Oscar Actors: Barrault, Marie Christine (Nominee)–Background, Career, Awards

Research in Progress, Feb 1, 2021
Marie Christine Barrault Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: father worked in theater

Social Class: Upper-middle

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Breakthrough Role:

Oscar Role: Cousin Cousine, 1976; aged 32

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Screen Image: character actor

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Marie-Christine Barrault (born March 21, 1944) is a French actress, best known for her performance in Cousin Cousine (1975) for which she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar.

In 2010, she released her autobiography, titled This Long Way To Get To You.

Marie-Christine Barrault was born in Paris, France, the daughter of French-Catholic parents Martha (née Valmier) and Max-Henri Barrault.

Her parents later divorced. Barrault’s father, who worked in the theatre, died while she was a teenager. With no support, her mother was unable to care for her brother Alain. Barrault was raised by her grandmother, Felicite. She was mentored in acting by her aunt and uncle, French performers Jean-Louis Barrault and Madeleine Renaud. They initially did not support her dreams of becoming an actress. She performed in plays in secondary school and then enrolled in an acting conservatory.

Barrault got her start on television in L’oeuvre (1967).

She made her feature film debut in Éric Rohmer’s My Night at Maud’s (1969).

In 1970 Barrault was featured along with Pierre Richard in the comedy film Le Distrait. In 1975 Barrault starred in Cousin Cousine, for which she received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. She worked with Rohmer once again in 1978, in role of Guinevere in Perceval le Gallois and she also has a cameo in his Chloe in the Afternoon.

Barrault is not fluent in English and therefore has turned down offers to appear in English-language films. However, in 1980 she accepted an offer from Woody Allen to appear in his film, Stardust Memories.

In 1988 she was nominated for a Genie Award for her performance in No Blame. In 1991 she portrayed Marie Curie in a TV mini-series. In her later career, she has preferred acting on the stage in France.

In 2015, she came to Los Angeles on tour to perform in the play Les Yeux Ouverts, in which she portrays French author Marguerite Yourcenar.

Barrault’s first husband was producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, whom she married in 1965. With him, she had two children, David and Ariane.

Barrault was married to director Roger Vadim from 1990 until his death from cancer in 2000. She herself is a breast cancer survivor.