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Françoise Dorléac Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (1) | Trivia (7)

Overview (3)

Date of Birth 21 March 1942Paris, France
Date of Death 26 June 1967Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France  (road accident)
Height 5' 7¾" (1.72 m)

Mini Bio (1)

The radiant Francoise Dorleac is better remembered today as the elder, ill-fated sister of French film star Catherine Deneuve. The Paris-born actress, however, was actually the first to become a star and had quite a formidable career of her own in the 1960s until it was cut short. Born into a theatrical family in 1942 (her father was actor Maurice Dorléac), Francoise first appeared on stage at the age of 10.

Entering the film industry with the movie short Mensonges (1957), she studied at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique (1959-1961) and had modeled for Christian Dior by the time she started making any kind of cinematic impact. Slim, gamine, pale-skinned and a real brunette stunner, Francoise graced a number of movies before hitting celebrity stardom with François Truffaut's melodrama The Soft Skin (1964) [La Peau Douce] and the classic James Bond-like spy spoof That Man from Rio (1964) [L'Homme de Rio], both released in 1964. The two films showed the polar sides of Francoise's incredible allure and talent. In the former she played an airline stewardess who falls into a tragic affair with a married businessman (Jean Desailly) and in the latter she played a fun and flaky heroine opposite Jean-Paul Belmondo. Unlike Catherine, Francoise proved a carefree, outgoing presence both on and off camera. Known for her chic, stylish ways and almost unbridled sense of joie-de-vivre, she continued making strong marks as the adulterous wife in Roman Polanski's black comedy Cul-De-Sac (1966) and even joined Gene Kelly, George Chakiris, and her sister, who was now a cinematic star by this time too, in the rather candy-coated The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) [Les Demoiselle de Rochefort], a colorful movie which paid homage to the Hollywood musical. She and Catherine, who looked quite similar, played singing twins who dream about living in Paris.

Her fun and funny side was always an asset and often revealed as in the films as Arsène Lupin contre Arsène Lupin (1962) and Male Hunt (1964) [La Chasse à l'Homme ]. Branching out now in such non-French movies as Genghis Khan (1965), Where the Spies Are (1966), and Billion Dollar Brain (1967), the luminous Francoise was on the brink of international stardom when her rental car flipped and burned on a roadway in Nice, France on June 26, 1967. She was near completion of the last film mentioned at the time the accident occurred. Her part in the movie was left intact. Her early death at age 25 most certainly robbed the cinema of a tried and true talent and incomparably beautiful mademoiselle who showed every sign of taking Hollywood by storm, as Catherine later did.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Gary Brumburgh / gr-home@pacbell.net

Trade Mark (1)

Husky voice

Trivia (7)

Daughter of Maurice Dorléac and Renée Deneuve.
Françoise was an up-and-coming star in the early 60s and younger sister Catherine Deneuve was actually whisked into films on her older sister's celebrity.
Françoise and her sister Catherine Deneuve were as different as night and day. While Catherine was cool, calm, remote, and possessed with an edge of mystery about her, Françoise was quite the opposite -- fun, radiant, outgoing, with such joie de vivre. The sisters made three films together: The Door Slams (1960), Male Hunt (1964), and The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967), which is their best remembered.
She was killed when her rental car crashed and burned in Nice, France.
Once engaged to actor Jean-Pierre Cassel in the early 1960s.

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