Tuesday, June 23, 2015

R.I.P. Colette Marchand (1925-2015)

Colette Marchand in Moulin Rouge
On June 23, performer Colette Marchand passed away at the age of 90 at her home in Bois-le-Roi, France. With an IMDb resume that only clocks in at six films (10 if you include appearances as self), she made the most of her brief acting career. In 1952, she starred in director John Huston's Moulin Rouge as Marie Charlet. The film would receive seven Academy Award nominations, including for Best Picture. Marchand would herself receive a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. While her acting resume may be small, this film played to her one strength and the thing that she was better known for: dancing.

Marchand was born on April 29, 1925 in Paris, France. She began her dancing career at the Paris Opera Ballet. One of her earliest moments of acclaim came in 1950 when she performed a routine called The Boiled Egg while being a premiere ballerina on Broadway. The following year she was featured in the Broadway musical Two on the Aisle. Because of her acclaim, she was often featured on magazine covers (such as Life), and appeared on various variety shows including Ford Star Revue and The Ed Sullivan Show. In 1953, she collaborated on an idea that Orson Welles had that would become The Lady in the Ice: a story of a woman who was frozen in ice and is freed by the power of love. In an odd way, the show was more successful in England than in Marchand's home country of France. In an interview with Peter Bogdanovich, Welles would blame poor lighting.

In 1953, she received her biggest acclaim as a movie actress for her work in Moulin Rouge. Starring opposite Jose Ferrer and Zsa Zsa Gabor, she made the most of her role as Marie Charlet. This resulted in numerous awards, including both the BAFTA and Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer (She won for the latter). She would also receive a Best Supporting Actress nomination. As of now, she is only one of 12 actresses from France to receive an Oscar nomination (most noteworthy others include Juliette Binoche, Marion Cotillard, and Leslie Caron).

While she would trail off from appearing in films (her last being 1954's At the Order of the Czar), she remained loyal to her one passion: dance. While little is publicly known about her, she has remained busy with occasional appearances in different place. Her dedication to dance, whether on film or stage, has left a solid and inspiring career that may not be that prolific, but still manages to impress audiences decades later. 

No comments:

Post a Comment