French actress Mylène Demongeot, unforgettable fiancée of Jean Marais in Ghostsdied on December 1, at the age of 87, announced his press secretary to France Blue Mayenne. Of the Salem Witches at Camping, after having been a model and made the front pages of magazines at the beginning of her career, Mylène Demongeot has multiplied the registers throughout a career of more than half a century. Born in Nice on September 29, 1935, Marie-Hélène Demongeot is the daughter of Alfred Demongeot and Claudia Troubnikova, a white Ukrainian Russian. Her father, a senior civil servant, came from an aristocratic background and her mother, a housewife, from a modest peasant family. It was in Nice, with her paternal grandmother, the Countess of Clavesana, known as “Nonna”, that she grew up. From the age of 4, she suffered from a severe strabismus from which she suffered in her life as a young girl and in her relationships with her class friends. Placed in a convent in Montpellier, she takes refuge in the study of the piano, an instrument for which she proves to be very gifted.
She is noticed in the street by an agency director who offers her a contract for photos and modeling. Her career as a cover girl is launched
Shortly after the Liberation, the family moved to Paris following the appointment of his father as an inspector at the Ministry of National Economy. Marie-Hélène’s life is solitary, made up of reading, piano lessons and films. She falls in love with the actor Gérard Philipe, dreams of cinema, but finds herself far too ugly to consider becoming an actress. At 15, she begs her parents to have her eyes operated on, the operation is successful and her face is transformed. In the company of her mother, she is noticed in the street by an agency director who offers her a contract for photos and modeling. Her career as a “cover girl” was launched.
At the same time, she joined the Simon course in the early 1950s, where she was labeled “coquette” by the master, René Simon, and found herself in the class of Jean-Pierre Cassel, Claude Berri and Guy Bedos, while continuing to pose for renowned photographers such as Henry Coste – her future husband, married in 1958. From 1953, she held small roles in the cinema, but it was in a melodrama, children of love, by Léonide Moguy, that she won her first acting fee – for a childbirth scene – on the big screen. She changes her first name to that of Mylène, then turns light comedies before playing in the drama The Witches of Salem (1957), by Raymond Rouleau, alongside Yves Montand and Simone Signoret. Her interpretation of the little plague Abigail Williams propels her, at 21, to the rank of star.
French and foreign directors solicit her, such as Otto Preminger in Hello Sadness (1958), with Jean Seberg and David Niven. She then went on filming all over the world (England, Italy, Japan, Brazil…), the United States even presenting her as the French Kim Novak. These are his good years. Genre films, comedy, drama, western, peplum allow him to vary the roles alongside French actors (Alain Delon, Jean-Paul Belmondo) and foreign actors (Dirk Bogarde, Roger Moore). In 1961, she interpreted the character of Milady de Winter in The three Musketeers, by Bernard Borderie, a shoot bereaved by the death of his father (at 63), which marks the end of his carefree years. Then she plays the intrepid photographer Hélène, the fiancée of the journalist Fandor (Jean Marais) with the commissioner Juve (Louis de Funès) in the trilogy Ghosts (1964, 1965, 1967), by André Hunebelle, which was a great public success.
In 1966, she met Marc Simenon, eldest son of the writer Georges Simenon. They married in 1968 and the union would last thirty-one years. Her acting career then takes a back seat and she embarks with him on the production of films in which she sometimes plays. They go into exile in a house in Porquerolles, a veritable Noah’s Ark where they collect all kinds of animals. At her mother’s request, she reflects on her life and signs her biography, Lilacs of Kharkov (Hachette, 1990). Then she reconnects with the theater and the pleasure of playing with the play Duck à l’orange (1984). In 1999, the accidental death of her husband plunged her into deep disarray. It is a time of introspection that leads him to the writing of his autobiography Secret drawers (Editions Le Pré aux Clercs, 2001), followed by Mylene Demongeot. Cinema memoirs (ed. Hors Collection, 2011) and My sacred monsters, memories and portraits (Flammarion, 2015).
The 2000s marked his winning return to the cinema in supporting roles and auteur films. In 2005, she was nominated for the Césars in the best supporting actress category for Olivier Marchal’s film, 36 Quai des Goldsmiths (2004), and established himself as a popular figure on the big screen thanks to comedy Camping (2006) and its sequels (2010 and 2016), by Fabien Onteniente, alongside Claude Brasseur.
Mylène Demongeot in a few dates
September 29, 1935 Born in Nice (Alpes-Maritimes)
1957 The Witches of Salem by Raymond Rouleau
1964 “Fantomas”, by André Hunebelle
2006 “Camping”, by Fabien Onteniente
xxx xxx xxx Death to ????
Source: Le Monde