From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Moreau was born in Paris, France to an English (dancer) mother and a French barman on January 23, 1928. She studied at the Conservatoire in Paris. In 1947, she made her theatre debut at the Avignon Festival. By her twenties, Moreau was already one of France's leading stage actresses at the Comédie-Française.
After 1951 she began appearing in films with small or "bit" parts. By the late 1950s, after making many mainstream films, including several successes, she made Elevator to the Gallows with first-time director Louis Malle. Largely thanks to that film, she went on to work with many of the best known New Wave and avant garde directors. After 1959's sexy "Les Amants" (The Lovers) the media tagged her as "The New Bardot".
François Truffaut's explosive New Wave film Jules et Jim (1962), her biggest international success up to date, is centered on her magnetic starring role, and is perhaps her most famous film. She has also appeared with a number of other notable directors such as Michelangelo Antonioni (La Notte and Beyond the Clouds)', Jean-Luc Godard (A Woman Is a Woman), Orson Welles (The Immortal Story), Luis Buñuel (Diary of a Chambermaid), Elia Kazan (The Last Tycoon), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Querelle), and Wim Wenders (Until the End of the World).
In addition to acting, Moreau has also worked behind the camera, as a writer, director and producer.
Throughout her life she has maintained friendships with prominent writers such as Jean Cocteau, Jean Genet, Henry Miller, and Marguerite Duras (an interview with Moreau is included in Duras's book Outside: Selected Writings).
Orson Welles called her "the greatest actress in the world", and to this day she remains one of France's most accomplished and talented actresses.