Delphine Seyrig

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Delphine Seyrig (April 10, 1932 - October 15, 1990) was a stage and film actress and a film director.

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Life and work

Born Delphine Claire Belriane Seyrig in Beirut, Lebanon, she was the daughter of an archeologist and the brother of composer Francis Seyrig. As a young lady, she studied acting at the Comédie de Saint-Etienne, training under Jean Dasté, and at the Centre Dramatique de l'Est. She also studied at the Actors Studio in New York City where, in 1958, she appeared in her first film, Pull My Daisy. She returned to France in 1960 and was hired by director Alain Resnais to star in his film, L'Année dernière à Marienbad. Her performance brought her international recognition.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Delphine Seyrig worked with some of the best directors in the film industry including François Truffaut, Marguerite Duras and Alain Resnais. She became one of Europe's most respected actors both on stage and in film, and was named best actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role in the 1963 film, Muriel. Her range was such that she played many diverse roles, and because she was fluent in French, English, as well as in German, she appeared in films in all three languages, including a number of Hollywood productions.

Through the years, Seyrig used her celebrity status to promote women's rights. Of the three films she directed, her most important was the 1977 production Sois belle et tais-toi (Look Beautiful and Keep Your Mouth Shut) that included actresses, Shirley MacLaine, Maria Schneider and Jane Fonda, amongst others, speaking frankly about the level of sexism they had to deal with in the film industry. In 1982 Seyrig was a key member of the group that established the "Centre Audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir" in Paris which maintains a large archive of women's filmed and recorded work and produces work by and about women. In 1989, Seyrig was given a festival tribute at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, France.

She was married to the American painter, Jack Youngerman (born 1926) who had studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She died in Paris in 1990 and was interred there in the Cimetière du Montparnasse.

Filmography (actress)

Filmography (director)

Reference

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