Michèle Morgan Poster

Biography

A classic beauty, blonde French actress Michèle Morgan has been one of her country's most popular leading ladies for over five decades. Born in 1920, she studied acting under René Simon and began her career at 15 working as a film extra to pay for drama classes. The young actress soon caught the eye of director Marc Allégret, who cast her in Heart of Paris (1937), which clinched her stardom. Her remote, enigmatic features and gloomy allure had audiences comparing her to a young Greta Garbo. Her eventual move to Hollywood was based purely on her European prestige, but she did not stand out among the other female foreign imports of that time, such as Ingrid Bergman. Cast in rather routine sultry roles amid WWII surroundings, she returned to her homeland after a so-so reception for such US-based films as Joan of Paris (1942) with Paul Henreid, Passage to Marseille (1944) opposite Humphrey Bogart and the noirish The Chase (1946) starring Robert Cummings. Michele was treated much better at home and received the Cannes Film Festival award for best actress for her touching performance as the blind heroine in Pastoral Symphony (1946). She married and divorced American actor/singer William Marshall during the 40s. Her second husband was Gallic star Henri Vidal who died suddenly in 1959. They appeared together in a couple of films, including Napoleon (1955).