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Jeanne Moreau

Actress, Writer, Director
23 January 1928 to 31 July 2017


Event: British Academy Craft AwardsDate: Sunday 14 April 1996Venue: London Hilton HotelBAFTA


Jeanne Moreau, best known for her synonymy with French New Wave cinema, was one of the 20th Century’s great screen actors who vaulted her popularity at home to become recognised as an icon the world over. 

Born in Paris in 1928 to a restaurateur father and cabaret dancing mother, Moreau began her career on the stage, quickly building a reputation as a leading lady at Comedie-Francaise – a state institution today recognised as the oldest active theatre in the world. Turning her attention to the silver screen in 1949, Moreau appeared in several supporting roles throughout the 50s before her breakthrough came in Louis Malle’s Lift to the Scaffold. Although considered controversial upon its release, the Miles Davis-scored film would ultimately become a treasured work, and lead to Moreau’s burgeoning status in European cinema. 

Moreau received her first BAFTA nomination in 1963 for her performance in Jules Et Jim – a French romantic drama directed by legendary Francois Truffaut that has since secured its place firmly in cinema’s canon. Moreau went on to win a BAFTA four years later in 1967 for her performance alongside Brigitte Bardot in the comedy-adventure escapade Viva Maria!   

Having established herself as an icon of French film, Moreau made a successful move across the Atlantic to Hollywood where she would work with directors such as Orson Welles on his seminary film Chimes at Midnight. 

Continuing to work into her later years, Moreau received the Cesar Award for best actor in 1992 for her performance in The Old Lady Who Walked in the Sea. At The British Academy Film Awards in 1996, Moreau was awarded with a BAFTA Fellowship – the highest honour the Academy can bestow.