The actress, well known to French audiences for her roles in popular comedies like Ghosts and Campingis dead.
The actress Mylène Demongeot, known for her roles in comedies Ghosts and Campingdied on Thursday at the age of 87 following a long illness, announced on his Twitter account journalist Henry-Jean Servat.
“I am devastated to have to share the flight to heaven today of Mylène Demongeot, such a beloved and beautiful artist, a magnificent actress, a beloved friend of over 40 years, and a very active activist in the defense of animals. Rest in peace. I love you forever.”
Mylène Demongeot, whose real name is Marie-Hélène Demongeot, has played in more than 70 films, rubbing shoulders with the greatest actors of her time, such as Alain Delon, Louis de Funès, Michel Piccoli, Jean Marais, Dirk Bogarde or even Gérard Depardieu. A figure of popular comedy, she was aware of her place in French cinema. And spoke of it without bitterness:
“I haven’t done a lot of important movies. You know, in acting careers, there’s one or two movies that float around. I’ve done 70 movies. Among those are The Witches of Salem, Hello Sadness, The three Musketeers and the Ghosts. That’s four films on a career“, she told us in 2017.
“I was thought to be too young, too smiling”
This year, The Witches of Salem, the film that had revealed her in 1957, had re-emerged after having been invisible for half a century. In this adaptation of Arthur Miller’s play, about a witchcraft trial that took place in 1692 in the United States, she plays opposite Simone Signoret and Yves Montand, on a screenplay by Jean-Paul Sartre.
The one who started as a model in adolescence embodies the role of Abigail, one of the accusers of the witchcraft trial. The shooting is exciting, but rough, marked by the difficult character of Simone Signoret (“she was very mean”) and the advances of Yves Montand, whom she rejects: “He was very very cordial, very very nice, with the very very wandering hands.”
In 1961, Mylène Demongeot landed the role of Milady in an adaptation of Three Musketeers with Georges Descrieres. A character for which she had fought: “They didn’t want me. They thought I was too young, too smiling.” She had loved playing this role: “Bitch characters are full of strength and ambiguity. It’s much more interesting to play a ‘bitch’ than a nice young first.”
From Louis de Funès to Franck Dubosc
The actress was at her peak in the 1960s. She starred in an adaptation of Hello Sadnessthe novel by Françoise Sagan, then in the three parts of Ghosts with Jean Marais and Louis de Funès. “Louis de Funès is my pride,” she said years later. “When you have the chance to work alongside people like that and watch them work, it’s a royal gift. Louis de Funès has enriched me enormously.”
Her career slowed down in the 1970s, before picking up again in the 1980s (we see her in particular in Evening dress by Bertrand Blier). The successes of 36 Quai des Goldsmiths (2004) and Camping (2006) – as well as his two Oscar nominations (for 36 and California) – relaunched his career, which ended last February with the success of Retirement home.
The actress, who did not mince her words in interviews, took a lucid look at her latest films and regretted their often mediocre quality. “[Camping], it’s a good popular comedy, which highlights Franck Dubosc. The first with Lanvin was very good, the second was already a little worse and the third is a tribute to Dubosc. It’s very good for him, so much less for me (laughs).”
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Death at 87 of Mylène Demongeot, actress of “Fantômas” and “Camping”
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