Danielle Darrieux Dead At 100

Danielle Darrieux, a luminous beauty of French cinema whose portrayals of wistful ingenues, romantic temptresses and tragic adultresses spanned more than eight decades, died Oct. 18 at her home in Bois-le-Roi, France. She was 100. Ms. Darrieux’s poise, languid glamour and fine singing voice catapulted her to stardom as a teenager in the early 1930s and kept her there for decades, whether in melodramas, frisky comedies or light musicals. She appeared in well over 100 films in addition to her work in television and theater. Her career was seriously threatened immediately after World War II, when she faced accusations of collaboration with the wartime Vichy regime and the German government. But she managed to clear her name, and her career continued unimpeded through the years. If her pre-war movies emphasized her sparkle and charm, the postwar years elicited some of her most riveting dramatic performances. Much of her critical legacy rests on three celebrated films she made with director Max Ophuls: “La Ronde” (1950), “Le Plaisir” (1952) and “The Earrings of Madame de …” (1953). Fun fact: she replaced Katharine Hepburn in the 1969-70 Broadway run of the musical “Coco.” Unlike Kate, Danielle did not sell well. No matter: onscreen she was unforgettable.

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