Blanchette Brunoy

Over the course of a 60-year career, French actress Blanchette Brunoy played leading roles in numerous films and TV series, most notably opposite screen legend Jean Gabin in several big-picture films. Born Blanche Bilhaud in Paris, she studied acting at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris and took to the French stage before launching a film career in 1937. Just a year later she landed one of her most memorable roles as the distressed cousin of Jean Gabin's character in Jean Renoir's adaptation of the renowned Emile Zola novel, "La Bête Humaine." Continuing to work with esteemed French directors, she performed in Jacques Becker's rural thriller, "It Happened at the Inn," and Marcel Carne's romance "La Marie du Port." She also collaborated with Henri-Georges Clouzot on his notoriously troubled film, "Inferno," though the project went unfinished because the director had a heart attack. While continuing to perform on the French stage, her feature offers were few in the 1950s and, from the 1960s onward, she found most of her work on the small screen including a recurring role in the long-running crime series "Julie Lescaut." Her final performance was for the big screen in the 1998 offbeat comedic drama about abduction and mistaken identity, "White Lies."