My Own Private Movie Stars: Actresses Who Left Indelible Impact on Me–Francoise Arnoul

Françoise Arnoul
Francoise Arnoul 1958.jpg

During a visit to Jerusalem, 1958

I had a crush on the French star Francoise Arnoul after I saw her movie The Cat. Around that time, she also visited in Israel, but I did not get to meet her.

Françoise Arnoul (born Françoise Annette Marie Mathilde Gautsch; June 3, 1931–July 20, 2021) was a French actress who achieved popularity during the 1950s.

Born in Constantine, French Algeria, as the daughter of stage actress Janine Henry and artillery general Charles Gautsch, she had two brothers.

While her father continued military service in Morocco, the rest of the family moved to Paris, France, in 1945.

After learning drama in Paris, she was noticed by director Willy Rozier, who offered her a major role in the film L’Épave (1949).

Arnoul starred in such films as Henri Verneuil’s Forbidden Fruit (1952), Jean Renoir’s French Cancan (1954), People of No Importance (1956) with Jean Gabin, Henri Decoin’s The Cat (1958), Way of Youth (1959) with Bourvil, and Jean Cocteau’s Testament of Orpheus (1960).

Her American film debut came in Companions of the Night (1954).

Later in life, she appeared in different TV movies and mini-series and also turning to character parts.

She published her memoirs entitled Animal doué de bonheur in 1995.

In 1956, Arnoul was married to publicity agent Georges Cravenne whom she had met two years previously, but they separated in 1960.

In 1964, she became the companion of French director-scriptwriter Bernard Paul, a relationship which lasted until his death in 1980.

Arnoul died on July 20, 2021 in Paris, aged 90.

Selected Filmography

L’Épave [fr] (1949)
The Red Rose (1951)
Mammy (1951)
Love and Desire (1951)
Forbidden Fruit (1952)
Les Compagnes de la nuit (1953)
Dortoir des grandes (1953)
Lovers of Toledo (1953)
La Rage au corps (1954)
Secrets d’alcôve (1954)
The Sheep Has Five Legs (1954)
French Cancan (1954)
The Lovers of Lisbon (1955)
Si Paris nous était conté (1956)
People of No Importance (1956)
Le Pays, d’où je viens (1956)
Paris, Palace Hotel (1956)
No Sun in Venice (1957)
Thérèse Étienne (1958)
The Cat (1958)
Asphalt (1959)
Way of Youth (1959)
Testament of Orpheus (1960)
The Cat Shows Her Claws (1960)
Le Diable et les dix commandements (1962)
Portuguese Vacation (1963)
Lucky Jo (1964)
À couteaux tirés (1964)
The Sleeping Car Murders (1965)
Congress of Love [de] (1966)
Le dimanche de la vie (1967)
The Little Theatre of Jean Renoir (1970) (TV)
Spaniards in Paris (1971)
Dialogues of Exiles (1975)
Black-Out (1977)
Violette et François [fr] (1977)
Ronde de nuit [fr] (1984)
Voir l’éléphant (1989)
Heavy Weather (1996)
Post Coitum, Animal Triste (1997)
Le Cancre (2016)