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November 6, 2021

Beautiful Photos of Michèle Girardon in the 1950s and ’60s

Born 1938 in Lyon, French actress Michèle Girardon began acting in 1956, and had a small but noticeable role as a deaf-mute beauty in La mort en ce jardin (Death in the Garden) (1956). She soon became prominent in a host of films, including those of notable directors of the French New Wave.

Girardon is probably best known as an actress for her work in Les Amants (The Lovers) in 1958, and the 1961 Howard Hawks production of Hatari! starring John Wayne and Hardy Krüger; for the latter, as she spoke no English when cast in the role, she taught herself English while on the set, according to a July 1961 Life magazine profile of the actress.

1963 proved to be her most active year, with several avant garde films to her credit including Vacances Portugaises (Portuguese Vacations), André Cayatte’s experimental ‘paired’ films Jean-Marc ou La vie conjugale (Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Jean-Marc), and Françoise ou La vie conjugale (Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Françoise), and La Boulangère de Monceau (The Girl at the Monceau Bakery).

Girardon also worked in television. In 1967, she played Nicole in the first season of Les Chevaliers du ciel. The success of this series brought her a very high level of popularity.

During the 1960s, Girardon became romantically involved with a married Spanish nobleman, occasional actor and notorious wastrel José Luis de Vilallonga, whom she had first met on the set of Les Amants. The couple lived together throughout much of the 1960s.

By 1971, Girardon’s acting career was over and after finally obtaining his divorce in 1972, de Vilallonga ended their relationship to marry another woman, Ursula Dietrich. Girardon never married or had children and became increasingly despondent. She committed suicide via an overdose of sleeping pills at the age of 36 in Lyon on 25 March 1975.

Take a look at these vintage photos to see the beauty of Michèle Girardon in the 1950s and 1960s.

1 comment:

  1. Je crains que les studio n'aient exigé de lui refaire le nez...




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