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14 August 2015

Gaby André

French actress Gaby André (1920-1972) was a film star during World War II, who later became the mother of another gorgeous French film star, Carole André.

Gaby André
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 19. Sent by mail in 1944. Photo: Ch. Vandamme / Les Mirages.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 195. Photo: Roger Carlet.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by Greff Editeur, Paris, no. 114. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard, no. 102. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by SERP, Paris, no. 18. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Angel of the Night


Gaby André or Gaby Andreu was born as Gabrielle Louise Mathilde Andreu in Chalons-sur-Marne, France, in 1920.

Her film debut was a bit part in Hélène (Jean Benoît-Lévy, Marie Epstein, 1936), based on a novel by Vicky Baum and starring Madeleine Renaud. More small parts followed for the beautiful young actress in Entrée des artistes/The Curtain Rises (Marc Allégret, 1938) with screen legend Louis Jouvet, Le drame de Shanghaï/The Shanghai Drama (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1938) again with Jouvet, and La fin du jour/The End of the Day (Julien Duvivier, 1939), an excellent drama about an old people's home for actors.

Her first leading roles were in the limited shown Départ à zéro (Maurice Cloche, 1941-1943) and La maison des sept jeunes filles/The House of the Seven Young Girls (Albert Valentin, 1942), based on a novel by Georges Siménon.

More films followed like the comedy Adémaï bandit d'honneur (Gilles Grangier, 1943) with Noël-Noël, Un seul amour/Secrets of a Ballerina (Pierre Blanchar, 1943), and L’Ange de la nuit/Angel of the Night (André Berthomieu, 1944), starring Jean-Louis Barrault.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 110. Photo: Le Studio.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by Editions E.C., Paris, no. 11. Photo: Cinéma de France.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 198. Photo: Teddy Piaz, Paris.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 631, presented by Les Carbones Korès 'Carboplane'. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Gaby Andreu
Italian postcard by B.F.F. Edit, no. 2893. Photo: Dear Film. Publicity still for Prima di sera/Before nightfall (Piero Tellini, 1954).

Gaby Andreu
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milano, no. 131. Photo: Dear Film. Publicity still for Prima di sera/Before nightfall (Piero Tellini, 1954).

Dreadful Comedy


After the war there was a hiatus in the career of Gaby André. In 1947 she married the American industrialist Eli Smith and they had a daughter, the later actress Carole André. In 1950 she was seen in American films like the comedy Please Believe Me (Norman Taurog, 1950) with Deborah Kerr, and the gangster film Highway 301 (Andrew L. Stone, 1950) starring Steve Cochran.

She returned to France, where she co-starred with Fernandel in the comedy Boniface somnambule/The Sleepwalker (Maurice Labro, 1951). The following years she was seen in international films like The Green Glove (Rudolph Maté, 1952) with Glenn Ford, and Prima di sera/Before the evening (Piero Tellini, 1953), with Paolo Stoppa.

She stayed in Italy for the rest of her life. Among her Italian films were the biopic Giuseppe Verdi/The Life and Music of Giuseppe Verdi (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1953), Donatella (Mario Monicelli, 1956), and the sword and sandal epic La vendetta di Ercole/Goliath and the Dragon (Vittorio Cottafavi, 1960).

Incidentally she appeared in French films like the actioner Incognito (Patrice Dally, 1958) with Eddie Constantine. She played a computer expert in the British Science-Fiction film The Strange World of Planet X/The Cosmic Monsters (Gilbert Gunn, 1958) and a research scientist in the Italian adventure La Granda Caccia/East of Kilimanjaro (Arnold Belgard, Eduardo Capolino, 1957-1959).

Together with her daughter Carole André she starred in Togli le gambe dal parabrezza/You remove the legs from the windscreen (Massimo Franciosa, 1969). Gaby’s final role was in the dreadful comedy Pussycat, Pussycat, I Love You (Rodney Amateau, 1970), the defunct sequel to What’s new Pussycat? (Clive Donner, Richard Talmadge, 1965). Script writer Woody Allen disowns both movies, though.

Gaby André died of cancer in 1972 in Rome, at the age of 52.

Gaby André
Italian postcard by Bromofoto, Milan, no. 813. Photo: Dear Film.

Gaby André
French postcard by Editions du Globe.

Gaby Andreu
French postcard, no. 113. Photo: Gaumont.

Gaby André
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, no. 935. Photo: publicity still for Giuseppe Verdi (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1953), featuring Pierre Cressoy as Verdi.

Gaby Andreu, Pierre Cressoy
German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Vertrieb, Berlin, no. 934, 1958. Photo: publicity still for Giuseppe Verdi (Raffaello Matarazzo, 1953) featuring Pierre Cressoy as Verdi.

Sources: AllMovie, Cinemémorial (French), Wikipedia (French) and IMDb.

3 comments:

Beth Niquette said...

Oh, Paul, how extraordinary! Your research leaves me breathless. How amazing. I mean that. I enjoy every word, every photo.

I don't know if you know this, but I have been involved in acting for 23 years. My husband and I spent many years creating and performing original drama.

Though we were just "small potatoes" compared to these incredible stars of old.

Have a GREAT rest of the weekend (what's left, that is.) lol

Paul van Yperen said...

Thanks Beth. You made me curious. I would love to know more about your adventures in theatre.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

I don't remember the name, Gaby André, but I do remember the film "What's New, Pussycat". Or maybe it's just the song I remember.