Deneuve made her film debut in 1957 and first came to prominence in Jacques Demy's 1964 musical The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, before going on to star for Polanski in Repulsion (1965) and for Buñuel in Belle de Jour (1967) and Tristana (1970). She was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actress for Belle de Jour, and the Academy Award for Best Actress for Indochine. She also won the 1998 Volpi Cup for Best Actress at the Venice Film Festival for Place Vendôme. Other films include Mississippi Mermaid (1969), Scene of the Crime (1986), My Favourite Season (1993), 8 Women (2002), and Potiche (2010). Her English-language films include The April Fools (1969), Hustle (1975), The Hunger (1983) and Dancer in the Dark (2000). In 2015, she starred in The Brand New Testament and Standing Tall.
Deneuve was born Catherine Fabienne Dorléac in Paris, France, the daughter of French stage actors Maurice Dorléac and Renée Simonot. Deneuve has two sisters, Françoise Dorléac (1942–1967) and Sylvie Dorléac (born 14 December 1946), as well as a maternal half-sister, Danielle, whom their mother had out of wedlock in 1937 with Aimé Clariond, but who was later adopted by Maurice and took his surname. Deneuve was her mother's maiden name, which she chose for her stage name, in order to differentiate herself from her sisters. Deneuve attended Catholic schools.
Deneuve made her film debut with a small role in André Hunebelle's Les Collégiennes (1957) with her younger sister Sylvie Dorléac, who, along with their older half-sister Danielle, was an occasional child actress. She subsequently appeared in several films for director Roger Vadim as well as in L'Homme à femmes (1960), which caught the eye of Jacques Demy, who cast Deneuve in his 1964 musical Les Parapluies de Cherbourg, the film that brought her to stardom. Deneuve first portrayed the cold but erotic persona, for which she would be nicknamed the "ice maiden", in Roman Polanski's horror classic Repulsion (1965), reinforcing it in Luis Buñuel's Belle de Jour (1967), and reaching a peak in Tristana (1970). Her work for Buñuel would be her most famous.
Further prominent films from this early time in her career included Jean-Paul Rappeneau's A Matter of Resistance (1966), Demy's musical Les Demoiselles de Rochefort (1967), and François Truffaut's romantic thriller Mississippi Mermaid (1969). Deneuve remained active in European films during the 1960s and 1970s, though she limited her appearances in American movies of the period to The April Fools (1969), a romantic comedy with Jack Lemmon, and Hustle (1975), a crime drama with Burt Reynolds. Her starring roles at the time were featured in such films as A Slightly Pregnant Man (1973) with Marcello Mastroianni and Le Sauvage (1975) with Yves Montand.
In the 1980s, Deneuve's films included François Truffaut's Le Dernier métro (1980), for which she won the César Award for Best Actress, and Tony Scott's The Hunger (1983) as a bisexual vampire, co-starring with David Bowie and Susan Sarandon, a role which brought her a significant lesbian following. She made her debut film as a producer in 1988, Drôle d'endroit pour une rencontre, alongside frequent co-star Gerard Depardieu.
In the early 1990s, Deneuve's more significant roles included 1992's Indochine opposite Vincent Perez, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress and won a second César Award for Best Actress; and André Téchiné's two movies, Ma saison préférée (1993) and Les Voleurs (1996). In 1997, Deneuve was the protagonist in the music video for the song N'Oubliez Jamais sung by Joe Cocker. In 1998 she won acclaim and the Volpi Cup at the Venice Film Festival for her performance in Place Vendôme. In the late 1990s, Deneuve continued to appear in a large number of films such as 1999's five films Est-Ouest, Le temps retrouvé, Pola X, Belle maman, and Le Vent de la nuit.
In 2000, Deneuve's part in Lars von Trier's musical drama Dancer in the Dark alongside Icelandic singer Björk was subject to considerable critical scrutiny. The film was selected for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival. She made another foray into Hollywood the following year, starring in The Musketeer (2001) for Peter Hyams. In 2002, she shared the Silver Bear Award for Best Ensemble Cast at the Berlin International Film Festival for her performance in 8 Women. In 2005, Deneuve published her diary A l'ombre de moi-meme ("In My Own Shadow", published in English as Close Up and Personal: The Private Diaries of Catherine Deneuve); in it she writes about her experiences shooting the films Indochine and Dancer in the Dark. She also provided the voice role of Marjane Satrapi's mother in Satrapi's animated autobiographical film Persepolis (2007), based on the graphic novel of the same name. In 2008, she appeared in her 100th film, Un conte de Noël.
Deneuve's recent work includes Potiche (2010) with frequent co-star Depardieu, Les Bien-aimés (2012), alongside former co-stars Ludivine Sagnier and Chiara Mastroianni, the popular French adventure comedy Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia (2012) with Gerard Depardieu and Valérie Lemercier, screenwriter and director Emmanuelle Bercot's On My Way (2013), Palme D'or winning writer/director Pierre Salvadori's comedy drama In the Courtyard (2014), and André Téchiné's drama In the Name of My Daughter (2014). In 2017, she co-starred alongside Catherine Frot, in writer/director Martin Provost's French drama The Midwife, which has been acquired by Music Box Films for a summer 2017 distribution in the United States.
Deneuve appeared nude in two Playboy pictorials in 1963 and 1965. Her image was used to represent Marianne, the national symbol of France, from 1985 to 1989. As the face of Chanel No. 5 in the late 1970s, she caused sales of the perfume to soar in the United States – so much so that the American press, captivated by her charm, nominated her as the world's most elegant woman. In 1983, American Home Products retained her to represent their cosmetics line and hired world-renowned photographer Richard Avedon to promote its line of Youth Garde cosmetics, for which she famously proclaimed, "Look closely. Next year I will be 40."
She is considered the muse of designer Yves Saint Laurent; he dressed her in the films Belle de Jour, La Chamade, La sirène du Mississipi, Un flic, Liza, and The Hunger. In 1992, she became a model for his skincare line. In 2001, she was chosen as the new face of L'Oréal Paris. In 2006, Deneuve became the third inspiration for the M•A•C Beauty Icon series and collaborated on the colour collection that became available at M•A•C locations worldwide in February that year. Deneuve began appearing in the new Louis Vuitton luggage advertisements in 2007. Deneuve was listed as one of the fifty best-dressed over 50s by the Guardian in March 2013.In July 2017, Deneuve appeared in a video campaign for Louis Vuitton entitled Connected Journeys, celebrating the launch of the brand's Tambour Horizon smartwatch, which also featured celebrities, including: Jennifer Connelly, Bae Doona, Jaden Smith, and Miranda Kerr.
In 1986, Deneuve introduced her own perfume, Deneuve. She is also a designer of glasses, shoes, jewelery and greeting cards.Deneuve was appointed UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for the Safeguarding of Film Heritage in 1994 until her resignation on 12 November 2003.
Deneuve asked that the rights owed to her from her representation of Marianne be given to Amnesty International.
Louis Vuitton made a donation to The Climate Project, spearheaded by Al Gore, on behalf of Deneuve.
Deneuve is also involved with Children Action, Children of Africa, Orphelins Roumains and Reporters Without Borders.
Douleur sans frontiers (Pain Without Borders) – At the end of 2003, Deneuve recorded a radio commercial to encourage donations to fight against the pain in the world, notably for the victims of landmines.
Handicap International – In the middle of July 2005, Deneuve lent her voice to the message of radio commercials, TV and cinema, which denounced the use of the BASM (cluster bombs).
Voix de femmes pour la démocratie (Voice of women for democracy) – Deneuve read the text, "Le petit garçon", of Jean-Lou Dabadie, on the entitled CD, "Voix de femmes pour la démocratie." The CD was sold for the benefit of the female victims of the war and the fundamentalisms that fight for democracy.
Deneuve has also been involved with various charities in the fight against AIDS and cancer.
In 1972, Deneuve signed the Manifesto of the 343. The manifesto was an admission by its signers to have practiced illegal abortions and therefore exposed themselves to judicial actions and prison sentences. It was published in Le Nouvel Observateur on 5 April 1971. That same year, feminist lawyer Gisèle Halimi founded the group, Choisir ("To Choose"), to protect the women who had signed the Manifesto of the 343.
Deneuve is involved with Amnesty International's program to abolish the death penalty.
In 2001, Deneuve delivered a petition organized by the French-based group, "Together Against the death penalty", to the U.S. Embassy in Paris.
In April 2007, Deneuve signed a petition on the internet protesting against the "misogynous" treatment of socialist presidential candidate Ségolène Royal. More than 8,000 French men and women signed the petition, including French actress Jeanne Moreau.
Deneuve speaks fluent French, Italian, English and some German. Her hobbies and passions include gardening, drawing, photography, reading, music, cinema, fashion, antiques and decoration.
Deneuve has been married once, to photographer David Bailey from 1965 to 1972. She has lived with director Roger Vadim, actor Marcello Mastroianni, cinematographer Hugh Johnson, and Canal+ tycoon Pierre Lescure.
Deneuve has two children: actor Christian Vadim, from her relationship with Roger Vadim, and actress Chiara Mastroianni, from her relationship with Marcello Mastroianni. She has five grandchildren.1980:
Dieu fumeur de havanes – by and with Serge Gainsbourg (original film soundtrack Je vous aime by Claude Berri)
Quand on s'aime – duet with Gérard Depardieu, for a television programme
1981: Her first and only album issued – Souviens-toi de m'oublier written by Serge Gainsbourg
1993: Paris Paris – by and with Malcolm McLaren
1997: Allo maman bobo – by Alain Souchon, during an evening with Les Enfoirés in 1997 with Alain Souchon, Jean-Jacques Goldman and Laurent Voulzy
1999: Joyeux anniversaire maman – by Stomy Bugsy (original film soundtrack Belle-maman by Gabriel Aghion)
2000: Cvalda – by and with Björk (original film soundtrack Dancer in the dark by Lars von Trier)
2001: Toi jamais – original film soundtrack Huit Femmes by François Ozon (original version performed by Sylvie Vartan en 1976)
2006: Ho capito che ti amo – original film soundtrack Le héros de la famille by Thierry Klifa
2010: C'est beau la vie by Jean Ferrat – original film soundtrack Potiche by François Ozon
2011: Tout est si calme with Clara Couste, Ludivine Sagnier and Chiara Mastroianni, Une fille légère in duet with Chiara Mastroianni, Je ne peux vivre sans t'aimer – original film soundtrack The Beloved by Christophe Honoré
Audiobooks for Éditions des Femmes:
Cendrillon by Charles Perrault
Bonjour tristesse by Françoise Sagan
Les Petits Chevaux de Tarquinia by Marguerite Duras
Les Paradis aveugles by Duong Thu Huong
La Marquise d'O by Heinrich Von Kleist
Lettres à un jeune poète by Rainer Maria Rilke
Lettres à ma mère by Sylvia Plath
- Digital delay
- Depression au-dessus du jardin
- Monna Vanna et Miss Duncan
- Marine bond tremolo
- Ces petits riens (duet with Serge Gainsbourg) – original version performed by Gainsbourg and Juliette Gréco (1964)
- Souviens-toi de m'oublier (duet with Serge Gainsbourg)
- Overseas telegram
- What tu dis qu'est-ce tu say
- Oh Soliman
- Alice helas
In 2000, a Golden Palm Star on the Palm Springs, California, Walk of Stars was dedicated to her. In 2013, she was honoured for her lifetime achievement at the 26th European Film Awards.
In 2015, she received the Lifetime Achievement Golden Orange Award from International Antalya Film Festival, Turkey.