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Jeanne Moreau Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (2) | Trivia (53) | Personal Quotes (55) | Salary (5)

Overview (2)

Date of Birth 23 January 1928Paris, France
Height 5' 4¼" (1.63 m)

Mini Bio (1)

When people gave Louis Malle credit for making a star of Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows (1958) immediately followed by The Lovers (1958), he would point out that Moreau by that time had already been "recognized as the prime stage actress of her generation." She had made it to the Comédie Française in her 20s. She had appeared in B-movie thrillers with Jean Gabin and Ascenseur was in that genre. The technicians at the film lab went to the producer after seeing the first week of dailies for Ascenseur and said: "You must not let Malle destroy Jeanne Moreau". Malle explained: "She was lit only by the windows of the Champs Elysées. That had never been done. Cameramen would have forced her to wear a lot of make-up and they would put a lot of light on her, because, supposedly, her face was not photogenic". This lack of artifice revealed Moreau's "essential qualities: she could be almost ugly and then ten seconds later she would turn her face and would be incredibly attractive. But she would be herself".

Moreau has told interviewers that the characters she played were not her. But even the most famous film critic of his generation, Roger Ebert, thinks that she is a lot like her most enduring role, Catherine in François Truffaut's Jules and Jim (1962). Behind those eyes and that enigmatic smile is a woman with a mind. In a review of Screen Two: The Clothes in the Wardrobe (1993) Ebert wrote: "Jeanne Moreau has been a treasure of the movies for 35 years... Here, playing a flamboyant woman who nevertheless keeps her real thoughts closely guarded, she brings about a final scene of poetic justice as perfect as it is unexpected".

Moreau made her debut as a director in Lumiere (1976) -- also writing the script and playing Sarah, an actress the same age as Moreau whose romances are often with directors for the duration of making a film. She made several films with Malle.

Still active in international cinema, Moreau presided over the jury of the 1995 Cannes Film Festival.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Dale O'Connor <daleoc@worldnet.att.net>

Spouse (3)

William Friedkin (8 February 1977 - 1979) (divorced)
Teodoro Rubanis (1966 - ?) (divorced)
Jean-Louis Richard (1949 - 1951) (divorced) (1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Unconventional, earthy sexiness
Emotionally unstable, passionate characters

Trivia (53)

Orson Welles is the first person Moreau spoke to about directing and the only one who wasn't protective about it.
Chosen by Empire magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history (#76).
Walked off the set of the TV series ER (1994) (January 2000).
Made her debut as a stage director with a Geneva and Paris production of Margaret Edson's "Wit" (April 2000).
She is the first woman to enter the Academie des Beaux-Arts of Paris (January 2001).
Made her debut as an opera director with an Opera National de Paris production of Giuseppe Verdi's "Attila" ( September 2001).
Considered by Orson Welles as "the greatest actress in the world".
Has been a close friend of major literary figures, like Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin and Marguerite Duras.
Has been romantically involved with Louis Malle, Lee Marvin, fashion designer Pierre Cardin and Greek actor Thodoros Roubanis.
Festival tribute at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, France.
Signed the manifesto against French abortion laws published by the magazine "Le Nouvel Observateur" on 5 April 1971.
Is a close friend of Sharon Stone, who presented a 1998 American Academy of Motion Pictures life tribute to Moreau.
Her only son, named Jerome, was seriously injured at a car accident during the shooting of Seven Days... Seven Nights (1960); the car driver was Jean-Paul Belmondo, her co-star in the afore-mentioned film. The then-10-year-old Jerome survived the accident and is today a successful painter.
Is the only actress who has presided twice over the jury of the Cannes Film Festival (in 1975 and 1995).
Vanessa Redgrave named Moreau as co-respondent in her 1967 divorce from director Tony Richardson on grounds of adultery.
Holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Lancaster, UK.
Is the president of Equinoxe, an organization which supports new European scriptwriters.
For personal reasons, Moreau has turned down roles in many major films, including the part of Varinia in Spartacus (1960), finally played by Jean Simmons, the Mrs. Robinson part in The Graduate (1967), played by Anne Bancroft and the part of Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), for which Louise Fletcher won a Best Actress Academy Award in 1976. She has also been twice replaced by Annie Girardot: in Rocco and His Brothers (1960) and in the recent The Piano Teacher (2001).
Is the only French actress who has been the object of a big retrospective (including 30 films) at the Museum of Modern Art of New York (February - March 1994).
Became world famous, when she starred in Louis Malle's controversial hit The Lovers (1958), as a provincial wife who abandons her family for a man she has just met; the film had a lot of censorship problems all over the world because of its erotic scenes and Moreau instantly became an international sex symbol.
Is also a successful singer with a substantial recording career.
Her stage hits include Ivan Turgenev's "A Month in the Country", Jean Cocteau's "La machine infernale" (as the Sphinx), Anna Bonacci's "L'heure éblouissante", George Bernard Shaw's "Pygmalion" (as Eliza Doolittle), Tennessee Williams' "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (as Maggie) and "The Night of the Iguana" (as Hannah Jelkes), Frank Wedekind's "Loulou" (title role) and Hermann Broch's "Le récit de la servante Zerline" (title role).
Has been trained for the stage at the Paris Conservatoire.
Her father owned a restaurant in Monmartre, Paris, where she spent part of her childhood.
Attended the Lycee Edgar Quinet, in Paris.
Provided the voiceover for the 1997 TV ads for Air France, which she also directed.
Won the Best Actress Molière Award (the French equivalent of a Tony) in 1988 for her acclaimed performance in Hermann Broch's "Le récit de la servante Zerline", a huge theatrical success which toured 11 countries.
Her mother was an English dancer from Lancashire who had come to the Folies- Bergere with the Tiller Girls.
Offered her Rolls-Royce to a friend of hers who had financial trouble.
Was considered for the female lead in El Cid (1961), finally played by Sophia Loren.
Has co-produced some of her films, like Jules and Jim (1962), Bay of Angels (1963) and Banana Peel (1963).
Is one of the numerous French film personalities who co-signed a petition calling for civil disobedience in the face of a xenophobic immigration law (February 1997).
Chosen by the magazine "Esquire" as one of "the 100 Best People in the World" (December 1997).
Her teaming with Brigitte Bardot in Louis Malle's Viva Maria! (1965) was one of the major media events of 1965. Thanks to the on-screen chemistry between the two top French female stars of the period, the film became an international hit.
Named Doctor of Arts by the City University of New York (June 1997).
In 1948, when she was only 20 years old, she became the youngest full-time member in the history of Comédie Française, France's most prestigious theatrical company.
Her name has been often associated, both socially and professionally, to that of respected French writer and director Marguerite Duras; apart from their close friendship, Moreau starred in two movies based on Duras' novels, Peter Brook's Seven Days... Seven Nights (1960) and Tony Richardson's The Sailor from Gibraltar (1967), was directed by Duras in Nathalie Granger (1972), was the narrator in another Duras screen adaptation, The Lover (1992) and even went on to portray Duras in the biopic Cet amour-là (2001).
Has a Paris cinema named after her.
Was President of the jury at the Berlin Film Festival in 1983.
During the 2002 presidential elections in France she supported Socialist candidate and former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin (March 2002).
Is particularly fond of reading and cooking.
Despite her important singing career, Moreau has rather avoided concerts. One notable exception was a Carnegie Hall concert opposite Frank Sinatra (July 1984).
Agreed to be paid in silver plates for her work in Orson Welles's Falstaff - Chimes at Midnight (1965), because of the limited budget.
Was the first French actress to make the cover of "Time" (March 1965).
Was billed in her early films as "pensionnaire de la Comedie Francaise".
Was robbed of a $432,000 in cash and jewels by a bandana-wearing intruder who broke into her Paris apartment (September 2003).
After the end of her affair with director Louis Malle (1959), she had a long correspondence with Ingmar Bergman, who developed a film project for her, "L'Amour Monstre". The film was never made, because Moreau couldn't learn Swedish and Bergman couldn't learn French.
Mother of Jérôme Richard (father: Jean-Louis Richard).
President of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1995
President of jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1975
Has supported Lionel Jospin's 2002 presidential campaign.
Her performance as Catherine in Jules and Jim (1962) is ranked #80 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time (2006).
She was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film culture.

Personal Quotes (55)

While I'm doing the role, I'm the part. I'm the person. But once I'm finished I'm me.
I've worked hard. I'm passionate and my world is cinema, acting, theater, creativity, art, painting, books, music, sculpture, landscapes, movements of people in the streets. Everything.
Acting deals with very delicate emotions. It is not putting up a mask. Each time an actor acts he does not hide; he exposes himself.
Don't take care of yourself because you want to stop time. Do it for self-respect. It's an incredible gift, the energy of life. You don't have to be a wreck. You don't have to be sick. One's aim in life should be to die in good health. Just like a candle that burns out.

The life you had is nothing. It is the life you have that is important.

Some people are addicts. If they don't act, they don't exist.
At the beginning of my career, I was seeking something traditional, strict; just to prove to my father that being an actress is not being a whore.
I am a woman with absolutely no sense of nostalgia
While you work, while you create, you have doubts, and this is essential.
I am open to what is irrational. I open doors to intuition, because rationality is really death.
Making films is no longer a way of acting, it is a way of life.
We have so many words for states of the mind, and so few for states of the body.
Movies influence people once you get successful, and people give importance through you to the characters you do. I refused parts showing aging women getting drunk and suicidal. I know it exists, but I refuse to give that image of women; it's not my task to show the worst side of what can happen to them. I want to be an upper, not a downer.
The public sees me too much as they see me in films where I'm always playing unorthodox characters.
I decided my glass would always be half full, never half empty.
The love, suffering, and happiness I experience in life appear in my movies, become an integral part of them. When I see a film after I've made it, I see my own life before me.
I don't think success is harmful, as so many people say. Rather, I believe it indispensable to talent, if for nothing else than to increase the talent.
Everything I have I have wanted.
I've never worried about age. If you're extremely, painfully frightened of age, it shows. Life doesn't end at 30. To me age is a number, just a number. Who cares?
Age does not protect you from love, but love, to some extent, protects you from age.
I'm intelligent, but I'm not intellectual.
Every night, I go over what I did in the day, in ethical or moral terms.
Making a film is like life aboard ship, except that every day is an emergency.
I'm a passionate woman who falls in love very easily.
I've always been ambitious, but not competitive.
I never use the word "career", it's a journalistic term. I can't separate creation from life.
To act is to move. It is that power to move that gives me real happiness.
If you don't give a damn, men look at you.
Acting is transmitting life.
I'm not measured. I'm not lukewarm. It's not always easy to live with for me.
One's soul is like a vast unexplored country.
Like every human being I have everything in me - the best and the worst.
Life is just a lot of interesting landscapes and one makes one's own geography.
When you live in terror and segregation you can't create art.
Passion is jealous. Passion goes up and down. Love is consistent. Fidelity, that's what love is about. Compassion, you give even more than you receive. That's what love is about. I'd hate to still be a victim of passion - I would think, God! I've lived all these years and I've learned nothing?
For me it's not possible to forget, and I don't understand people who, when the love is ended, can bury the other person in hatred or oblivion. For me, a man I have loved becomes a kind of brother.
You have to know cold to appreciate warmth.
Love is like the soup, the first spoonfuls are too hot, the last ones too cold.
I never come out of a film the same as I went in. Each time I discover new capacities for feelings and emotions I never knew I had.
I was never interested in existentialism, because of [Jean-Paul Sartre's] famous phrase, "Hell is the others". For me, this is a crazy idea. For me, hell is one's self.
[speaking in 1965] People who wanted to be nice about my looks always would say, "You remind me so much of Bette Davis". Very nice, except I can't stand Bette Davis.
They will write "Amant de Jules and Jim (1962)" on my gravestone when I go.
In making dinner for a friend, don't forget the love.
Life is an accomplishment. Each moment has a meaning and you must use it. Life is given to you like a flat piece of land and everything has to be done. I hope that when I'm finished, my piece of land will be a beautiful garden.
Age does not automatically bring wisdom. It might bring you knowledge, but wisdom is not a cold cream that you rub in each night and then wake up smarter in the morning.
Although for some people cinema means something superficial and glamorous, it is something else. I think it is the mirror of the world.
One should never say, "When I was young . . . "
Each time I come to New York, it's like meeting again someone I love.
Sometimes the directors were afraid of what they brought out of me. Even if they changed later when they were aging, at the time we first met - and I was usually five or six years older than they were - they wanted to know about women. I was grateful, because I wanted to know about women, too.
If I get concerned with what kind of part I would like to play, I would then start to wonder what roles would be good for me, good for my career, pleasing for the public. Life does not invite this choice and neither should films.
Lee Marvin is more male than anyone I have ever acted with. He is the greatest man's man I have ever met and that includes all the European stars I have worked with.
Whenever I have doubts about the reactions of a character, I find her a place in mythology.
When I've finished with my movie career, I may not own any snack bars, but at least I will have made the movies I wanted to make.
I always have the impression that I am in the midst of becoming. Even if it's my death that's becoming. It's in process. It's not over.
I do not think that for human beings the physical beauty is totally separated from inner beauty. Your mood shows on your face. That is something that comes from the inside. If you're in a good mood there is something different about your complexion, the light in your eyes, your mouth doesn't droop. There is energy coming out of you.
[on Burt Lancaster] Before he can pick up an ashtray, he discusses his motivation for an hour or two. You want to say, "Just pick up the ashtray and shut up!".
[on Luis Bunuel]: I consider him my Spanish father, and I called him that. We met simply because of box-office considerations - he didn't know what actress he wanted for "Le Journal D'Une Femme De Chambre", and the producers offered me. We met in an apartment in St. Tropez and enjoyed so much being together that we also had dinner. He was a fantastic person.

Salary (5)

Le journal d'une femme de chambre (1964) $50,000
The Train (1964) $60,000
The Yellow Rolls-Royce (1964) $70,000
Viva Maria! (1965) $200,000
La vieille qui marchait dans la mer (1991) $400,000

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