Jeanne Moreau Poster


Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (2)  | Trivia (52)  | Personal Quotes (64)  | Salary (5)

Overview (4)

Born in Paris, France
Died in Paris, France  (natural causes)
Nickname The French Bette Davis
Height 5' 3" (1.6 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 (2)

William Friedkin (8 February 1977 - 1979) ( divorced)
Jean-Louis Richard (27 September 1949 - 1951) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (2)

Unconventional, earthy sexiness
Emotionally unstable, passionate characters

Trivia (52)

Orson Welles is the first person Moreau spoke to about directing and the only one who wasn't protective about it.
In 1995 she was chosen #76 by "Empire" magazine as one of the 100 Sexiest Stars in film history.
In January of 2000 she walked off the set of the TV series ER (1994).
Made her debut as a stage director with a Geneva and Paris production of Margaret Edson's "Wit" (April 2000).
In January 2001 she was the first woman to enter the Academie des Beaux-Arts of Paris.
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".
In 1999 there was a tribute to her 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 her.
Her only son, Jerome, was seriously injured in a car accident during the shooting of Seven Days... Seven Nights (1960); the driver was Jean-Paul Belmondo, her co-star in that film. The then-ten-year-old Jerome survived the accident to become 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 her 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 that supports new European scriptwriters.
For personal reasons, she turned down roles in many major films, including Varinia in Spartacus (1960), eventually played by Jean Simmons; Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate (1967), played by Anne Bancroft; and 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 The Piano Teacher (2001).
Is the only French actress to have been the object of a major retrospective of her work (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 film The Lovers (1958) as a provincial wife who abandons her family for a man she has just met; the film had 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.
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.
Her mother was an English dancer from Lancashire who had come to the Folies-Bergere with the Tiller Girls.
Once offered her Rolls-Royce to a friend who had financial trouble.
Was considered for the female lead in El Cid (1961), eventually played by Sophia Loren.
Has co-produced some of her films, like Jules and Jim (1962), Bay of Angels (1963) and Banana Peel (1963).
In February of 1997 was one of many French film personalities who co-signed a petition calling for civil disobedience in the face of a xenophobic immigration law.
In December of 1997 she was chosen by "Esquire" magazine as one of "the 100 Best People in the World".
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.
In June 1997 she was named Doctor of Arts by the City University of New York.
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, with that of respected French writer / director Marguerite Duras; apart from their close friendship, she 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.
President of the "Official Competition" jury at the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival in 1983.
During the 2002 presidential elections in France she supported Socialist candidate and former Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.
Is particularly fond of reading and cooking.
Despite her important singing career, she has rather avoided concerts. One notable exception was a Carnegie Hall concert opposite Frank Sinatra in July 1984.
Agreed to be paid in silver plates for her work in Orson Welles' 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".
In September of 2003 she was robbed of $432,000 in cash and jewels by a bandana-wearing intruder who broke into her Paris apartment.
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).
In 2006 her performance as Catherine in Jules and Jim (1962) was ranked #80 on "Premiere" Magazine's 100 Greatest Performances of All Time.
She was made a Fellow of the British Film Institute in recognition of her outstanding contribution to film culture.
Her father was Anatole-Désiré Moreau, a restaurateur, while her mother, Katherine Buckley, a dancer who performed at the Folies Bergère, was a native of Oldham, Lancashire, England.
A heavy cigarette smoker.
When she joined the Comedie Francaise, where she performed in 27 plays over four years, she was the troupe's youngest performer.
The only actress to have twice chaired the Cannes International Film Festival jury, in 1975 and 1995.
While her mother supported and aided her early acting career, her father was against it. She had to lead a double life and keep her casting in local plays and her admission to the Comedie Francaise from her father. He discovered the truth when she made the front page of a local newspaper in the wake of the success of a play she had acted in, and he threw her out of the house. They reconciled four years later when he became ill, and he spent the last decade of his life with her taking care of him in the south of France.
Fluent in italian.
Has never appeared in a film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.

Personal Quotes (64)

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 Luis Buñuel] 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 Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), 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.
[on Orson Welles in 1983] He transformed a town square in Spain into a Chinese marketplace. To me, that's what film is about--magic!
[on Luis Buñuel in 1983] I called him my Spanish father. He said, "If you had been my daughter, I'd have tied you up and kept you behind bars".
[on Joseph Losey in 1983] I love the way he films; it's very personal, very brilliant.
[on Michelangelo Antonioni in 1983] He was a whole different experience. He doesn't speak at all to the actors. We filmed at night. I couldn't understand why we should be down on the set--but the result was good.
[on Martin Ritt in 1983] That was a different experience for me. He would cover everything--closeups, medium shots, long shots, very few tracking shots. It took ages and ages to make a sequence, and I was used to working with people who did a sequence--and covered four pages--in one movement. So I learned a new way of shooting.
[on Rainer Werner Fassbinder in a 1984 interview] It was his ex-wife that told me he wanted me to be in the film. The picture was done in 24 days. Immediately, when I was on the set, I could feel his willpower. He was perfect in terms of creativity!
[on Peter Brook in a 1983 interview] His approach is sometimes quite frightening because he reaches that part of you he wants to be sensitive--and it opens up incredible things.
[on Jean-Luc Godard in a 1983 interview] I asked for him as the director of "Eva." He signed the contract and was paid some money; he was supposed to deliver a first draft in four weeks time. He eventually sent it--in a one-page letter! The producers screamed, "Where did you get that crazy bum?" So, then I recommended [Joseph Losey].
[on Burt Lancaster after filming The Train (1964)] Before he can pick up an ashtray, he discusses the motivation for an hour or two. You want to say, "Just pick up the ashtray and shut up!". NOTE: In 1983 Moreau thought that her remarks were unfair to Lancaster.
[on Roger Vadim in a 1983 interview] He's very charming, but he was very nervous on the set because co-star Gérard Philipe was very ill. NOTE: Philipe died soon afterwards.

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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