Best French Actress in a Leading Role 1940-1949

Les 7 meilleures interprétations d'actrices françaises ou étrangères, par années (1940-1949), ayant joué dans des films majoritairement français.
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1.
Arletty
Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having been the lover of a German official during the ocupation of France...
“ 1940 Tempêtes de Bernard-Deschamps ” - guillaume836076
 
2.
Mireille Balin
Mireille Balin was one the most glamorous and best loved actresses of pre-war French cinema. She appeared in two of the best remembered French films of the 1930s: Pépé le Moko and Lady Killer, both opposite Jean Gabin. After the German occupation of France and her separation from her long-time fiancé...
“ 1940 Menaces d'Edmond T. Gréville ” - guillaume836076
 
3.
Danielle Darrieux
Actress, Persepolis
Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, but raised in Paris. She was only 14 when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal: she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. She had her first romantic lead in La crise est finie and scored an international...
“ 1940 Battement de coeur de Henri Decoin ” - guillaume836076
 
4.
Josette Day
Paris-born Josette Day debuted in films at the age of five, but soon returned to the stage, including a stint as a child dancer in the Paris Opera. She did not return to the screen until she was into her adulthood, and her career took off. She played leads in countless French films, but is probably...
“ 1940 La Fille du puisatier de Marcel Pagnol ” - guillaume836076
 
5.
“ 1940 Sans lendemain de Max Ophüls
Best Frech Actress 1940 ” - guillaume836076
 
6.
Michèle Morgan
A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the eye of director Marc Allégret...
“ 1940 L'Entraîneuse d'Albert Valentin ” - guillaume836076
 
7.
Micheline Presle
Dark-haired, Paris-born Micheline Presle (better known in the States as Micheline Prelle) was the daughter of a businessman and took acting classes as a teen. She was discovered by Georg Wilhelm Pabst and cast in Girls in Distress (Young Girls in Distress) and Four Flights to Love in which she played a dual role...
“ 1940 Paradis perdus d'Abel Gance ” - guillaume836076
 
8.
Arletty
Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having been the lover of a German official during the ocupation of France...
“ 1941 Madame Sans-Gêne de Roger Richebé
Best French Actress 1941 ” - guillaume836076
 
9.
“ 1941 L'Empreinte du Dieu de Léonide Moguy ” - guillaume836076
 
10.
Danielle Darrieux
Actress, Persepolis
Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, but raised in Paris. She was only 14 when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal: she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. She had her first romantic lead in La crise est finie and scored an international...
“ 1941 Premier rendez-vous de Henri Decoin ” - guillaume836076
 
11.
“ 1941 L'Empreinte du Dieu de Léonide Moguy ” - guillaume836076
 
12.
“ 1941 Le Briseur de chaînes de Jean-Daniel Norman ” - guillaume836076
 
13.
Michèle Morgan
A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the eye of director Marc Allégret...
“ 1941 Remorques de Jean Grémillon ” - guillaume836076
 
14.
Viviane Romance
Actress, Panic
Strikingly beautiful French leading lady (Miss Paris of 1930) who first appeared on stage at the age of 13 at the Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt, then did some modelling work and a year later joined the chorus line of the Moulin Rouge. She also performed the 'can-can' at the legendary Parisian nightclub Bal Tabarin...
“ 1941 Vénus aveugle d'Abel Gance ” - guillaume836076
 
15.
Arletty
Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having been the lover of a German official during the ocupation of France...
“ 1942 Les Visiteurs du soir de Marcel Carné ” - guillaume836076
 
16.
Mireille Balin
Mireille Balin was one the most glamorous and best loved actresses of pre-war French cinema. She appeared in two of the best remembered French films of the 1930s: Pépé le Moko and Lady Killer, both opposite Jean Gabin. After the German occupation of France and her separation from her long-time fiancé...
“ 1942 Macao, l'enfer du jeu de Jean Delannoy ” - guillaume836076
 
17.
“ 1942 Pontcarral, colonel d'empire de Jean Delannoy ” - guillaume836076
 
18.
“ 1942 La Duchesse de Langeais de Jacques de Baroncelli ” - guillaume836076
 
19.
“ 1942 pour Le Mariage de chiffon de Claude Autant-Lara ” - guillaume836076
 
20.
“ 1942 Le Voile bleu de Jean Stelli
Best French Actress 1942 ” - guillaume836076
 
21.
Micheline Presle
Dark-haired, Paris-born Micheline Presle (better known in the States as Micheline Prelle) was the daughter of a businessman and took acting classes as a teen. She was discovered by Georg Wilhelm Pabst and cast in Girls in Distress (Young Girls in Distress) and Four Flights to Love in which she played a dual role...
“ 1942 La Nuit fantastique de Marcel L'Herbier ” - guillaume836076
 
22.
“ 1943 Les Anges du péché de Robert Bresson ” - guillaume836076
 
23.
“ 1943 Douce de Claude Autant-Lara
Best French Actress 1943 ” - guillaume836076
 
24.
“ 1943 Le Corbeau de Henri-Georges Clouzot ” - guillaume836076
 
25.
“ 1943 Lumière d'été de Jean Grémillon ” - guillaume836076
 
26.
“ 1943 Lumière d'été de Jean Grémillon ” - guillaume836076
 
27.
Renée Saint-Cyr
French actress Renee Saint-Cyr became synonymous with chic comedy and romantic drama, enjoying second-string success for nearly seven decades before her death of bronchitis at age 99. Over the years she equipped herself well opposite the established talents of Raymond Rouleau, Jules Berry, Raimu, Pierre Brasseur and Paul Meurisse...
“ 1943 Marie-Martine d'Albert Valentin ” - guillaume836076
 
28.
“ 1943 L'éternel retour de Jean Delannoy ” - guillaume836076
 
29.
“ 1944 Le Voyageur sans bagages de Jean Anouilh ” - guillaume836076
 
30.
“ 1944 Florence est folle! de Georges Lacombe ” - guillaume836076
 
31.
“ 1944 Béatrice devant le désir de Jean de Marguenat ” - guillaume836076
 
32.
“ 1944 Les Petites du Quai aux Fleurs de Marc Allégret ” - guillaume836076
 
33.
“ 1944 Service de nuit de Jean Faurez ” - guillaume836076
 
34.
“ 1944 La Rabouilleuse de Fernand Rivers ” - guillaume836076
 
35.
“ 1944 Le Ciel est à vous de Jean Grémillon
Best French Actress 1944 ” - guillaume836076
 
36.
Arletty
Before Arlette-Leonie Bathiat went to the movies she was a secretary and had posed several times as a model for different painters and photographers. In 1920 she debuted on stage at a theatre. She only began to work in movies after 1930. After World War II she was condemned to prison for having been the lover of a German official during the ocupation of France...
“ 1945 Les Enfants du Paradis de Marcel Carné
Best French Actress 1945 ” - guillaume836076
 
37.
“ 1945 Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne de Robert Bresson ” - guillaume836076
 
38.
Danielle Darrieux
Actress, Persepolis
Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, but raised in Paris. She was only 14 when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal: she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. She had her first romantic lead in La crise est finie and scored an international...
“ 1945 Au petit bonheur de Marcel L'herbier ” - guillaume836076
 
39.
“ 1945 Sortilèges de Christian-Jaque ” - guillaume836076
 
40.
Jany Holt
Actress, Gervaise
“ 1945 La Fiancée des ténèbres de Serge de Poligny ” - guillaume836076
 
41.
Micheline Presle
Dark-haired, Paris-born Micheline Presle (better known in the States as Micheline Prelle) was the daughter of a businessman and took acting classes as a teen. She was discovered by Georg Wilhelm Pabst and cast in Girls in Distress (Young Girls in Distress) and Four Flights to Love in which she played a dual role...
“ 1945 Boule de Suif de Christian-Jaque

1945 Félicie Nanteuil de Marc Allégret ” - guillaume836076
 
42.
Josette Day
Paris-born Josette Day debuted in films at the age of five, but soon returned to the stage, including a stint as a child dancer in the Paris Opera. She did not return to the screen until she was into her adulthood, and her career took off. She played leads in countless French films, but is probably...
“ 1946 La Belle et la bête de Jean Cocteau ” - guillaume836076
 
43.
“ 1946 L'idiot de Georges Lampin ” - guillaume836076
 
44.
Michèle Morgan
A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the eye of director Marc Allégret...
“ 1946 La Symphonie pastorale de Jean Delannoy
Best French Actress 1946 ” - guillaume836076
 
45.
“ 1946 Un revenant de Christian-Jaque ” - guillaume836076
 
46.
“ 1946 La Tentation de Barbizon de Jean Stelli ” - guillaume836076
 
47.
Viviane Romance
Actress, Panic
Strikingly beautiful French leading lady (Miss Paris of 1930) who first appeared on stage at the age of 13 at the Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt, then did some modelling work and a year later joined the chorus line of the Moulin Rouge. She also performed the 'can-can' at the legendary Parisian nightclub Bal Tabarin...
“ 1946 L'affaire du collier de la Reine de Marcel L'herbier ” - guillaume836076
 
48.
“ 1946 Macadam de Marcel Blistène et Jacques Feyder ” - guillaume836076
 
49.
“ 1947 Le Café du cadran de Jean Gehret ” - guillaume836076
 
50.
Suzy Delair
Prototype of the sexy cheeky French lady, Suzy Delair was discovered by Henri-Georges Clouzot, who became her companion and gave her two memorable roles : Mila Malou, inspector Wens' unbearable girlfriend in two films, The Last One of the Six, which he wrote, and The Murderer Lives at Number 21, which he penned and directed; and the mythical one of Jenny Lamour...
“ 1947 Quai des Orfèvres de Henri-Georges Clouzot ” - guillaume836076
 
51.
Jany Holt
Actress, Gervaise
“ 1947 Non coupable de Henri Decoin ” - guillaume836076
 
52.
“ 1947 Pour une nuit d'amour d'Edmond T. Gréville ” - guillaume836076
 
53.
“ 1947 Les Amants du Pont Saint-Jean de Henri Decoin ” - guillaume836076
 
54.
Micheline Presle
Dark-haired, Paris-born Micheline Presle (better known in the States as Micheline Prelle) was the daughter of a businessman and took acting classes as a teen. She was discovered by Georg Wilhelm Pabst and cast in Girls in Distress (Young Girls in Distress) and Four Flights to Love in which she played a dual role...
“ 1947 Le Diable au corps de Claude Autant-Lara
Best French Actress 1947 ” - guillaume836076
 
55.
Viviane Romance
Actress, Panic
Strikingly beautiful French leading lady (Miss Paris of 1930) who first appeared on stage at the age of 13 at the Theatre Sarah-Bernhardt, then did some modelling work and a year later joined the chorus line of the Moulin Rouge. She also performed the 'can-can' at the legendary Parisian nightclub Bal Tabarin...
“ 1947 Panique de Julien Duvivier ” - guillaume836076
 
56.
“ 1948 La Chartreuse de Parme de Christian-Jaque ” - guillaume836076
 
57.
“ 1948 Les Amoureux sont seuls au monde de Henri Decoin ” - guillaume836076
 
58.
“ 1948 La Chartreuse de Parme de Christian-Jaque ” - guillaume836076
 
59.
“ 1948 L'aigle à deux têtes de Jean Cocteau ” - guillaume836076
 
60.
“ 1948 La Dame d'onze heures de Jean-Devaivre
Best French Actress 1948 ” - guillaume836076
 
61.
“ 1948 Les Frères Bouquinquant de Louis Daquin ” - guillaume836076
 
62.
Simone Signoret
Actress, Diabolique
The face of Simone Signoret on the Paris Metro movie posters in March 1982 looked even older than her 61 years. She was still a box office draw, but the film, L'étoile du Nord, would be her last theatrical release. She played the landlady. Signoret had a long film apprenticeship during World War II, mostly as an extra and occasionally getting to speak a single line...
“ 1948 Dédée d'Anvers d'Yves Allégret ” - guillaume836076
 
63.
Danielle Darrieux
Actress, Persepolis
Danielle Darrieux was born in 1917 in Bordeaux, France, but raised in Paris. She was only 14 when she auditioned for a secondary role in Le bal: she got the part, and the producer offered her a five-year contract. She had her first romantic lead in La crise est finie and scored an international...
“ 1949 Occupe-toi d'Amélie! de Claude Autant-Lara ” - guillaume836076
 
64.
Suzy Delair
Prototype of the sexy cheeky French lady, Suzy Delair was discovered by Henri-Georges Clouzot, who became her companion and gave her two memorable roles : Mila Malou, inspector Wens' unbearable girlfriend in two films, The Last One of the Six, which he wrote, and The Murderer Lives at Number 21, which he penned and directed; and the mythical one of Jenny Lamour...
“ 1949 Pattes blanches de Jean Grémillon ” - guillaume836076
 
65.
“ 1949 Les Eaux troubles de Henri Calef ” - guillaume836076
 
66.
Isa Miranda
Actress, Summertime
Isa Miranda was one of the most significant actresses in Europe from the 1930s-'50s. Her remarkable talent expressed itself both in cinema and theater. She reached international popularity in the 1930s, especially in France, Germany and Austria, and became the only international movie star produced by the fascist cinema...
“ 1949 Au-delà des grilles de René Clément ” - guillaume836076
 
67.
“ 1949 Portrait d'un assassin de Bernard Roland ” - guillaume836076
 
68.
Michèle Morgan
A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the eye of director Marc Allégret...
“ 1949 Maria Chapdelaine de Marc Allégret ” - guillaume836076
 
69.
“ 1949 Une si jolie petite plage d'Yves Allégret
Best French Actress 1949 ” - guillaume836076