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Leslie Caron Quick Facts
Leslie Caron , born the to Boulogne-Billancourt, is an actress and French-American dancer.
Leslie Caron’s Biography
Childhood, formation and beginnings
Born from the union of a French father, Claude Caron, pharmacist, and an American mother, Margaret Petit, a Broadway dancer and Seattle native, Leslie Caron began classical ballet studies in Paris at the age of 9.
Entering the ballet of the Champs-Élysées at Roland Petit, she became the Sphinx in 1948 in David Lichine’s Ballet La Rencontre, where she was discovered by Gene Kelly, who is in the room and chose her to rotate with him in An American in Paris by Vincente Minnelli (1951). She did not speak English and never played in front of a camera. She found the filming difficult. You had to dance on a cement floor that hurt your legs and hips. She says Gene Kelly was mathematically precise and had the imagination of a child.
The enormous public and critical success of the musical An American in Paris opens to Leslie Caron the doors of Hollywood. Placed under contract with the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), she runs there including :
- Lili by Charles Walters (1953), where she plays the role of a 16-year-old orphan girl looking for a job, who fails in an amusement park and whose imagination brings her into contact with a magician womanizer (Jean-Pierre Aumont) and a troupe of puppeteers, including Mel Ferrer and Kurt Kasznar,
- Jean Negulesco’s Papa Long Legs (1955) with a choreography by Roland Petit, where she dances with Fred Astaire,
- Gigi (1958), based on the short story and its theatrical adaptation by Colette and Anita Loos, also under the direction of Vincente Minnelli, where she meets Maurice Chevalier and Louis Jourdan. It was Leslie Caron herself who suggested to film producer Arthur Freed to make a film from the novel. The film is shot in natural settings including the Bois de Boulogne for the opening scene of the film and at Maxim’s, the famous Parisian restaurant.
After a last big American production, Fanny (1961), adaptation of Marcel Pagnol’s famous Marseille Trilogy and its musical version created on Broadway in 1954, the actress appears in some blockbuster movies, like Paris burns? by René Clément (1966), but especially in more intimate films or by authors such as Adults Games (Il padre di famiglia) by the Italian Nanni Loy (1967), Sérail by Eduardo de Gregorio (1976), L Man who loved the women of François Truffaut (1977) or the Diagonale du fou by Richard Dembo (1984).
Playing in 2001 in Lasse Hallström’s Le Chocolat alongside Juliette Binoche, in 2003 she played Suzanne de Persand in the film The Divorce by James Ivory, then participated in Justice in Charge, an episode written for her the US television series New York, a special unit, which allows her to win the Emmy for Best Guest Actress in a drama series in 2007.
In February 2010, she played on the stage of the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris the role of Madame Armfeldt in the French version of A Little Night Music, musical show by Stephen Sondheim inspired by Smiles of a Summer Night. Ingmar Bergman.
His Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is unveiled the on the prestigious Hollywood Boulevard, between those of Gene Kelly and Louis Jourdan.
Leslie Caron has been married three times, including to Sir Peter Hall, the famous British theater director with whom she had two children, and Michael Laughlin (1969-1980).
While she is married to Peter Hall, she meets at a dinner party to celebrate her Oscar nomination for The Intrusive House in 1963 actor Warren Beatty who is one of his great admirers, having seen all his films. They will begin an affair that will last at least two years.
After 40 years abroad, she chose to return to France. She wants to make cinema in her country but the profession does not follow. But in January 2013, after having hesitated for a long time, she made her cards and moved to London. She finds an important role, that of an eccentric aristocrat in the television series The Durrells. It is his son Christopher Hall who directs it.
Leslie Caron and her brother sued their late father’s mistress for a share of the inheritance they had been deprived of in violation of French law, resulting in a famous court ruling. private international law.
She created and held for fifteen years the restaurant of traditional cooking “La Lucarne aux oupettes” in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne in Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, this one was resold in 2010. She rented by hence the Moulin Neuf de Chaumot, which belonged to Prince Francis Xavier of Saxony.
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