Signoret, Simone

Signoret, Simone, 1921–85, French actress, b. Wiesbaden, Germany, as Simone Henriette Charlotte Kaminker. The sultry blonde actress began as a movie extra; she became well known after she starred in Macadam (1946) and Dédee d'Anvers (1948) and was featured in La Ronde (1950). In 1951 she married her second husband, Yves Montand, with whom she often performed on stage and screen, e.g., the film The Sleeping Car Murders (1966). Signoret, who worked in French, British, and American productions, played a scheming, murderous mistress in Henri-Georges Clouzot's terrifying thriller Diabolique (1955), and the sensuous but rejected married lover of an ambitious younger man in Room at the Top (1959); she won both the American Academy and British BAFTA best actress awards for the latter. She also won BAFTAs for Casque d'Or (1952) and Les Sorcières de Salem (1957, also with Montand). Signoret's later roles were as a character actress. Her other films include Ship of Fools (1965), The Sea Gull (1968), Le Chat (1971, The Cat), La Vie devant soi (1977, Madame Rosa), and her last, L'étoile du Nord (1982). Signoret also wrote two novels (1979, 1985).

See her autobiography, Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be (1976, tr. 1979); biography by P. A. DeMaio (2014).

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