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May 29, 2023

Fabulous Photos of Simone Signoret in the 1940s and ’50s

Born 1921 in Wiesbaden, Germany and grew up in Paris, French actress Simone Signoret began appearing in bit parts in 1942 and was able to earn enough money to support her mother and two brothers. She won considerable attention in La Ronde (1950), a film which was banned briefly in New York as immoral. She appeared in many French films during the 1950s, including Thérèse Raquin (1953), Les Diaboliques (1954), and The Crucible (Les Sorcières de Salem; 1956).

In 1958, Signoret acted in the English independent film, Room at the Top (1959), from which her emotionally powerful performance won her numerous awards including the Best Female Performance Prize at Cannes and the Academy Award for Best Actress. She was offered films in Hollywood, but turned them down for several years, continuing to work in France and England. She earned a further Oscar nomination for her work on Ship of Fools (1965), and appeared in a few other Hollywood films before returning to France in 1969.

Signoret was never concerned with glamor, ignored sexist and ageist insults and continued giving finely etched performances. She won more acclaim for her portrayal of a weary madam in Madame Rosa (1977) and as an unmarried sister who unknowingly falls in love with her paralyzed brother via anonymous correspondence in I Sent a Letter to My Love (1980). She continued to appear in many movies before her death in 1985 at the age of 64.

Take a look at these fabulous photos to see portraits of young Simone Signoret in the 1940s and 1950s.


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