16 August 2013

Mona Goya

Mona Goya (1909–1961) was a Mexican-born French film actress who rose to fame in the 1930s.

Mona Goya
French postcard for Campari. Photo: Studio G.L. Manuel Frères.

Lavish Production
Mona Goya was born Simone Isabelle Marchand in Mexico City in 1909. She probably debuted in film in Germaine Dulac's late silent film Princesse Mandane (1928). In the same year she also acted in various other films, such as the period piece Madame Recamier (1928) by Gaston Ravel and she had a small part in Marcel L'Herbier's lavish production L'Argent (1928), starring Marie Glory, Brigitte Helm and Pierre Alcover.

Goya's career really set off with the arrival of sound film around 1930. She played an upper-class woman who falls in love with a fisherman in the British film The Lady from the Sea (Castleton Knight, 1930) with a young Ray Milland. She also acted opposite Charles Boyer in Revolte en prison (Pál Fejös, George W. Hill, 1930) - the French version of the MGM drama The Big House (George W. Hill, 1930), and in the Georges Biscot comedy Hardi les gars!/Bold guys (Maurice Champreux, 1931).

Mona Goya
French postcard by S.E.R.P., Paris, no. 43. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Mona Goya acted opposite Victor Boucher in La Banque Némo (Marguerite Viel, 1934), while in the late 1930s she often acted opposite Fernandel in La porteuse de pain/The Bread Peddler (Renée Sti, 1934), François Ier/Francis the First (Christian-Jaque, 1937), Josette (Christian-Jaque, 1937), and Ernest le rebelle/Ernest the Rebel (Christian-Jaque, 1938).

In the immediate post-war years she was often paired with Bourvil such as in Pas si bête/Not so stupid (André Berthomieu, 1946) and Blanc comme neige/White Like Snow (André Berthomieu, 1948). In the 1950s, she had supporting parts in films with Nicole Courcel (Gibier de potence/Gigolo, (Roger Richebé, 1951); Les amants de Bras-Morts/The Lovers of Bras-Mort (Marcello Pagliero, 1951)) and Brigitte Bardot (Le portrait de son père/His father's portrait (André Berthomieu, 1953); Babette s'en va-t-en guerre/Babette Goes to War (Christian-Jaque, 1959)).

All in all Goya acted in some 80 films, mostly French productions. Between the mid-1940s and late 1950s, she also acted on stage. Mona Goya died of cancer in 1961, at Clichy-la-Garenne. For a while she was married to actor Fernand Fabre, but they divorced.

Mona Goya
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 190. Photo: Carlet.

Sources: Wikipedia (French and English) and IMDb.

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