Actress Micheline Presle celebrates her 100th birthday

Within a few days, the hashtag #1RoseForMichelin developed in social networks. In an online campaign, many admirers of the actress Micheline Presle raised €648 to offer her a bouquet of 100 roses. They want to honor those who lit 100 candles on Monday, August 22.

In an almost eighty-year career (her last shooting dates from 2014), Micheline Presle has more than a hundred different faces. She is Félicie Nanteuil in the film of the same name, Micheline Lafaury in the famous Frills by Jacques Becker, or Mme de Moni in The nun by Jacques Rivette. She is a transgenerational actress, who can play the scary woman, like The Castle of Cursed Lovers by Riccardo Freda, released in 1956, or pure fantasy of The King of Heartsdirected by Philippe de Broca in 1966, analyzes film historian Jean Ollé-Laprune. He mixed every role, which explains why we still pay tribute to his films today. »

From “Paradise Lost” to “Devil in the Body”

“The cinemawithout a doubt the best story of my life”, trusted the actress, moved, in 2004, when she received a César of honor. Like Danielle Darrieux and Michèle Morgan, two other figures of the 7th art with whom she is always associated, Micheline Chassagne, her birth name, began her career very young, at the age of 16. Together with “Crazy singer”, Charles Trenet, who made his first appearance in front of the camera in 1938, in i sing by Christian Stengel. A year later, he played Jacqueline Presle in Young Women in Trouble by Georg Wilhelm Pabst. Found her stage name: like her character, she will now be called Micheline “Presle”.

Micheline was a star in the 1940s, she had a series of successes, from Lost paradise from Abel Gance in 1940 to ball of suet by Christian-Jaque in 1945. But the dedication came in 1944 with the Frillsby Jacques Becker, restored by Studiocanal in 2021. “It was a revelation for Jean-Paul Gaultier, the film that made him decide to work in fashion”, explained Jean Ollé-Laprune.

In 1947, he was delighted with the screens, which contained sulphur Devil in the body by Claude Autant-Lara, inspired by Raymond Radiguet’s novel. She played Marthe Granger, a young woman who talks to a high school student, while her husband is at the front during the Great War. His partner on the screen is a young actor who is not yet well known to the public, and who he imposed on himself: his name is Gérard Philipe.

After following her husband William Marshall to Hollywood, where she did not succeed in establishing herself, Micheline Presle returned to France, divorced, in 1953. “When he returned, he worked on author films as well as comedies, and did not hesitate to accept a role with young directors who were not yet well known to the public”, analyzes Jean Ollé-Laprune. She was especially nominated for the César for the best actress in a supporting role for I Want To Go Home (1989) by Alain Resnais, contemporary New Wave director.

A modern artist

Micheline Presle signed in 1971 the manifesto of 343 in The new observer, called for the legalization of abortion. This commitment is illustrated in some of its most determined modern roles, such as in A woman’s love (1954), an early feminist film by director Jean Grémillon. But this is common in TV series the Saint Cheries from 1965 to 1970, where he played Ève Lagarde, a Parisian bourgeois who wanted to free himself, which he marked a generation.

During the ORTF, the actress invited herself to the small screen in the homes of the French, an initiative that is not very common among movie stars. He will shoot with his daughter Tonie Marshall, director who died in 2020, mainly in comedy Venus Beauty (Institute) in 1999, which won four Cesars.

Today, Micheline Presle left the paths of the Luxembourg Gardens, one of her favorite places to walk, for the National House of Artists in Nogent-sur-Marne, where she lives. He prefers to stay smart, and his centenary won’t change anything. I don’t like it talk about my age. not I’m not really interested.” he said recently Parisian. “He seems to prefer living in the present rather than the past.», confirmed Jean Ollé-Laprune, who had the opportunity to meet him during his career. Many evoke his modesty, his curiosity, his unconditional love for the 7th art. He’s also a wonderful person, who you feel like you know right away.” assures the film’s historian.

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