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Annie Girardot
Girardot in 2005
Annie Suzanne Girardot

(1931-10-25)25 October 1931
Paris, France
Died28 February 2011(2011-02-28) (aged 79)
Paris, France
Resting placePère Lachaise Cemetery
Years active1950–2008
(m. 1962; died 1988)

Annie Suzanne Girardot (25 October 1931 – 28 February 2011) was a French actress.[1][2] She often played strong-willed, independent, hard-working, and often lonely women, imbuing her characters with an earthiness and reality that endeared her to women undergoing similar daily struggles.[3]

Over the course of a five-decade career, she starred in nearly 150 films. She was a three-time César Award winner (1977, 1996, 2002), a two-time Molière Award winner (2002), a David di Donatello Award winner (1977), a BAFTA nominee (1962), and a recipient of several international prizes including the Volpi Cup (Best actress) at the 1965 Venice Film Festival for Three Rooms in Manhattan.

Breakthrough and early career

After graduating from the Conservatoire de la rue Blanche in 1954 with two First Prizes in Modern and Classical Comedy, Girardot joined the Comédie Française, where she was a resident actor from 1954 to 1957.[citation needed]

She made her film debut in Thirteen at the Table (Treize à table, 1955), but it was with theatre that she was beginning to attract the attention of critics.[citation needed] Her performance in a revival of Jean Cocteau's play La Machine à écrire in 1956 was lauded by the author who called her "The finest dramatic temperament of the Postwar period".[4] In 1958, Luchino Visconti directed her opposite Jean Marais in a French stage adaptation of William Gibson's Two for the Seesaw.[5]

Girardot with Renato Salvatori in Luchino Visconti's Rocco and His Brothers (1960)

In 1956, she was awarded the Prix Suzanne Bianchetti as best up-and-coming young actress, but only with Luchino Visconti's epic Rocco e i suoi fratelli (Rocco and His Brothers, 1960), she was able to draw the public's attention.[citation needed] In 1962, she married Italian actor Renato Salvatori. Travelling back and forth between France and Italy, Girardot worked with Italian directors such as Marco Ferreri, appearing in three of his films, including the controversial The Ape Woman (1964) and Dillinger Is Dead (1968). She found success in popular French cinema alongside directors such as Jean Delannoy, Marcel Carné, Michel Boisrond, André Cayatte, Gilles Grangier, or André Hunebelle.[6] In 1968, she also starred in the French anti-consumerism film Erotissimo (director Gérard Pirès).

The 1970s

By the end of the 1960s, she had become a movie star and a box-office magnet in France[according to whom?][citation needed] with such films as Vice and Virtue (1963); Live for Life (1967); Love Is a Funny Thing (1969); and Mourir d'aimer (To die of love, 1971), the fact-based tale of Gabrielle Russier (1937–1969), a thirty year old teacher whose affair with a much younger student made her the object of bourgeoisie ridicule. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe, and remains Girardot's biggest box office hit in France.

Girardot in 1970

Throughout the 1970s, Girardot moved back and forth between drama and comedy, appearing in such successful comedies as Claude Zidi's La Zizanie, Michel Audiard's She Does Not Drink, Smoke or Flirt But... She Talks (Elle boit pas, elle fume pas, elle drague pas, mais... elle cause !, 1970) or Philippe de Broca's Dear Inspector (Tendre poulet, 1977). She starred in the teen movie, The Slap (La Gifle, 1974) as Isabelle Adjani's mother. In 1972, she said in an interview to The New York Times, citing as Exhibit A her role as a sideshow freak in The Ape Woman, "I think I've proven that I'm opposed to typecasting. I believe that the acting of any role — from duchess to kitchen slavey — must be a form of transformation".[1] She won her first César Award for Best Actress portraying the title character in the drama Docteur Françoise Gailland (1976). Throughout the 1970s, she was the highest-paid actress in France, and was nicknamed "La Girardot" by the press as her name alone was seen as enough to guarantee the success of a film.[7] Between the release of Live for Life (1967) and Jupiter's Thigh (1980), 24 of her films have attracted more than one million admissions in France.[8] On stage she had success with Madame Marguerite,[citation needed] which became her signature role that she reprised on numerous occasions until 2002. That year she was awarded the Molière Award for this role, along with an Honorary Molière Award for her entire stage career.

Girardot became one of the symbols of the 1970s feminist movement in France, as the audience embraced the "everywoman" quality she brought to the strong-minded female characters she regularly played in both dramas and comedies.[citation needed] In her 1989 autobiography, Vivre d'aimer, she wrote: "People didn't come to watch a beautiful, vamp-like creature, but simply a woman. [...] I played a judge, a lawyer, a taxi driver, a cop, a surgeon. I was never a glamorous star."[9]

From the 1980s onwards: Fading stardom and comeback

Girardot at Cannes festival in 2000

The 1980s were less kind, as her career floundered and parts dwindled. In 1983, she lost a fortune when Revue Et Corrigée, the musical show she put on and starred in at the Casino de Paris, flopped.[10] She suffered from depression but bounced back with several television series in France and Italy. However, Girardot had a major comeback on the big screen playing a peasant wife in Claude Lelouch's Les Misérables (1995). The role won her a second César Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1996. Upon accepting the award, a joyous and tearful Girardot expressed her happiness that she had not been forgotten by the film industry.[11] In 1992, she was the Head of the Jury at the 42nd Berlin International Film Festival.[12]

She was awarded the César Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Michael Hanekes The Piano Teacher (2001). She collaborated with Haneke again in Caché (2005).

Girardot is the highest ranked woman in the list of French stars who have appeared in the most movies that have attracted more than one million admissions in France since 1945, with 44 films.[8]

Personal life, illness and death

She married Italian actor Renato Salvatori in 1962. They had a daughter, Giulia, and later separated but never divorced. Salvatori died in 1988.

After going public in the 21 September 2006 issue of Paris Match with the news that she was suffering from Alzheimer's disease, she became a symbol of the illness in France. On 28 February 2011, Girardot died in a hospital in Paris, aged 79. She was interred at Père-Lachaise Cemetery, in Paris.[13]



Year Title Role Director Notes
1950 Pigalle-Saint-Germain-des-Prés Une jeune fille André Berthomieu
1955 Thirteen at the Table Véronique Chambon André Hunebelle
1956 Le Pays d'où je viens Minor Role Marcel Carné Uncredited
L'Homme aux clés d'or Gisèle Delmar / Lewarden Léo Joannon
1957 Reproduction interdite Viviane Gilles Grangier
Le rouge est mis Hélène Gilles Grangier
Love Is at Stake Marie-Blanche Fayard Marc Allégret
1958 Maigret Sets a Trap Yvonne Maurin Jean Delannoy
Le Désert de Pigalle Josy Léo Joannon
1959 Bobosse Étienne Périer Uncredited
1960 Lovers on a Tightrope Cora Jean-Charles Dudrumet
Recours en grâce Lilla László Benedek
Rocco and His Brothers Nadia Luchino Visconti
Love and the Frenchwoman Danielle (segment "Divorce, Le")
1961 Prey for the Shadows Anna Kraemmer Alexandre Astruc
Le rendez-vous Madeleine Jean Delannoy
Famous Love Affairs Mademoiselle Duchesnois Michel Boisrond (segment "Les Comédiennes")
1962 Le Bateau d'Émile Fernande Malanpin Denys de La Patellière
Le Crime ne paie pas Gabrielle Fenayrou Gérard Oury (segment "L'affaire Fenayrou")
Smog Gabriella Franco Rossi
Pourquoi Paris? Denys de La Patellière
1963 The Shortest Day L'infermiera Sergio Corbucci
Vice and Virtue Juliette Morand ("Vice") Roger Vadim
The Organizer Niobe Mario Monicelli
Outlaws of Love Margherita Paolo and Vittorio Taviani and Valentino Orsini
1964 La Bonne Soupe Marie / Marinette / Maryse / Marie-Paule jeune Robert Thomas
The Ape Woman Maria Marco Ferreri
L'autre femme Agnès François Villiers
La ragazza in prestito Clara Alfredo Giannetti
Male Companion Clara Philippe de Broca
Beautiful families Maria Ugo Gregoretti (segment "Il principe azzurro")
1965 Déclic et des claques Sandra Philippe Clair
Una voglia da morire Eleonora Duccio Tessari
The Dirty Game Suzette / Monique Christian-Jaque
Three Rooms in Manhattan Kay Larsi Marcel Carné
1967 The Witches Valeria Luchino Visconti (segment "Strega Bruciata Viva, La")
Live for Life Catherine Colomb Claude Lelouch
The Journalist Herself Sergei Gerasimov
1968 La Bande à Bonnot Maria la Belge Philippe Fourastié
It Rains in My Village Reza Aleksandar Petrović
1969 Dillinger Is Dead Sabine Marco Ferreri
Metti una sera a cena Giovanna Giuseppe Patroni Griffi
Les Gauloises bleues the mother Michel Cournot
Erotissimo Annie Gérard Pirès
Love Is a Funny Thing Françoise Claude Lelouch
The Seed of Man the unknown woman Marco Ferreri
Life Love Death Herself Claude Lelouch cameo appearance
1970 Story of a Woman Liliana Leonardo Bercovici
Elle boit pas, elle fume pas, elle drague pas, mais... elle cause ! Germaine Michel Audiard
Les Novices Mona Lisa Guy Casaril
Le clair de terre Maria Guy Gilles
1971 Mourir d'aimer Danièle Guénot André Cayatte
1972 The Old Maid Muriel Bouchon Jean-Pierre Blanc
La Mandarine [fr] Séverine Édouard Molinaro
Hearth Fires Marie Louise Boursault Serge Korber
Elle cause plus... elle flingue [fr] Rosemonde du Bois de la Faisanderie Michel Audiard
1973 Shock Treatment Hélène Masson Alain Jessua
Il n'y a pas de fumée sans feu Sylvie Peyrac André Cayatte
1974 Ursule et Grelu Ursule Serge Korber
Juliette and Juliette Juliette Vidal Remo Forlani
La Gifle Hélène Douélan Claude Pinoteau
1975 The Suspect Teresa Francesco Maselli
Il faut vivre dangereusement [fr] Léone Claude Makovski [fr]
The Gypsy Ninie José Giovanni
Il pleut sur Santiago Maria Olivares Helvio Soto
1976 Docteur Françoise Gailland Françoise Gailland Jean-Louis Bertucelli
D'amour et d'eau fraîche Mona Jean-Pierre Blanc
Cours après moi que je t'attrape [fr] Jacqueline Robert Pouret [fr]
1977 À chacun son enfer [fr] Madeleine Girard André Cayatte
Jambon d'Ardenne La patronne du Beauséjour Benoît Lamy
Le Dernier Baiser [fr] Annie Dolorès Grassian [fr]
Tendre Poulet [fr] Lise Tanquerelle Philippe de Broca
Le Point de mire [fr] Danièle Gaur Jean-Claude Tramont
1978 La Zizanie Bernadette Daubray-Lacaze Claude Zidi
Vas-y maman [fr] Annie Larcher Nicole de Buron
L'Amour en question [fr] Suzanne Corbier André Cayatte
La Clé sur la porte [fr] Marie Arnault Yves Boisset
1979 Traffic Jam Irène Luigi Comencini
Le Cavaleur Lucienne Philippe de Broca
Cause toujours... tu m'intéresses! [fr] Christine Clément Édouard Molinaro
Bobo Jacco Magda Walter Bal
1980 Jupiter's Thigh Lise Tanquerelle Philippe de Broca
Le coeur à l'envers Laure / Mother Franck Appréderis
1981 Une robe noire pour un tueur [fr] Florence Nat José Giovanni
All Night Long French teacher Jean-Claude Tramont
La vie continue Jeanne Moshé Mizrahi
La revanche Jeanne Jouvert Pierre Lary
1984 Liste noire [fr] Jeanne Dufour Alain Bonnot [fr]
Souvenirs, souvenirs Emma Boccara Ariel Zeitoun
1985 Adieu Blaireau Colette Bob Decout [fr]
Partir, revenir Hélène Rivière Claude Lelouch
Mussolini and I Rachele Mussolini Alberto Negrin TV Mini-Series, 4 episodes
1988 Prisonnières Marthe Charlotte Silvera
1989 Cinq jours en juin Marcelle Michel Legrand
The Legendary Life of Ernest Hemingway Gertrude Stein José María Sánchez
Comédie d'amour [fr] Le Fléau Jean-Pierre Rawson [fr]
Ruf Valeri Akhadov
1990 Il y a des jours... et des lunes the lone woman Claude Lelouch
Faccia di lepre Marlene Liliana Ginanneschi
1991 Merci la vie Évangeline Pelleveau Bertrand Blier
Toujours seuls Mme Chevillard Gérard Mordillat
1992 Alibi perfetto Countess
1993 Portagli i miei saluti... avanzi di galera Laura Albani
1994 Les Braqueuses Cécile's mother Jean-Paul Salomé
1995 Les Misérables Madame Thénardier (1942) Claude Lelouch
1996 Les Bidochon La mère Bidochon Serge Korber
1997 Shanghai 1937 Mme. Tissaud Peter Patzak TV movie
1998 Préférence Blanche Gregoire Delacourt
When I Will Be Gone (L'Âge de braise) Caroline Bonhomme Jacques Leduc
2000 T'aime Emma Patrick Sébastien
2001 The Piano Teacher Mother Michael Haneke
Ceci est mon corps Mamie Rodolphe Marconi
2002 Epstein's Night [de] Hannah Liebermann Urs Egger
2003 Raining Cats and Frogs L'éléphante Jacques-Rémy Girerd Voice
2005 Let's Be Friends Madame Mendelbaum Éric Toledano and Olivier Nakache
Hidden Mother of Georges Michael Haneke
2006 Le Temps des porte-plumes Alphonsine Daniel Duval
A City Is Beautiful at Night The Grandmother Richard Bohringer
2007 Boxes Joséphine Jane Birkin
Christian Odile Elisabeth Löchen (final film role)


  1. ^ a b Grimes, William (1 March 2011). "Annie Girardot, Versatile French Actress, Dies at 79". The New York Times.
  2. ^ "Mon Cinéma | Chroniqueurs | Mourir d'aimer". Archived from the original on 10 August 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  3. ^ "Les Inrocks : Mort de l'antistar Annie Girardot". Archived from the original on 8 May 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  4. ^ "L'Actrice Annie Girardot est décédée lundi". 20 Minutes (in French). 28 February 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  5. ^ "La belle carrière d'Annie Girardot sur les planches". Le Figaro (in French). 28 February 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Annie Girardot, la gouaille énergique mais fragile du cinéma français". Le Point (in French). 28 February 2011. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  7. ^ Douteau. Caroline. "Annie Girardot, une femme libre", Télé 7 jours no 2650, p. 32
  8. ^ a b "ANNIE GIRARDOT (Actrice française) – Fiche Acteur".
  9. ^ Annie Girardot, Vivre d'aimer, Paris, Robert Laffont, 1989, 175 p.
  10. ^ Perrone, Pierre (8 March 2011). "Annie Girardot: Actress who eschewed glamorous roles in favour of portraying 'everywoman'". The Independent. London. Archived from the original on 7 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Annie Girardot, César 1996 de la Meilleure Actrice dans un Second Rôle dans LES MISÉRABLES". 18 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Berlinale: 1992 Juries". Retrieved 27 March 2011.
  13. ^ "Annie Girardot: la comédienne est morte"
  14. ^ As of March 2021: Paris, Toulouse, Angers, Les Sables-d'Olonne, Saint-Nazaire, Colombelles, Herblay-sur-Seine, Bourges, Couëron, Dompierre-sur-Mer, Ergué-Gabéric, Garcelles-Secqueville, Gisors, La Riche, Niort, Rezé, Saint-Priest.
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 20 July 2013. Retrieved 19 November 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Actualités - Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma". Archived from the original on 1 March 2012. Retrieved 25 February 2012.