Biography

The daughter of photographer Denise Bellon and of attorney general Jacques Bellon, Loleh Bellon was film director Yannick Bellon's younger sister. As of her tender years, the blond-haired and blue-eyed girl (an anomaly for someone born in the Basque Country!) was brought up in a place where the visitors were film performers and directors, writers and photographers. It comes as no surprise, under such conditions, if Loleh dreamed of becoming an actress herself. A dream that would come true after a period of learning and training with such masters as Charles Dullin, Tania Balachova and Julien Bertheau. She was not yet twenty when, in 1945, she debuted almost simultaneously in the theater ("Virage dangereux) and in the cinema (Le gardian (1946)). At the same period she married a Spanish immigrant who would become famous later, 'Jorge Semprun'. It is to be noted incidentally that Loleh Bellon knew how to choose her husbands, for, after divorcing Semprun, she became the wife of another great writer, Claude Roy. Anyhow, on the silver screen, she began being quite active, appearing notably in two interesting works by Louis Daquin (The Mark of the Day (1949) and Skipper Next to God (1951)) and in Jacques Becker's masterpiece Casque d'Or (1952). But, after this film, her movie appearances became only occasional. The explanation is simple: the call of the boards had become too strong for her. Which explains why she can be seen in very few films after 1952, the major exception being two titles directed in the 1970s by her sister: as Raphaële in Somewhere, Someone (1972) and as Agathe in _Jamais plus toujours' (1975)_. Instead, she was acclaimed by both audiences and critics in a rich series of prestigious roles and plays (William Shakespeare's "Jules César", staged by Jean Renoir, Jean Giraudoux's "Judith", Pierre Corneille's "Le Cid", among many others). Three awards (Prix des Jeunes Comédiens, Grand Prix du Théâtre de l'Académie, Prix du Théâtre de SACD), a dozen roles for television, a script for her sister (Les enfants du désordre (1989)), and the writing of four plays complete the picture of a brilliant artistic career in which being a film actress was finally quite a secondary activity.