Jeanne Renée Deneuve (born 10 September 1911), known professionally as Renée-Jeanne Simonot, is a retired French actress and voice artist. She is the widow of actor Maurice Dorléac, the mother of actresses Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac and the grandmother of actors Christian Vadim and Chiara Mastroianni.
Simonot in May 1965
Jeanne Renée Deneuve
10 September 1911
|Years active||1918–2001 (retired)|
(m. 1940; died 1979)
|Children||4, including Françoise Dorléac and Catherine Deneuve|
|Relatives||Christian Vadim (grandson)|
Chiara Mastroianni (granddaughter)
Early life and careerEdit
Born in Le Havre, France, she debuted at the Odéon Theatre in 1918 at the age of seven. Primarily a stage actress, she remained there for 28 years, holding the post of "leading lady". Her daughter Catherine chose to use her maiden name, Deneuve, as her stage name. Simonot is Renée's stage name, which she took from an opera singer and family friend.
Renée Simonot was one of the first French actresses to begin the dubbing of American films in France from the beginning of the talkies in 1929 through the 1930s. She was the voice of Olivia de Havilland (in most of her films), Sylvia Sidney, Judy Garland, Donna Reed and Esther Williams, among others.
She had her first daughter, Danielle, out of wedlock on 27 October 1936 with actor Aimé Clariond. Simonot told Le Point magazine in 2013: "Mr. Clariond was not my husband. He was married, not divorced and separated from his wife for a long time. The only happiness he gave me is a child. For the rest, he was charming, but we could not count on him."
Simonot has been a widow since 1979 and lives in Paris. In an interview conducted a few months before her 102nd birthday in 2013, she said: "My old age is not sad. I am lucky to be very surrounded. There is not a day where I don't get a phone call or a visit from my children and grandchildren."
In 2019, ahead of her 108th birthday, daughter Catherine told Gala: "It's pretty amazing, it comes from her genes. My sisters and I are holding her. She has been in a home for two or three years. At the same time it's a little scary, it still seems very far in life. I am all the more surprised by her longevity that she is not sick."
Selected stage workEdit
- 1921: Les Misérables (Cosette) by Paul Meurice and Charles Hugo based on the novel by Victor Hugo, Odéon Theatre
- 1922: Molière by Henry Dupuy-Mazuel and Jean-José Frappa, directed by Firmin Gémier, Odéon Theatre
- 1928: La Belle Aventure by Gaston Arman de Caillavet, Robert de Flers and Étienne Rey, Odéon Theatre
- 1932: Le Favori by Martial Piéchaud, Odéon Theatre
- 1934: Jeanne d'Arc by Saint-Georges de Bouhélier, Odéon Theatre
- Annick Cojean (31 August 2012). "Catherine Deneuve: 'Je n'ai aucune envie de jouer une grand-mère modèle'". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- "Les secrets d'alcôve sur Catherine Deneuve", RMC (France), 15 February 2013 (in French)
- "Renée Dorléac ou la traversée du siècle" by Jean-Noël Mirande, Le Point, 18 May 2013 (in French)