#76 Simone Simon

21 11 2010

French actress Simone Therese Fernande Simon was born in 1910, and worked in Paris as a singer, fashion model and designer until she was discovered and offered an acting contract in 1931.  After seeing some of her French films, Darryl F. Zanuck brought her to Hollywood, where she initially didn’t fit in and was replaced on a few productions.  Eventually she hired an assistant to help her deal with the issues of temperment and culture thst threatened her success on the movie set.

By the late 1930’s she returned to France and starred in Jean Renoir’s 1938 film, La Bete Humaine.  Then WWII brought Simone back to the United States, where she made her best English language films, The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), and the two she’s here for, Cat People (1942) and Curse of the Cat People (1944).  The two Val Lewton produced Cat People pictures are unique and the reason she’s known to American horror buffs to this day.  After the war Simon returned to France, unable to make her success in a few cult films into a Hollywood into a career.  Her last film appearnce was in 1973, and she died in 2005 at the age of 94.




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