Michèle Morgan was born Simone Roussel
in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, in 1920. Having studied drama from the age of 15,
she made her film debut in Mademoiselle Mozart
in 1935. She was already an
established actress when, at the age of 18, she appeared in Marcel Carné's
legendary film, Le Quai des brumes
, in which she starred opposite the acting legend,
Jean Gabin. At the start of WWII, Morgan moved to the
United States where she took a contract with RKO. Unfortunately, her career in Hollywood
proved largely fruitless and she returned to France in 1946. There she starred in
Jean Delannoy's acclaimed 1946 film, La Symphonie Pastorale
, a role for which
Morgan received the Best Actress award at Cannes that year.
During the 1940s and 1950s, Morgan became
the most popular and sought-after actress in France, appearing in successful costume dramas
and romances, such as Marie-Antoinette
and Les Orgeuilleux
Her popularity waned in the 1960s with the
emergence of the New Wave and the sixties fashion culture, although she was awarded the
Légion d'honneur in 1968. In the 1970s, she made a successful transition
from film to theatre. Now in retirement, Morgan is free to indulge in her other
great passion, painting.
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