Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Leslie Caron

Leslie Caron, star of so many classic films, has released a memoir about her life called Thank Heaven. Trained as a ballerina, she got her big break at the age of 20 as a last minute substitute for a pregnant Cyd Charisse in An American in Paris, which launched her exceptional film career, including memorable turns in Lili (Oscar nomination), Daddy Long Legs, Gaby, Gigi (another Best Picture), Fanny, The L-Shaped Room (Oscar nomination) and Father Goose (among many others). She's also one of the few actresses to have danced on screen with both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire. Living in semi-retirement, Caron still acts on occasion winning an Emmy award for a guest appearance on Law and Order: SVU in 2007. She also maintained a bed and breakfast called Auberge La Lucarne aux Chouettes in Burgundy. The daughter of an American dancer from Topeka, Caron recently became an American citizen after discovering that she was eligible. This winter, she will play Madame Armfeldt in the first-ever Paris production of A Little Night Music with Kristin Scott Thomas. While I would love to go over to see this one, I'll be relying on our very own Kari for a full report come February.

Caron is currently on a book tour in the United States, and was in New York over the past couple of days. She spoke and signed at Barnes and Noble Lincoln Center last evening, and also was interviewed by Leonard Lopate on WNYC. The charming, elegant actress talks very frankly about herself, her career, her romances (including an affair with Warren Beatty) and problems with drinking and depression.

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