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Jeanne Moreau

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  • Born: Paris, France
  • Years Active: 1960s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Jeanne Moreau is an icon of the French cinema who also experienced a streak of success as a vocalist during the 1960s. Born on January 23, 1928, in Paris, she broke into the film industry during the 1950s, appearing most notably in a pair of 1958 films by Louis Malle, Ascenseur Pour l'Échafaud and Les Amants. Following her breakthrough success in these films, she appeared in a long line of others by prominent directors, most notably François Truffaut, who immortalized her in his classic Jules et Jim (1962), as well as Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman Is a Woman, 1961), Michelangelo Antonioni (La Notte, 1961), Orson Welles (The Trial, 1962), Luis Buñuel (Diary of a Chambermaid, 1964), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Querelle, 1982), and Wim Wenders (Until the End of the World, 1991). Moreau's recording career as a vocalist was sparked by her memorable performance of the song "Le Tourbillon" in Jules et Jim. Released as a 45-rpm single by Philips in 1962, "Le Tourbillon" was written by Cyrus Bassiak (born Serge Rezvani). The full-length album Jeanne Moreau (1963), comprised of a dozen songs by Rezvani, was released on the Disques Jacques Canetti label in the wake of "Le Tourbillon." Subsequent silver-screen singing performances of note include the songs "Embrasse-Moi," a Bassiak song from the film Peau de Banane (1963), and "Ah les P'tites Femmes de Femmes de Paris," a duet with Brigitte Bardot from the film Viva Maria (1965). There was also another full-length album of Bassiak songs released on Disques Jacques Canetti, 12 Chansons (1966). Moreau's two full-lengths were later compiled by the British label Él on The Immortal Jeanne Moreau (2008). Numerous other best-of collections were compiled over the years, most of them featuring soundtrack recordings such as "Le Tourbillon" alongside material from her full-lengths.