume sales soared and eventually she designed a fragrance for herself, aptly known as "Deneuve." Yves St. Laurent designed the costumes for her film Belle de Jour which marked a long collaboration between the two both on (The Hunger, Liza and La Chamade) and off screen. Her romantic collaborations were just as famous -- she married sixties photographer David Bailey and had children with Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni and director Roger Vadim.

Chanel Ad circa de 1974

Deneuve with Yves St. Laurent

Belle de Jour

A grandmother of four (and perpetual smoker), her looks remain timeless which she attributes to monthly vitamin injections, Pilates and visits to a facial masseuse. I am thinking it is probably in the genes. And perfect bone structure.

You can catch her next in the film The Big Picture on November 3rd.


  1. What a beautiful and talented woman.

    Luciane, At HOMEBUNCH.COM

  2. And to think her sister Francois(?) was the one slated for stardom with Catherine the also ran.

    I consider her the best film actress ever - always with that matter-of-fact, clipped way of speaking - whatever the part, she just is.

    If she's in a movie, you know it'll be at the very least interesting. An actress is a sum of her talent plus the choices she makes.

  3. I totally agree and I believe her mother was a theater actress as well.

  4. Facial masseuse..very interesting. Liz Taylor kept the weight off with massage. It has a probable success rate, and given the laughable youth methods today, I'd opt for massage anyday.

  5. I think it boils down to two things -- good bone structure and genetics!