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Simone Signoret, original name Simone Kaminker, (born March 25, 1921, Wiesbaden, Ger.—died Sept. 30, 1985, Eure, France), French actress known for her portrayal of fallen romantic heroines and headstrong older women. Her tumultuous marriage to actor Yves Montand and the couple’s championing of several left-wing causes often provoked controversy and brought her notoriety.
Born in Germany to French nationals, Signoret was reared from the age of two in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, where she led a sheltered middle-class existence. As a teenager she began to frequent the Café de Flore, a popular meeting place for leftist artists and intellectuals. There she befriended, among others, writer Jacques Prévert and film director Yves Allégret (whom she later married) and decided to become an actress. Unable to obtain an ...

Photos © Tony Frank
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