Edit
Simone Signoret Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trade Mark (3)  | Trivia (33)  | Personal Quotes (9)

Overview (4)

Born in Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany
Died in Autheuil-Authouillet, Eure, France  (pancreatic cancer)
Birth NameHenriette Charlotte Simone Kaminker
Height 5' 6" (1.68 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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 (1982), 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. She was working without an official permit during the Nazi occupation of France, because her father, who had fled to England, was Jewish. Working almost all the time, she made enough as an extra to support her mother and three younger brothers. Her breakthrough to international stardom came at the age of 38 with the British film Room at the Top (1959). Her Alice Aisgill, an unhappily married woman who hopes she has found true love, radiated real warmth in all of her scenes, not just those in bed. She was the same woman as Dedee, a prostitute who finds true love in Dédée d'Anvers (1948), a film directed by Signoret's first husband, Yves Allégret, a decade earlier. Hollywood beckoned throughout the 1950s, but both Signoret and her second husband, Yves Montand, were refused visas to enter the United States; their progressive political activities did not sit well with the ultra-conservative McCarthy-era mentality that gripped the US at the time. They got visas in 1960 so Montand, as a singer, could perform in New York and San Francisco. They were in Los Angeles in March 1960 when Signoret received the Oscar for best actress and stayed on so Montand could play opposite Marilyn Monroe in Let's Make Love (1960). The Signoret film that is shown most often on TV and that got a theatrical re-release in 1995, four decades after it was made is the French thriller Diabolique (1955). The chilly character Signoret plays is proof of her acting ability. More typical of her persona is the countess in Ship of Fools (1965), a film that also starred Vivien Leigh--more than doubling its chances of being in a video store or library film collection.

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

Spouse (2)

Yves Montand (22 December 1951 - 30 September 1985) ( her death)
Yves Allégret (27 July 1948 - 23 February 1951) ( divorced) ( 1 child)

Trade Mark (3)

Often played gold-hearted prostitutes
Often played liberated women
Heavy cigarette smoking

Trivia (33)

Signoret, her mother's maiden name, was chosen for films in the early 1940s to raise fewer questions with the Nazi authorities than her real surname Kaminker.
The spring and summer of 1960, Signoret and Montand were neighbors in a three-apartment bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel with Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller across the hall and Howard Hughes upstairs. Monroe told her dresser, who wrote a biography, that Miller liked to talk to Signoret because she was so intelligent and that after Signoret went back to France to make a film and Miller went to New York to work on a play that Monroe and Montand did indeed have the affair that was speculated about in the press.
Born at 2:30am-CET
Mother of Catherine Allégret.
First woman to win an Oscar for "Best Actress in a Leading Role" for a non-American film, Room at the Top (1959). Also the first French actress to win a Best Actress Oscar, the second and last one is Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose (2007). Signoret's daughter, Catherine Allégret, appeared in "La Vie en Rose" playing Édith Piaf's grandmother. Signoret and Cotillard have both played Lady Macbeth.
Was able to speak French, German, and English.
Author of 'Adieu Volodia', a novel about a group of Jewish immigrants from Ukraine and Russia and their children, working in the theatre/film industry in Paris during the years 1926-1945.
Portrayed on a postage stamp issued on 3 October 1998 by the French Post Office.
Buried in Père-Lachaise Cemetery in Paris with her husband Yves Montand.
The late American singer and composer Nina Simone took her stage name from Signoret.
Published her autobiography "La nostalgie n'est plus qu'elle était" ("Nostalgia Isn't What It Used To Be") in 1976.
Born to André Kaminker (1888-1961), a Polish linguist, and his French wife Georgette Signoret, she had two younger brothers, Alain and Jean-Pierre.
Tutored English and Latin, while working part-time for "Le Nouveau Temps", a newspaper published during the German occupation.
Grandmother of Benjamin Castaldi.
Original choice to co-star with Elvis Presley in Wild in the Country (1961) but turned down the offer and the role went to Hope Lange.
Is one of 5 French actors to have won an Academy Award. The others in chronological order are: Claudette Colbert for It Happened One Night (1934), Juliette Binoche for The English Patient (1996), Marion Cotillard for La Vie en Rose (2007) and Jean Dujardin for The Artist (2011).
Is one of 13 French actresses to have received an Academy Award nomination. The others in chronological order are: Claudette Colbert, Colette Marchand, Leslie Caron, Anouk Aimée, Isabelle Adjani, Marie-Christine Barrault, Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, Bérénice Bejo, Emmanuelle Riva and Isabelle Huppert.
Good friends with Delphine Seyrig.
With 3 wins (out of 6 nominations), she's the French actress most recognized by BAFTA.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 24, a son in 1945, with her then-married lover Yves Allégret, who would go on to be her 1st husband. However her son died at 9 days old.
Was originally cast as Madame Hortense in Zorba the Greek (1964) but she quit the production before filming began. Lila Kedrova, who went on to win the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance, was cast instead.
Gave birth to her 2nd child at age 25, a daughter Catherine Allégret on April 16, 1946. Child's father was her then-married lover [and later 1st husband], Yves Allégret.
For her performance in Room at the Top (1959), she become the first French actress to win a BAFTA and a Best Actress Oscar for the same performance. Marion Cotillard is the second French actress to win both awards for her performance in La Vie en Rose (2007).
Was the 51st actress to receive an Academy Award; she won the Best Actress Oscar for Room at the Top (1959) at The 32nd Annual Academy Awards (1960) on April 4, 1960.
[Actor Philippe Noiret on working with Simone Signoret in a 1983 interview] It was quite an experience because she is a fabulous actress, because she knows absolutely everything about movies, about what an actor can do on the screen. It's a real challenge to have someone like that in front of you. But she is quite hard to work with because she wants to be at the head of everything, and you have to remain very alert because otherwise she can eat you. Alas, it makes things difficult. You have to stay a bit out of her reach because otherwise she might just manage to devour you.
Simone Signoret won an Emmy in 1966 under the category of Single Performance by an actress for the TV movie A Small Rebellion.
Is one of 3 actresses to have won the Best Actress Oscar for playing a character called Alice. The others are Ellen Burstyn for Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (1974) and Julianne Moore for Still Alice (2014).
In 1966, she played Lady Macbeth in a British stage production of 'Macbeth' at the Royal Court Thatre opposite Alec Guinness as the title character. She accepted the role on Guinness' wishes, as the actor himself had thought that she could 'convey the sexual magnetism that might hold a husband in thrall'. Having promised him that she would take lessons to improve her English, Signoret was however unable to keep the appointments with her coach. The production turned out to be a disaster and Simone's performance in particular was legendarily catastrophic, with the Guardian calling her 'the worst Lady Macbeth ever' and critic Alan Brien getting in the famous joke 'Simone Signoret: A conical bell-tented matron who moves on wheels like a draped Dalek surmounted by a beautiful Medusa head.'.
Was featured on the poster of the 2013 César awards.
Was great friends with her look-a-like Romy Schneider and convinced her to do her last film, La passante du Sans-Souci (1982) after the death of her son. Her daughter, Catherine Allégret, starred opposite Schneider in the film L'enfer (1964).
Great friends with Jane Fonda, who credits her with getting Fonda interested in politics.
Her last name is pronounced "Seen-yor-ay".
Played by Jordan Mohr in the stage play "Two Simones: de Beauvoir and Signoret in Hollywood.".

Personal Quotes (9)

There's an odd quirk inside that didn't change with 'success' (after "Dedee d'Anvers") and still hasn't. I think: It worked this time. I put it over on them. I made them believe I could do it. But one of these days they're going to discover the fakery. They're going to find out I'm only an amateur.
[Marilyn Monroe in 1960] She seemed to have no other happy professional memories. None of those moments of uproarious giggles among pals, none of those practical jokes, none of the noisy hugs and kisses after a scene when everyone knows all have acted well together.
In Hollywood, in 1964, Vivien Leigh gave elegant dinners in the big house she had rented from London. ...She was no longer Laurence Olivier's wife, but she wanted to remain Lady Olivier...At the end of these evenings the phonograph played the theme from Gone with the Wind (1939).
Hordes of young girls never copied my hairdoes or the way I talk or the way I dress. I have, therefore, never had to go through the stress of perpetuating an image that's often the equivalent of one particular song that forever freezes a precise moment of one's youth.
In films as well as life, " said Jack Lang, French minister of culture September 30, 1985, "Miss Signoret was an unshakeable militant, in the front rank of all the battles for human rights, under all regimes and on all horizons. It was faith that sustained her, faith in her ideals of liberty and progress.
I collect all the reviews of the films I turned down. And when they're bad - I have to smile.
I got old the way that women who aren't actresses grow old.
[on Jack L. Warner] He bore no grudge against those he had wronged.
[on Ship of Fools (1965)] Parts of the film are intentionally unsubtle as life was unsubtle then - rough, tough, incredible, unbelievable, but true. I have a European attitude toward this picture, I suppose. I think it says more than most, a picture that will be seen twice.

See also

Other Works |  Publicity Listings |  Official Sites

View agent, publicist, legal and company contact details on IMDbPro Pro Name Page Link

Contribute to This Page


Recently Viewed