French actress Danielle Darrieux – a “Nazi collaborator” who later made her name alongside British movie legends including Richard Burton and Kenneth More – has died at the age of 100.
Darrieux suffered “a little fall” at her home in Bois-le-Rois, south of Paris, before her death on Tuesday.
It was the end of an astonishing career – one that was tarnished by the Bordeaux-born beauty’s associations with the Nazis.
The daughter of a French Army physician, she started her film work at the age of only 14 in Le Bal (The Prom).There were many more roles for Darrieux, who could sing and dance as well as act, including Mayerling in 1936.
The year before, she had married the French director Henri Decoin, and he pushed her towards Hollywood – an unusual move for French actresses at the time.
She signed up with Universal Studios and starred in The Rage of Paris (1938) with Douglas Fairbanks Junior.
But after France capitulated to the Germans in 1940, Darrieux brought shame on her family by working for Continental, the Nazi-run film production company, appearing in two of their movies.
She even made a notorious propaganda visit to Berlin in 1942, although she later insisted she solely wanted to visit her second husband, who was imprisoned there. Read more