Jeanne Moreau (Jeanne Moreau)

Jeanne Moreau

In 1947, Jeanne Moreau made her theatrical debut at the Avignon Festival. She debuted at the Comédie-Française in Ivan Turgenev’s A Month in the Country and, by her twenties, was already one of leading actresses in the theatre’s troupe. After 1949, she began appearing in films with small parts but continued primarily active in the theatre for several years—a year at the Théâtre National Populaire opposite among others Gérard Philipe and Robert Hirsch, then a breakout two years in dual roles in The Dazzling Hour by Anna Bonacci, then Jean Cocteau’s La Machine Infernale and others before another two-year run, this time in Shaw’s Pygmalion. From the late 1950s, after appearing in several successful films, she began to work with the emerging generation of French film-makers. Elevator to the Gallows (1958) with first-time director Louis Malle was followed by Malle’s The Lovers (Les Amants, 1959). Largely thanks to these films, Jeanne Moreau went on to work with many of the best known New Wave and avant-garde directors. François Truffaut’s New Wave film Jules et Jim (1962), her biggest success internationally, is centred on her magnetic starring role. She also worked with a number of other notable directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni (La notte and Beyond the Clouds), Orson Welles (The Trial, Chimes at Midnight and The Immortal Story), Luis Buñuel (Diary of a Chambermaid), Elia Kazan (The Last Tycoon), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Querelle), Wim Wenders (Until the End of the World), Carl Foreman (Champion and The Victors), and Manoel de Oliveira (Gebo et l’Ombre). In 1983, she was head of the jury at the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival. In 2005, she was awarded with the Stanislavsky Award at the 27th Moscow International Film Festival. Jeanne Moreau was also a vocalist. She released several albums and once performed with Frank Sinatra at Carnegie Hall. In addition to acting, Moreau worked behind the camera, as a writer, director and producer. Her blended accomplishments were the subject of a film profile, Calling the Shots (1988), by Janis Cole and Holly Dale. Moreau died on 31 July 2017, at the age of 89.

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  • January, 23, 1928
  • Paris, France


  • July, 31, 2017
  • Paris, France

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