Oscar Actors: Caron, Leslie–Background, Career, Awards (Cum Advantage, Emmy Award)

Research in Progress (Jan 23, 2021)
Leslie Caron Career Summary:

Occupational Inheritance: Yes. mother dancer

Social Class: Upper-Middle; father chemist

Nationality: French

Race/Ethnicity/Religion

Family:

Education:

Training:

Teacher/Inspirational Figure:

Radio Debut:

TV Debut:

Stage Debut:

Broadway Debut:

Film Debut: American in Paris, 1951, aged 20

Breakthrough Role:

Oscar Role: Lili, 1953

Other Noms: L-Shaped Room, 1963

Other Awards: Emmy

Frequent Collaborator:

Screen Image: waif; Franco-American

Last Film:

Career Output:

Film Career Span:

Marriage: several; director Peter Hall

Politics: Democrat

Death: NA

Leslie Claire Margaret Caron (French: July 1, 1931) is a French-American actress, dancer and writer. She is the recipient of a Golden Globe Award, two BAFTA Awards, and a Primetime Emmy Award, in addition to nominations for two Oscar Awards.

Caron started her career as a ballerina. She made her film debut in the musical An American in Paris (1951), followed by roles in The Man with a Cloak (1951), Glory Alley (1952) and The Story of Three Loves (1953), before receiving critical acclaim for her role of an orphan in Lili (also 1953), which earned her the BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress and garnered nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.

As a leading lady, Caron went on to star in films such as The Glass Slipper, Daddy Long Legs (both 1955), Gigi (1958), Fanny (1961), both of which earned her Golden Globe nominations, Guns of Darkness (1962), The L-Shaped Room (both 1962), Father Goose (1964) and A Very Special Favor (1965).

For her role of a single pregnant woman in The L-Shaped Room, Caron, in addition to receiving a second Academy Award nomination, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture and a second BAFTA Award.

Caron’s other roles include Is Paris Burning? (1966), That’s Entertainment! (1974), The Man Who Loved Women, Valentino (both 1977), Damage (1992), Funny Bones (1995), Chocolat (2000) and Le Divorce (2003).

In 2007, she won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for portraying a child molestation victim in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Caron was born in Boulogne-sur-Seine, Seine (now Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine), the daughter of Margaret (née Petit), a Franco-American dancer on Broadway, and Claude Caron, a French chemist, pharmacist, perfumer, and boutique owner. While her older brother Aimery Caron became a chemist like their father, Leslie was prepared for a performing career from childhood by her mother.

Caron started her career as a ballerina. Gene Kelly discovered her in the Roland Petit company “Ballet des Champs Elysées [fr]” and cast her to appear opposite him in the musical An American in Paris (1951), a role in which a pregnant Cyd Charisse was originally cast. This role led to a long-term MGM contract and a sequence of films which included the musical The Glass Slipper (1955) and the drama The Man with a Cloak (1951), with Joseph Cotten and Barbara Stanwyck. Still, Caron has said of herself: “Unfortunately, Hollywood considers musical dancers as hoofers. Regrettable expression.”[3]

She also starred in the successful musicals Lili (1953), with Mel Ferrer; Daddy Long Legs (1955), with Fred Astaire, and Gigi (1958) with Louis Jourdan and Maurice Chevalier.

Caron with her son Christopher and Maurice Chevalier on the set of Gigi (1958)
In 1953, Caron was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her starring role in Lili. For her performance in the British drama The L-Shaped Room (1962), she won the BAFTA Award for Best British Actress and Golden Globe awards, and was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar.

In the 1960s and thereafter, Caron worked in European films, as well. Her later film assignments included Father Goose (1964), with Cary Grant; Ken Russell’s Valentino (1977), in the role of silent-screen legend Alla Nazimova; and Louis Malle’s Damage (1992). Sometime in 1970, Caron was one of the many actresses considered for the lead role of Eglantine Price in Disney’s Bedknobs and Broomsticks, losing the role to British actress Angela Lansbury.

In 1967, she was a member of the jury of the 5th Moscow International Film Festival.

In 1989, she was a member of the jury at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival.

Caron has continued to act, appearing in the film Chocolat (2000). During the 1980s, she appeared in several episodes of the soap opera Falcon Crest as Nicole Sauguet. She is one of the few actresses from the classic era of MGM musicals who are still active in film—a group that includes Rita Moreno, Margaret O’Brien, and June Lockhart.

Her other later credits include Funny Bones (1995) with Jerry Lewis and Oliver Platt; The Last of the Blonde Bombshells (2000) with Judi Dench and Cleo Laine; and Le Divorce (2003), directed by James Ivory, with Kate Hudson and Naomi Watts.

On 30 June 2003, Caron traveled to San Francisco to appear as the special guest star in The Songs of Alan Jay Lerner: I Remember It Well, a retrospective concert staged by San Francisco’s 42nd Street Moon Company. In 2007, her guest appearance on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit earned her a Primetime Emmy Award. On 27 April 2009, Caron traveled to New York as an honored guest at a tribute to Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe at the Paley Center for Media.

For her contributions to the film industry, Caron was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame on 8 December 2009 with a motion pictures star located at 6153 Hollywood Boulevard.[8] In February 2010, she played Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, which also featured Greta Scacchi and Lambert Wilson.[9]

In 2016, Caron appeared in the ITV television series The Durrells as the Countess Mavrodaki.

Veteran documentarian Larry Weinstein’s Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star premiered at the Toronto Film Festival on 28 June 2016.

In September 1951, Caron married American George Hormel II, a grandson of the founder of the Hormel meat-packing company. They divorced in 1954.

During that period, while under contract to MGM, she lived in Laurel Canyon, in a Normandie style 1927 mansion, near the country store on Laurel Canyon Blvd. One bedroom was all mirrored for her dancing rehearsals.

Her second husband was British theatre director Peter Hall. They married in 1956 and had two children: Christopher John Hall (TV producer) in 1957 and Jennifer Caron Hall, a writer, painter, and actress, in 1958. Her son-in-law, married to Jennifer, is Glenn Wilhide, the producer and screenwriter.

Caron had an affair with Warren Beatty (1961). When she and Hall divorced in 1965, Beatty was named as a co-respondent and was ordered by the London court to pay the costs of the case.

In 1969, Caron married Michael Laughlin, the producer of the film Two-Lane Blacktop; they divorced in 1980.

Caron was also romantically linked to Dutch television actor Robert Wolders from 1994 to 1995.

From June 1993 until September 2009, Caron owned and operated the hotel and restaurant Auberge la Lucarne aux Chouettes (The Owls’ Nest) in Villeneuve-sur-Yonne, about 130 km (80 mi) south of Paris.

Unhappy with the lack of work in France, she left for England in 2013.

In her autobiography, Thank Heaven, she states she obtained American citizenship in time to vote for Barack Obama for president.

Filmography

1951 An American in Paris Lise Bouvier
1951 The Man with a Cloak Madeline Minot
1952 Glory Alley Angela Evans
1953 The Story of Three Loves Mademoiselle Segment: “Mademoiselle”
1953 Lili Lili Daurier BAFTA Award for Best Foreign Actress
Nominated–Academy Award for Best Actress
1955 The Glass Slipper Ella
1955 Daddy Long Legs Julie Andre
1956 Gaby Gaby
1958 Gigi Gigi Laurel Award for Top Female Musical Performance
Nominated–Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical
1958 The Doctor’s Dilemma Mrs. Dubedat
1959 The Man Who Understood Women Ann Garantier
1960 Austerlitz Mlle de Vaudey
1960 The Subterraneans Mardou Fox
1961 Fanny Fanny Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance (5th place)
Nominated–Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
1962 Guns of Darkness Claire Jordan
1962 The L-Shaped Room Jane Fosset BAFTA Award for Best British Actress
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Laurel Award for Top Female Dramatic Performance (3rd place)
New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Actress (2nd place)
Nominated–Academy Award for Best Actress
1962 Three Fables of Love Annie Segment: “Les deux pigeons”
1964 Father Goose Catherine
1965 A Very Special Favor Dr. Lauren Boullard
1965 Promise Her Anything Michele O’Brien
1966 Is Paris Burning? Françoise Labé
1967 Il padre di famiglia Paola, la moglie di Marco
1970 Madron Sister Mary
1971 Chandler Katherine Creighton
1976 Surreal Estate Céleste
1977 The Man Who Loved Women Véra
1977 Valentino Alla Nazimova
1978 Crazed Nicole
1979 Goldengirl Dr. Sammy Lee
1980 All Stars Lucille Berger
1981 Chanel Solitaire uncredited
1982 Imperative Mother
1984 Dangerous Moves Henia Liebskind
1990 Courage Mountain Jane Hillary
1990 Guns Waitress
1992 Damage Elizabeth Prideaux
1995 Funny Bones Katie Parker
1995 Let It Be Me Marguerite
1999 The Reef Regine De Chantelle
2000 Chocolat Madame Audel Nominated–Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
2003 Le Divorce Suzanne de Persand
2017 The Perfect Age Marguerite short movie
2020 A Christmas Carol The Ghost of Christmas Past (voice)