REMEMBERING FRENCH ACTRESS JEANNE MOREAU

Jeanne Moreau - a French singer, screenwriter, director, actress best known for her role in Francois Truffaut's 1962 new wave film Jules et Jim died at the age of eighty nine. Yes, it was Moreau who famously turned down Mike Nichols' invitation to play Mrs Robinson in The Graduate. Jeanne reunited with Truffaut for 1968's The Bride Wore Black, an homage to Alfred Hitchcock.

Post-war French cinema Moreau was the one with the most on-screen authority. Of the three most iconic French actresses of her generation - herself, Catherine Deneuve and Brigitte Bardot. At the age of 80 Moreau was still acting. She was one of France's highest acting honours, she was a feminist icon who once declared: "Physical beauty is a disgrace."

 Moreau (left) and Brigitte Bardot starred in the comedy Viva Maria!, directed by Louis Malle

Moreau (left) and Brigitte Bardot starred in the comedy Viva Maria!, directed by Louis Malle

Jeanne won the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for Seven Days... Seven Nights (1960), the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress for Viva Maria! (1965), and the César Award for Best Actress for The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea (1992) and was also the recipient of several lifetime awards, including a BAFTA Fellowship in 1996. Jeanne made her rtheatrical debut in 1947, and established herself as one of the leading actresses of the Comédie-Française. She started out with small roles in films in 1949, impressing in a Fernandel vehicle Meurtres? (Three Sinners, 1950), and alongside Jean Gabin as a showgirl/gangster's moll in the film Touchez pas au grisbi (1954). She achieved prominence as the star of Elevator to the Gallows (1958), directed by Louis Malle, and Jules et Jim (1962), directed by François Truffaut. Most prolific during the 1960s, Moreau continued to appear in films into her eighties.