Delphine Seyrig  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Delphine Seyrig (April 10, 1932 - October 15, 1990) was a stage and film actress and a film director. Born Delphine Claire Belriane Seyrig in Beirut, Lebanon on April 10, 1932, she was the daughter of an archeologist and the sister of the French composer Francis Seyrig. As a young lady, she studied acting at the Comédie de Saint-Étienne, training under Jean Dasté, and at the Centre Dramatique de l'Est. She appeared briefly in small roles in the French-filmed Sherlock Holmes She also studied at the Actors Studio in New York City where, in 1958, she appeared in her first film, Pull My Daisy. She returned to France in 1960 and was hired by director Alain Resnais to star in his film, L'Année dernière à Marienbad. Her performance brought her international recognition. One of her most famous appearances is the older married woman Fabienne Tabard between the couple Jean-Pierre Léaud and Claude Jade in Truffaut's Stolen Kisses.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Delphine Seyrig worked with some of the best directors in the film industry including François Truffaut, Marguerite Duras and Alain Resnais. She became one of Europe's most respected actors both on stage and in film, and was named best actress at the Venice Film Festival for her role in the 1963 film, Muriel. Her range was such that she played many diverse roles, and because she was fluent in French, English and German, she appeared in films in all three languages, including a number of Hollywood productions.

Through the years, Seyrig used her celebrity status to promote women's rights. Of the three films she directed, her most important was the 1977 production Sois belle et tais-toi (Look Beautiful and Keep Your Mouth Shut) that included actresses Shirley MacLaine, Maria Schneider and Jane Fonda, amongst others, speaking frankly about the level of sexism they had to deal with in the film industry. In 1982 Seyrig was a key member of the group that established the Paris-based "Centre Audiovisuel Simone de Beauvoir", which maintains a large archive of women's filmed and recorded work and produces work by and about women. In 1989, Seyrig was given a festival tribute at the Créteil International Women's Film Festival, France.

She was married to an American painter, Jack Youngerman (born 1926), who had studied at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. She died in Paris in 1990 at the age of 58 apparently from lung cancer (although some sources simply state "lung disease"), and was interred there in the Cimetière du Montparnasse.

Filmography (actress)

Filmography (director)




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Delphine Seyrig" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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