Catherine Deneuve by Loomis Dean, 1961
Catherine Deneuve has been called many things but the descriptions nearly always consist of something very cold – the “ice princess”, the “ice queen” or “frozen elegance” and such like. It’s not often, however, that her out of the ordinary good looks aren’t also mentioned. One journalist was typical when he wrote that “her beauty has always been – and, more remarkably , still is – of an order of magnitude that requires different methods of measurement.” Francois Truffaut, who directed her in two films (La sirène du Mississipi and La Dernier Métro) once remarked that Deneuve was so beautiful “that a cinema-goer finds his happiness simply by looking at her. Her face alone repays the price of a man’s ticket.” Alexandre Fache in his biography of Deneuve took this even further and compared her beauty to France itself:
She who for almost four decades has symbolised, represented, personified, both in France and beyond its borders, not only French cinema but France itself; its classical elegance, haughty charm, its innumerable paradoxes.
Deneuve was born Catherine Dorleac, the third of four daughters, in 1943 to two actors, Maurice Dorleac and Renee Deneuve (from whom Catherine took her stage name). Catherine’s first role was in a film called Collegiennes/The Twilight Girls made in 1956 – a piece of soft core erotica set in a boarding school starring veteran French actress Gaby Morlay. Her second film Les Petits Chats, released in 1960, was actually banned until 1965 – censored because the story of a group of schoolgirls planning murder far too disturbing for general release.
Deneuve’s iconic blonde hair didn’t appear until Les Parisiennes (titled in the States as Beds and Broads) in 1961 when she played a schoolgirl seduced by the up and coming pop idol Johnny Hallyday. By now she was notorious in France, not for her acting abilities but for moving in with director Roger Vadim at the age of sixteen. Once described as the “Svengali of French Cinema” Vadim would later write of Deneuve: “Her body was very white, rather fragile, and as delicate as the features on her face. I remember thinking I’d never seen such beautiful breasts.” He also said of their first year together that “she hardly spoke at all”. Deneuve’s notoriety intensified in 1963, when as part of an unmarried couple, she had a son – Christian Vadim.
As an actor Catherine Deneuve’s first major breakthrough in France was in Jacques Demy’s poignant 1964 musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg which won the Cannes Palme d’Or in 1964 and subsequently the best foreign-language film Oscar. Her performance, however, eclipsed that of her sister’s who appeared in Truffaut’s La Peau Douce, released at roughly the same time. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg proved to be a turning point in Deneuve’s career and she went on to star in films such as Polanski’s Repulsion and Bunuel’s Belle de Jour. She married the British photographer David Bailey in 1965 (her only marriage and an institution she would later describe as ‘obsolete and a trap’) and appeared in another musical directed by Demy Les Demoiselles de Rochefort in 1967. Not long after the film’s completion, however, her co-star and sister Francoise, died in a car crash on the French Riviera. By now her marriage was over and she became involved with actor Marcello Mastroianni, with whom she had a daughter, Chiara, in 1972.
Deneuve in London for the premiere of her new film ‘Repulsion’, a thriller directed by Roman Polanski, 11th June 1964.
Catherine Deneuve arriving at a Royal Film Performance of James H. Hill’s movie Born Free, at the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, 14th March 1966
Marcello Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Philippe Noiret and Ugo Tognazzi at Cannes 1973
Portrait of Catherine Deneuve by Jeanloup Sieff, 1969
Yvonne Fumeaux and Catherine Deneuve in Repulsion directed by Roman Polanski, 1965
Portrait of Catherine Deneuve by Jeanloup Sieff, 1997
Catherine Deneuve in her Morgan roadster in 1967
Portrait of Catherine Deneuve by Helmut Newton, 1976
French fashion model Catherine Deneuve. (Photo by Loomis Dean)
Jean Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve in La Sirene du Mississippi directed by François Truffaut, 1969
Catherine Deneuve by Loomis Dean, 1961
Catherine Deneuve by Willy Rizzo, 1966
Catherine Deneuve and David Bailey, London, March 1966. Photo by Ted West
Catherine Deneuve by Michael Childers, 1981
Julie Christie, Ursula Andress and Catherine Deneuve attend a Royal Film Performance of Born Free at the Odeon, Leicester Square, 14th March 1966. Photo by George Freston
David Bailey and Catherine Deneuve are surrounded by press photographers as they leave st. Pancras after their wedding, august, 1965
Catherine Deneuve Chanel
Portrait of Catherine Deneuve for Chanel by Richard Avedon, 1973
Catherine Deneuve by Walter Carone in 1963
Catherine Deneuve and photographer Walter Carone
Catherine Deneuve arriving at London airport. She is wearing a white square cut coat by Andre Courreges
Catherine Deneuve – Paris Michel Comte 1996
Catherine Deneuve Paris 1965 photo by Willy Rizzo
1962 – Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Pierre Honore Roger Vadim’s film, ‘Vice and Virtue’
Catherine Deneuve by David Bailey, January 1968.
director Jean-Paul Rappeneau gets a close up of the star of his new fim ‘La Vie De Chateau’, Catherine Deneuve, 15th January 1966.
Catherine Deneuve by David Bailey, January 1968.
30 Sep 1967, Paris, France — French actress Catherine Deneuve in the film Manon 70, directed by Jean Aurel.
Catherine Deneuve in ‘George V’ Paris,1988 Photo Bettina Rheims
Catherine Deneuve 1964
1967 – Belle de jour (Catherine Deneuve)
Francoise Dorleac and Catherine Deneuve
Catherine Deneuve 1965
Catherine Deneuve, 1980 Photo Ron Galella
Nino Castelnuovo and Catherine Deneuve walk down a wet sidewalk in a scene from the film ‘The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg’, 1964.
Catherine Deneuve in 1965, photo by David Bailey
French actress Catherine Deneuve starred in a series of television commercials directed by Helmut Newton In March 1968, during the filming of “Mayerling” of Venice
Catherine Deneuve and Francoise Dorleac (1942 – 1967) at the filming of “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” 1966
Catherine Deneuve and sister Françoise Dorléac (1966) Photo David Hurn
Catherine Deneuve in 1968 – photo by Juergen Vollmer.
Catherine Deneuve in 1962.
Catherine Deneuve 1961 Photo Loomis Dean
Catherine Deneuve 1962
Catherine-Deneuve on the set of Et Satan conduit le Bal written and directed-by Grisha Dabat 1962. Photo Henri-Bureau
Catherine Deneuve in home of Yves Saint Laurent in 1966 – photo Giancarlo Botti.
Catherine Deneuve Hôtel Excelsior Venice,1968
Catherine Deneuve, Venice, 1968.
(stills 62723N) Catherine Deneuve on the banks of the Seine, dressed in Yves Saint Laurent
Catherine Deneuve, 1960 – photo Peter Basch.
Catherine Deneuve 1960 Studio Harcourt
Catherine Deneuve Modelling for Yves Saint Laurent
Catherine Deneuve at the opening of new boutique YSL, September 1966.
Catherine Deneuve Vogue 1966 Photo David Bailey
Catherine Deneuve, Normandy, 1965 Photo Eric Swayne
Catherine Deneuve, Vogue, November 15, 1966 David Bailey
Catherine Deneuve And Françoise Dorléac The sisters, in their matching stripes, smothered a feline with kisses in an outdoor portrait series from 1960
Catherine Deneuve & David Bailey second wife Weeding London, 18 august 1965
David Bailey accompanied Deneuve to the Cannes Film Festival in 1966
Catherine Deneuve in Belle de Jour
Catherine Deneuve and her sister Françoise Dorléac
Catherine Deneuve Francois Dorleac Cannes Film Festival May 24 1965
Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac in Les demoiselles de Rochefort directed by Jacques Demy, 1967. Photo by Reg Lancaster
Catherine Deneuve, Françoise Dorléac and Gene Kelly on the set of Les demoiselles de Rochefort directed by Jacques Demy, 1966
Roger VADIM and Catherine DENEUVE in a scene from the film LE VICE ET LA VERTU in 1962.
Catherine Deneuve and Jacques Demy on the set of Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, 1964
Catherine Deneuve by Douglas Kirkland, 1968
Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac on the set of Les demoiselles de Rochefort directed by Jacques Demy, 1967
Gene Kelly, Catherine Deneuve and Jacques Demy by Hélène Jeanbrau on the set of Les demoiselles de Rochefort, 1967
Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve by Hélène Jeanbrau in Les demoiselles de Rochefort directed by Jacques Demy, 1967
David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve for The Hunger directed by Tony Scott, 1983
30 Sep 1967, Paris, France — French actress Catherine Deneuve in the film Manon 70, directed by Jean Aurel. — Image by Jack Burlot
Jean Paul Belmondo and Catherine Deneuve in La Sirène du Missippi directed by François Truffaut, 1969
Catherine Deneuve on the set of Tristana by Luis Bunuel, 1970
Nino Castelnuovo and Catherine Deneuve in Les Parapluies de Cherbourg directed by Jacques Demy, 1964