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07 July 2012

Marina Vlady

Sensual and alluring French star Marina Vlady (1938) had the makings of just another blonde bombshell, but in 1963 she stunned everybody with her performance in L’Ape Regine/The Conjugal Bed. At the Cannes Film Festival the feline beauty won that year the Golden Palm for Best Actress.

Marina Vlady
French postcard by E.D.U.G., no. 74. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Marina Vlady
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Marina Vlady
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-76. Photo: Unifrance Film.

Marina Vlady
German postcard by Krüger.

Vision of Loveliness
Marina Vlady was born Marina De Poliakoff-Baidaroff in Clichy, France, as the daughter of a noted, Russian born painter and opera singer. She is the youngest sister of actresses Odile Versois, Hélène Vallier, and Olga Baïdar-Poliakoff. Like her siblings, she began acting as a child and for a while she pursued a ballet career. Marina and Olga both made their minor film debuts in Orage d'été/Summer Storm (1949, Jean Gehret) which featured their sister Odile. Marina caught the eye of talent agents. She was a vision of loveliness alongside Marcello Mastroianni in the touching WW II drama Penne nere/Black Feathers (1952, Oreste Biancoli). The following year she co-starred with Italy's top character actor Aldo Fabrizi as his daughter in L’età dell'amore/Too Young for Love (1953, Lionello De Felice). In 1955, at the ripe young age of 17, Vlady met and married actor-writer-director Robert Hossein, who featured her prominently and seductively in a number of his films including Les salauds vont en enfer/The Wicked Go to Hell (1956, Robert Hossein) as a femme fatale bent on revenge, Pardonnez nos offenses (1956, Robert Hossein), La nuit des espions/Double Agents (1959, Robert Hossein), and notably, Toi, le venin/Nude in a White Car (1958, Robert Hossein) which co-starred her sister Odile. With her sensual and alluring image she gained international renown. The marriage with Hossein lasted only a few years.

Marina Vlady
French postcard by Editions du Globe (E.D.U.G.), Paris, no. 470. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Marina Vlady
Collectors card. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Marina Vlady
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag G.m.b.H., Minden/Westf., no. 2476. Photo: Cinepress / Stempka.

Marina Vlady, Robert Hossein
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 1842, 1963. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Publicity still for La liberté surveillée/Provisional Liberty (1958, Henri Aisner, Vladimír Vlcek) with Robert Hossein.

Sexually Insatiable Wife
Marina Vlady could have ended up in the film history annals as merely a second-rate Brigitte Bardot, but the provocative sex kitten proved that she was capable of much more. In 1961 her role in the costume drama La Princesse de Clèves/Princess of Cleves (1961, Jean Delannoy) at the side of Jean Marais was reviewed favorably. In 1963 she gave a stunning performance as the sexually insatiable wife in L’Ape Regine/The Conjugal Bed (1963, Marco Ferreri) opposite Ugo Tognazzi. She was nominated for a Golden Globe, and won the Best Actress Award at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival. She also starred in Godard’s essay on Paris, prostitution and cinema, 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle/Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1967, Jean-Luc Godard).

Marina Vlady
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, offered by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane, no. 950. Photo: Studio Bernard & Vauclair.

Marina Vlady
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1093. Photo: Ektachrome Anders. This postcard was offered by Corvisart-Epinal (a biscuit factory).


Marina Vlady
Israelian postcard by Editions de Luxe, no. 120.

Marina Vlady
Russian postcard by Izdanije Byuro Propogandy Sovietskogo Kinoiskusstva, no. 3624, 1975. This postcard was printed in an edition of 200.000 cards. Retail price: 5 kop.

Caustic Characters
Gracing both French and Italian productions throughout most of her career, Marina Vlady was not shy at playing unsympathetic, even caustic characters, and proved adept at both saucy comedy and edgy drama. One of her rare English roles was Kate Percy in the Shakespeare adaptation Campanadas a medianoche/Chimes at Midnight (1965, Orson Welles). In 1967 she played at the Théâtre Hébertot in Paris with her three sisters, Hélène Vallier, Odile Versois, and Olga Poliakoff, and they had 250 performances. Her later films included Ök ketten/The Two of Them (1977, Márta Mészarós), Tangos, l'exil de Gardel/Tangos, the Exile of Gardel (1985, Fernando Solanas), Splendor (1989, Ettore Scola), and she also worked a lot for TV. Her most recent film was Jeunesse/Youth (1995, Noel Alpi). Marina Vlady was married four times. She has two sons with Robert Hossein. Her second husband was Jean-Claude Brouillet. In 1969 (or 1970 - the sources differ about the date) she married Russian poet, song-writer and actor Vladimir Vysotsky, who died in 1980 of a drug overdose aggravated by chronic alcoholism. About their love affair she wrote the memoir Vladimir, or the Aborted Flight. Her fourth husband, doctor Léon Schwartzenberg, passed away in 2003.

Marina Vlady
East-German card by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin. Photo: Les Films Metzger & Woog und Productions Iena, no. 1/457. Still from La Sorcière/The Blonde Witch (1956, André Michel). In this film Marina Vlady plays Ina, a Swedish nature-girl, who meets Brulard, a French civil engineer on assignment in Sweden for a lumber company. They fall in love, and have an affair. He tries to convert her to 'civilization', but ends up getting her killed by superstitious villagers instead.

Marina Vlady
Serbian postcard by ZK, no. 2183. Sent by mail in 1961.

Marina Vlady, Maurice Ronet
East-German card by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin. Retail price: 0,20 DM. Photo: Les Films Metzger & Woog u. Productions Iena, no. 1.375, 1957. Still from La Sorcière/The Blonde Witch (1956, André Michel).


Scene with Marina Vlady and Maurice Ronet in La Sorcière (1956). Source: Jinochka (YouTube).

Sources: Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Bios Stars International (French), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

4 comments:

Marie Reed said...

She is a vision of lovliness! I love her cat like arched eyebrows! Getting a cup of coffee so that I can watch the video:)

Sheila said...

She's very beautiful. With that bone structure I wasn't surprised to read she was the daughter of a Russian.

postcardparadise said...

She is beautiful. I have to admit, I think she's most beautiful with darker hair.

MrCachet said...

Another great history lesson!