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|Also Known As:||Simone Kaminker||Died:||September 30, 1985|
|Born:||March 25, 1921||Cause of Death:||cancer|
|Birth Place:||Germany||Profession:||Cast ... actor typist|
An iconic figure in the history of 20th century French cinema, Simone Signoret was an Oscar-winning actress whose sensuous and sensitive performances in such films as "Casque d'Or" (1952), "Les Diaboliques" (1955), "Room at the Top" (1957) and "Ship of Fools" (1965) drew critical acclaim for nearly four decades. She began in bit parts during the 1940s, eventually working her way up to supporting turns as tragic seductresses in "Dédée d'Anvers" (1948), among others. By the 1950s, she was showing exceptional depth in a wide variety of arthouse classics, including "Diaboliques," an enduring chiller that solidified her screen persona as a complex, even dangerous woman. In 1957, she became the first foreign actress to win an Academy Award for her turn as an unhappy wife in "Room at the Top," but surprised many by favoring continental productions over Hollywood. The decision was a shrewd one, as it gave her some of her best features, including "Army of Shadows" (1969), "Le Chat" (1971) and "Madame Rosa" (1977). A childhood spent under the shadow of Nazi Germany made her a dedicated supporter of human rights throughout her life, which culminated in the 1985 documentary "Terrorists in Retirement," about Eastern European Jews who fought in the French Resistance. It would be her final grand accomplishment before her death that year from cancer. Critics and audiences around the world mourned the passing of an actress whose bravery, honesty and commitment to cinema remained of the highest order.
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