Leslie Caron

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Leslie Caron
Leslie Caron-publicity.JPG
BornLeslie Claire Margaret Caron
(1931-07-01) 1 July 1931 (age 83)
Years active1951–present
Spouse(s)Geordie Hormel
Peter Hall
Michael Laughlin
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Leslie Caron
Leslie Caron-publicity.JPG
BornLeslie Claire Margaret Caron
(1931-07-01) 1 July 1931 (age 83)
Years active1951–present
Spouse(s)Geordie Hormel
Peter Hall
Michael Laughlin

Leslie Claire Margaret Caron (French pronunciation: ​[lɛsli kaʁɔ̃]; born 1 July 1931) is an American film actress and dancer who appeared in 45 films between 1951 and 2003. Her autobiography Thank Heaven, was published in 2010 in the UK and US, and in 2011 in a French version.

Caron is best known for the musical films An American in Paris (1951), Lili (1953), Daddy Long Legs (1955), Gigi (1958), and for the non-musical films Fanny (1961), The L-Shaped Room (1962), and Father Goose (1964). She received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actress. In 2006, her performance in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit won her an Emmy for guest actress in a drama series. She speaks French, English, and Italian. She is one of the few dancers or actresses who have danced with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Rudolf Nureyev.

Early years[edit]

Caron was born in Boulogne-sur-Seine, Seine (now Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine), the daughter of Margaret (née Petit), an American dancer on Broadway, and Claude Caron, a French pharmacist.[1] While her older brother Aimery Caron became a chemist like their father, Caron was prepared for a performing career from childhood by their mother.[citation needed]


Caron started her career as a ballerina. Gene Kelly discovered her in Roland Petit Company "Ballet des Champs Elysées", and cast her to appear opposite him in the musical An American in Paris (1951), a role in which a pregnant Cyd Charisse was originally cast. This role led to a long-term MGM contract and a sequence of films which included the musical The Glass Slipper (1955) and the drama The Man with a Cloak (1951), with Joseph Cotten and Barbara Stanwyck. Still, Caron has said of herself: "Unfortunately, Hollywood considers musical dancers as hoofers. Regrettable expression."[2]

Candid photo with her new son, Christopher, and co-star Maurice Chevalier on the set of Gigi (1958)

She also starred in the successful musicals Lili (1953), with Mel Ferrer; Daddy Long Legs (1955), with Fred Astaire, and Gigi (1958) with Louis Jourdan and Maurice Chevalier.

In 1953, Caron was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring role in Lili. For her performance in the British drama The L-Shaped Room (1962), she won the BAFTA (Best British Actress) and Golden Globe awards, and was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar.[3]

In the 1960s and thereafter, Caron worked in European films as well. Her later film assignments included Father Goose (1964), with Cary Grant; Ken Russell's Valentino (1977), in the role of silent-screen legend Alla Nazimova; and Louis Malle's Damage (1992). Sometime in 1970, Caron was one of the many actresses considered for the lead role of Eglantine Price in Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks, losing the role to British actress Angela Lansbury.

In 1967, she was a member of the jury of the 5th Moscow International Film Festival.[4] In 1989, she was a member of the jury at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival.[5]

She has continued to act, appearing in the film Chocolat (2000). During the 1980s, she appeared in several episodes of the soap opera Falcon Crest as Nicole Sauguet. She is one of the few actors from the classic era of MGM musicals who are still active in film—a group that includes Debbie Reynolds, Dean Stockwell, Rita Moreno, Margaret O'Brien and June Lockhart. Her other recent credits include Funny Bones (1995) with Jerry Lewis and Oliver Platt; The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000) with Judi Dench and Cleo Laine; and Le Divorce (2003), directed by James Ivory, with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts.

On 30 June 2003, Caron traveled to San Francisco to appear as the special guest star in The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner: I Remember It Well, a retrospective concert staged by San Francisco's 42nd Street Moon Company. In 2007, her guest appearance on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit earned her a 2007 Primetime Emmy Award. On 27 April 2009, Caron traveled to New York as an honored guest at a tribute to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe at the Paley Center for Media.[6]

On 8 December 2009, Caron received the 2,394th Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In February 2010, she played Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, which also featured Greta Scacchi and Lambert Wilson.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Photo in 2012

In September 1951, Caron married George Hormel III, a grandson of the founder of Hormel (a meat-packing company). They divorced in 1954.[8] Her second husband was British theatre director Peter Hall. They married in 1956 and had two children: Christopher John Hall (TV producer) in 1957 and Jennifer Caron Hall, a writer, painter and actress, in 1958. Caron had an affair with Warren Beatty (1961). When she and Hall divorced in 1965, Beatty was named as a co-respondent and was ordered by the London court to pay "the costs of the case".[9] In 1969, Caron married Michael Laughlin, best known as producer of the film Two-Lane Blacktop; they divorced in 1980. Her son-in-law is Glenn Wilhide the producer and screen writer.

Caron was also romantically linked to Dutch television actor Robert Wolders from 1994 to 1995.[10]

From June 1993 until September 2009, Caron owned and operated the hotel and restaurant Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes (The Owls' Nest), located in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, located about 130 km (81 mi) south of Paris.[11]

In her autobiography Thank Heaven she states that she became an American citizen—evidently based on her mother having been born in the United States—in time to vote for Barack Obama for president.[12]




Leslie Caron, A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim, théâtre du Châtelet, 2010.
1951American in Paris, AnAn American in ParisLise Bouvier
1951Man with a Cloak, TheThe Man with a CloakMadeline Minot
1952Glory AlleyAngela Evans
1953Story of Three Loves, TheThe Story of Three LovesMademoisellesegment: Mademoiselle
1953LiliLili DaurierBAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role
Nominated-Academy Award for Best Actress
1955Glass Slipper, TheThe Glass SlipperElla
1955Daddy Long LegsJulie Andre
1958GigiGigiLaurel Award for Top Female Musical Performance
Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
1958Doctor's Dilemma, TheThe Doctor's DilemmaMrs. Dubedat
1959Man Who Understood Women, TheThe Man Who Understood WomenAnn Garantier
1960AusterlitzMlle de Vaudey
1960Subterraneans, TheThe SubterraneansMardou Fox
1961FannyFannyLaurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance (5th place)
Nominated-Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
1962Guns of DarknessClaire Jordan
1962L-Shaped Room, TheThe L-Shaped RoomJane FossetBAFTA Award for Best British Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Drama
Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance (3rd place)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
Nominated-Academy Award for Best Actress
1962Three Fables of LoveAnniesegment: Les deux pigeons
1964Father GooseCatherine
1965Very Special Favor, AA Very Special FavorDr. Lauren Boullard
1965Promise Her AnythingMichele O'Brien
1966Is Paris Burning?Françoise Labé
1967Il padre di famigliaPaola, la moglie di Marco
1970MadronSister Mary
1971ChandlerKatherine Creighton
1976Surreal EstateCéleste
1977Man Who Loved Women, TheThe Man Who Loved WomenVéra
1977ValentinoAlla Nazimova
1979GoldengirlDr. Sammy Lee
1980All StarsLucille Berger
1981Chanel Solitaireuncredited
1984Dangerous MovesHenia Liebskind
1990Courage MountainJane Hillary
1992DamageElizabeth Prideaux
1995Funny BonesKatie Parker
1995Let It Be MeMarguerite
1999Reef, TheThe ReefRegine De Chantelle
2000ChocolatMadame AudelNominated-Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2003Le DivorceSuzanne de Persand
1959ITV Play of the WeekThérèse Tarde1 episode: The Wild Bird
1968Off to See the WizardElla1 episode: Cinderella's Glass Slipper: Part 1
1973CarolaCarola JanssenTV movie
1974QB VIIAngela KelnoTV miniseries
1978Docteur Erika WernerErika WernerTV series
1980The ContractPenelopeTV movie
1981Mon meilleur NoëlLa Nuit1 episode: L'oiseau bleu
1982Tales of the UnexpectedNathalie Vareille1 episode: Run, Rabbit, Run
1982The UnapproachableKlaudiaTV movie
1983Cinéma 16Alice1 episode: Le château faible
1984Master of the GameSolange Dunas
1986Love Boat, TheThe Love BoatMrs. Duvall1 episode: The Christmas Cruise
1987Falcon CrestNicole Sauget3 episodes
1988Lenin: The TrainNadiaTV movie
1991The Man Who Lived at the RitzCoco ChanelTV movie
1994Normandy: The Great CrusadeOsmont, Mary-Louise (voice)
1996Ring, TheThe RingMadame de Saint Marne
1996Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century, TheThe Great War and the Shaping of the 20th CenturyCzarina Aleksandra Romanov (voice)3 episodes
2000Last of the Blonde Bombshells, TheThe Last of the Blonde BombshellsMadeleineTV film
2001Murder on the Orient ExpressSra. Alvarado
2006Law & Order: Special Victims UnitLorraine Delmas1 episode: Recall
Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series
2013JoJosette Lenoir1 episode: Le Marais



Notes & references[edit]

Articles by Leslie Caron


Articles by Leslie Caron

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Kisselgoff, Anna (12 March 1995). "DANCE; The Ballerina In Leslie Caron The Actress". New York Times. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Matthew Kennedy "'Thank Heaven: A Memoir, by Leslie Caron", Brightlights.com, issue 67, February 2010
  4. ^ "5th Moscow International Film Festival (1967)". MIFF. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  5. ^ "Berlinale: 1989 Juries". berlinale.de. Retrieved 9 March 2011. 
  6. ^ "The Musicals of Lerner & Loewe: An Evening of Song and Television". The Paley Center for Media. 27 April 2009. 
  7. ^ "Leslie Caron Receives Walk of Fame Star". CBS 2 / KCAL 9 (Los Angeles). 8 December 2009. 
  8. ^ "Mill on the Willow: A History of Mower County, Minnesota" by various authors. Library of Congress No. 84-062356
  9. ^ Rich, Frank (3 July 1978). "Warren Beatty Strikes Again". Time. 
  10. ^ "Leslie Caron". TCM Movie Database. Retrieved 11 November 2008. 
  11. ^ "French inn: Her latest stage". Los Angeles Times. 15 October 2006. 
  12. ^ Caron, Leslie (25 November 2009). Thank Heaven: A Memoir. New York: Viking Adult. 
  13. ^ Tele7.fr

External links[edit]