Saturday, August 14, 2010

Capucine


Born Germaine Lefebvre in Saint-Raphaël, in the South of France, she soon exhibited an independent, non-conformist personality. She attended school in France and received a B.A. in foreign languages. At 17, while riding in a carriage in Paris, a commercial photographer noticed her.

George Dambier


She quickly became a successful fashion model, working for fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Dior. She also adopted a new moniker, Capucine (French for nasturtium). During this time, Capucine met future actress Audrey Hepburn. Both were modelling in Paris, and the two would remain friends for the rest of Capucine's life.

 
George Dambier





In 1949, Capucine made her film debut in the French film Rendez-vous de Juillet. On the set of Rendez-vous, she met Pierre Trabaud. The two married the following year. The marriage lasted only six months, and Capucine would never marry again. In 1957, film producer Charles K. Feldman spotted Capucine while modeling in New York City. Feldman brought her to Hollywood to learn English and to study acting under Gregory Ratoff. She was signed to a contract with Columbia Pictures in 1958 and landed her first English-speaking role in the film Song Without End (1960) Starring opposite Dirk Bogarde. For the next few years, Capucine would go on to make six more major motion pictures before moving to Switzerland in 1962. She continued making films in Europe until her death.





Capucine met actor William Holden in the mid 1960s. Both starred in the films The Lion and The 7th Dawn. Despite the fact that Holden was married to actress Brenda Marshall, the two began a two-year affair. After it ended, she and Holden remained friends until Holden's death in 1981.

Capucine with William Holden

Dirk Bogarde adored Capucine whom he had met on the set of song without end and allegedly asked her to marry him, this is slightly controversial at the time Bogarde was living with his manager and long term companion Anthony Forwood. Much has been made of Bogarde's supposed homosexuality and the true nature of his relationship with Forwood, something that Bogarde never admitted to in any of his biographies. Bogarde always insisted that he and Forwood were simply very good friends.  He did however remain close to Capucine for the rest of her life.  It is also alleged that Capucine was bisexual. 

Capucine with Dirk Bogarde





The Cast Of 'What's New Pussycat'

With Peter O Toole

Capucine's Most Famous Roll, Starring Opposite Peter Sellers as Simone Clouseau,  The Inspectors Extravagant, Cheating And Scheming Wife.






Capucine allegedly suffered from bipolar disorder throughout her life and attempted suicide several times. In 1990, at the age of 62 (NY Times obituary), she finally succeeded by jumping from her eighth-floor apartment in Lausanne, Switzerland. Her obituary in the New York Times stated that her only known survivors were her three cats.

Text Source Wikipedia

22 comments:

  1. She had the world's best profile. And she looked even more beautiful as she aged. It's just tragic she was so miserable. I had no idea of the story of her death.

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  2. A very striking woman - so sad about her inner troubles. You would never know it to look at her. You always delight and educate us!

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  3. Glamourous through and through. Thank you so much for bring glamour into my life everytime I read your posts. Hope you are having a good summer.

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  4. Dear Dash - this is so interesting - I had no idea of the story of how she died...I love all your posts about such interesting characters..happy weekend x

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  5. So very sad about her death. Capucine was very beautiful. I just finished viewing a film with a much older and still handsome Dirk Bogarde from 1991, also very touching. It is nice to see you posting once more.

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  6. Dear Dash, another wonderful post. I knew nothing about Capucine's life, that was very interesting and sad that she finally managed to kill herself. She was such a timeless beauty. What an amazing bone structure! The pictures are stunning.

    I hope you have a fantastic weekend xx

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  7. Thank you for this lovely & touching post.My late Grandmother knew Capucine and often described her as the most beautiful yet lonliest woman she'd ever known.
    Capucine didn't like talking about her childhood & one wonders if her complexes & bipolar disorder were stemmed from it.She always brushed off any mention of healing therapy at the time.
    Sadly there wasn't any support system to guide her like wayward starlets often have today & I'm thinking of Lindsay Lohan but in no way comparing her to Capucine of course.
    Her beauty remains uncomparable...

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  8. God Dash I had no idea that she was bi polar nor that she committed suicide, so tragic. I loved her in the pink panther, she was such a beauty xx

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  9. Dash..another clever and absorbing post. She was beautiful and I remember her well from the Peter Sellers movie. So sad to know that she suffered from mental illness...a very lonely way to spend a lifetime.

    Jeanne xx

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  10. Jean thank you for your comment and insight.

    When I was doing my research on Capucine I turned up nothing about her childhood or parents, which I thought odd but seeing as she did not like talking about it, now it makes sense.

    So sad that she came from an age where people had to repress certain levels of emotions and feelings,and certainly did not discuss any inner turmoil they might be going through. Sooner or later it has to come out, in some form usually destructive. Especially difficult for those like Capucine who were in the limelight and had an image to live up to.

    As you have pointed out there are many stars today with problems who do have a support network should they choose to take it.

    I find it tragic that she was estranged from her family (if this was the case) and that the NYT published the fact that her only known survivors were her three cats.

    At least her memory lives on in the films she made and some of the wonderful images that were taken of her which highlighted what a great beauty she was.

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  11. Such a tragic life for such a beautiful woman. I think she had that Sophia Lauren beauty about her.

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  12. Another fascinating - and beautiful post Dash. Capucine was so gorgeous and the photos you have collected are stunning. What a sad ending though.

    I always feels like I've learned something after I read your posts!
    x

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  13. looking for renee and lartigue

    and just found your blog

    lovely

    all of it

    beth

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  14. She was such a beautiful woman. I knew about her suicide but not her mental illness. Her personal life is somewhat a mystery but, if it interests anyone, you can read an interview she gave Boze Hadleigh 4-5 years before her death in his book "Hollywood Lesbians".
    Wonderful blog
    vic

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  15. Hi Dash, Great blog.
    In your research did you come across where Capucine lived in Lausanne. I have an address of Chemin de Primerose but not certain about it. My surreal novel about Capucine and bipolar is due out early next year. It’s called Capucine and Her Three Feline Philosophers.
    Jim

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  16. Jim, you'd better be very careful about your book. In that you are not even aware of Cap's address in Lausanne I suspect you never met her. I spent many hours in her home. She was a dear friend... The family from whom she was entirely estanged (she even bequeathed her ashes to Givenchy not her family) will tear you to bits if you try to publish anything that remotely tries to portray her. You'd better have a good attorney or start changing names. And... she was not bipolar. Those close to her know why she threw herself from her terrace.

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  17. Hi Anonymous,

    Can you elaborate a bit how you came to know Capucine? Or what was she like? (Beside amazingly beautiful, that's obvious enough...)
    Sorry for prying, but there is so little to be found about her…
    (By the way, do you happen to know what became of her cats after her death?)

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  18. Roy, I met Cap thru a mutual friend. By chance we were neighbors in Lausanne at the time. We vacationed together, shopped in the local Migros together, shared our thoughts about life, etc. She really was quite simple at heart but very bright. Extremely well read, well spoken and aware of then current international events. She was lovely. External beauty is fleeting but Cap's interior beauty was ever-lasting. For those who would really like to know who she was I believe the Boze Hadleigh interview is most revealing.

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  19. Wonderful post. Thank you!
    I just watched The Pink Panther and she was great in it. So beautiful.

    Anonymous (January 20, 2013), are you saying Boze Hadleigh really did interview Capucine?
    I thought the book "Hollywood Lesbians" was fiction?

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  20. I doubt if I will ever see such beauty again in my lifetime - how dreadful her state of mind must have been in during the years-months-days leading up to her suicide. Tablets and wrists are one thing, but to be so desperate as to choose that type of suicide, well it is way beyond tragic - I just hope that her soul is now at peace and she is walking on golden clouds.

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  21. Jan 20 here. Sept 29 2013, yes the interview took place. In Paris, not in Lausanne.

    October 15, did you know Cap? Something you've written is like something she used to say.

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