Simone Simon


Simone Simon

Infobox actor
bgcolour = silver
name = Simone Simon

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birthname = Simone Thérèse Fernande Simon
birthdate = birth date|1910|4|23|mf=y
location = Béthune, France
deathdate = death date and age|2005|2|22|1910|4|23|mf=y
deathplace = Paris, France
homepage =
academyawards =
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Simone Thérèse Fernande Simon (April 23 1910February 22 2005) was a French film actress who began her film career in 1931.

Biography

Early life

Born in Béthune, France, she was the daughter of Henri Louis Firmin, a French engineer, and Erma Maria Domenica Giorcelli, an Italian housewife. She grew up in Marseille. She went to Paris in 1931 and worked briefly as a singer, model and fashion designer.

Career

Simon made her screen debut in "Le Chanteur inconnu" ("The Unknown Singer", 1931), and quickly established herself as one of the country's most successful film actresses. After seeing her in the 1934 film "Lac Aux Dames" (USA title: "Ladies' Lake"), Darryl F. Zanuck brought her to Hollywood in 1936 with a widespread publicity campaign.

However her films for 20th Century Fox were only moderately successful. Among others, she was cast in the Janet Gaynor role in a remake of the beloved silent classic "Seventh Heaven", which co-starred James Stewart and flopped. She also appeared as an eager child/woman in "Ladies in Love", which starred Gaynor, Constance Bennett, and Loretta Young, a heavyweight lineup in which Simon's role left her little chance to compete effectively. Simon returned, dissatisfied, to France. There she appeared in the film "La Bête Humaine" ("The Human Beast") in 1938.

With the outbreak of World War II she returned to Hollywood and RKO Studios where she achieved her greatest successes in English language cinema with "The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941), and the horror films "Cat People" (1942) and "The Curse of the Cat People" (1944).

These films, however, did not lead to greater success and she languished in mediocre films until the end of the war.

She returned to France to act, and appeared in "La Ronde" ("Roundabout", 1950). Her film roles were few after this and she made her final film appearance in 1973.

She died in Paris, France on 22 February, 2005, aged 94, from natural causes. The BBC [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/film/4291269.stm] February 23, 2005 - French Actress Simone Simon dies - BBC News, UK Edition] mistakenly reported her age as 93, by using the wrong year of birth (1911). A few days later, French Minister of Culture Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres issued a statement in which he extolled Simon's "charm, her irresistible smile. . . With Simone Simon's passing, we have lost one of the most seductive and most brilliant stars of the French cinema of the first half of the 20th century." [ [http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/actualites/communiq/donnedieu/ssimon.htm] Hommage à Simone Simon - French Ministry of Culture]

Simon never married. Her maid revealed that she gave a gold key to her boudoir to any man she was interested in, including George Gershwin. In the 1950s, she was romantically involved with the French banker Alec Weisweiller, who was one of Jean Cocteau's patrons.

She was at one time in a relationship with WWII double-agent Dusko Popov, who was codenamed "Tricycle". [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/05/08/britain.agent/] UK exposes secret agent's sex life - CNN.com]

elected Filmography

*"La Femme en bleu" (1973) - Madam
*"The Extra Day" (1956) - Michele Blanchard
*"Das Zweite Leben" (1954) - Françoise Dunoyer
*"Le Plaisir" (1952) - Joséphine (segment "Le Modèle")
*"Olivia" (aka "The Pit of Loneliness") (1951)
*"La Ronde" ("Roundabout") (1950) - Marie, the Housemaid
*"Donne senza nome" (1949) - Yvonne Dubois
*"Temptation Harbour" (1947) - Camelia
*"Pétrus" (1946) .... Migo
*"Johnny Doesn't Live Here Any More" (1944) - Kathie
*"The Curse of the Cat People" (1944) - Irena Dubrovna (as a ghost)
*"Mademoiselle Fifi" (1944) - A Little Laundress
*"Tahiti Honey" (1943) - Suzette 'Susie" Durand
*"Cat People" (1942) - Irena Dubrovna
*"The Devil and Daniel Webster" (1941) - Belle
*"Cavalcade d'amour" (1940) - Juliette
*"La Bête humaine" (1938) - Séverine Roubaud
*"Josette" (1938) - Renee LeBlanc
*"Love and Hisses" (1937) - Yvett Guerin

*"Seventh Heaven" (1937) - Diane the Hooker
*"Ladies in Love" (1936) - Marie Armand
*"Girls' Dormitory" (1936) - Marie Claudel
*"Les Yeux noirs" (1935) - Tania
*"Les Beaux jours" (1935) - Sylvie
*"Lac aux dames" (1934)
*"Le Voleur" (1934)
*"L'Étoile de Valencia" (1933)
*"Tire au flanc" (1933)
*"La Petite chocolatière" (1932) - Julie
*"Pour vivre heureux" (1932)
*"Prenez garde à la peinture" (1932)
*"Le Roi des palaces" (1932) - Victoire
*"Un fils d'Amérique" (1932)
*"Le Chanteur inconnu" (1931) - Pierette
*"Durand contre Durand" (1931) - Eliane
*"On opère sans douleur" (1931)
*"Mam'zelle Nitouche" (1931)

References

External links

*imdb name|id= 0800386|name= Simone Simon
* [http://simonesimon.eeweems.com/ More about Simone Simon]
* [http://www.altfg.com/actors/simone-simon.htm A short biography]
* [http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4158/is_20050302/ai_n11843324 Article, The Independent]
* [http://film.virtual-history.com/person.php?personid=1062 Photographs of Simone Simon]


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