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Stéphane Audran obituary

Star of Babette’s Feast who shone in the films of her husband Claude Chabrol

Of all the director-and-star couples in the history of cinema, there was none more prolific than Claude Chabrol and Stéphane Audran, who made 23 films together. Chabrol also directed Audran as Lady Macbeth at a theatre in Versailles, near Paris, in 1964, the year of their marriage. In her husband’s films, Audran, who has died aged 85, perfected her portrayal of the bourgeois Frenchwoman – graceful, aloof, intelligent, reserved and yet passionate. She dominated Chabrol’s films for more than two decades from 1960, often playing adulterous and/or betrayed wives called Hélène.

The “Hélène cycle” – variations on the theme of marital infidelity leading to murder – in which Audran played a wife caught between two characters, usually called Charles and Paul, began with La Femme Infidèle (The Unfaithful Wife, 1969). Chabrol seemed to draw mischievous pleasure from directing his wife in such roles.

See full article on The Guardian - Film News