Pages

16 April 2016

Dany Robin

French actress Dany Robin (1927-1995) was the pert, delicate-looking star in comedies and melodramas of the late 1940s till the late 1960s. The blonde dish with the piled-high hairdo was a one-time threat to the sexy, kittenish Brigitte Bardot.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions du Globe, Paris. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 462. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1117. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Robin and Adrian Hoven in Bonsoir Paris (1956)
German postcard by Kolibri-Verlag, Minden/Westf, no. 2315. Photo: Melodie / Deutsche London / Heil. Publicity still for Bonsoir Paris/Good Evening Paris (Ralph Baum, 1956).

Dany Robin
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1885. Photo: Sam Lévin / Unifrance Film.

Sensual But Virginal Heroine


Danielle Robin was born in Clamart near Paris, France, in 1927. As a child, Robin trained as a ballerina and eventually made her way to the Opera de Paris under Roland Petit.

At age 19, however, she opted for a film career. Studying at the Conservatoire d'Art Dramatique in Paris, she made her screen debut in the melodrama Lunegarde (Marc Allégret, 1946) with Gaby Morlay.

She worked for such legendary directors as Marcel Carné in Les portes de la nuit/Gates of the Night (1946), and René Clair in Le silence est d'or/Man About Town (1947) opposite French sensation Maurice Chevalier. The latter film was her first real break.

She grew quickly in popularity as a sensual but virginal heroine of light, fluffy comedies as Six heures à perdre/Six Hours to Lose (Alex Joffé, Jean Lévitte, 1946), L'éventail/Naughty Martine (Emil E. Reinert, 1947), and the melodrama Les amoureux sont seuls au monde/Monelle (Henri Decoin, 1948) with Louis Jouvet.

The romance Six heures à perdre also featured the young Louis de Funés, and he and Robin would team up again in the comedies Elle et moi/She and Me (Guy Lefranc, 1952), and Frou-Frou/The Toy Wife (Augusto Genina, 1955).

Other popular films were La fête à Henriette/Henriette (Julien Duvivier, 1952), a Pirandellian comedy about the art of film making, and Les dragueurs/The Chasers (Jean-Pierre Mocky, 1959). Although she was a popular star, journalists awarded her twice (in 1953 and 1954) the Lemon Prize, as the nastiest French actress.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions O.P., Paris, no. 27. Photo: Studio Harcourt.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 8. Photo: Pathé Cinema.

Dany Robin
German postcard by Ufa, Berlin-Tempelhof, no. FK 1149. Photo: Thibault / P.A.C.-Film, Paris. Publicity still for Cadet Rousselle (André Hunebelle, 1954).

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions du Globe (EDUG), Paris, no. 305. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. S-1513. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Lithe and Luscious


Though most of her films were produced in France, Dany Robin also worked internationally. The lithe and luscious actress was the female lead opposite Kirk Douglas in the Hollywood production Act of Love (Anatole Litvak, 1953), a bittersweet love story about the star-crossed relationship between a World War II GI and a young Parisian during the Allied liberation of Paris.

She performed with Peter Sellers in the British sex comedy Waltz of the Toreadors (John Guillermin, 1962), and she co-starred with Connie Francis and Paula Prentiss in Follow the Boys (Richard Thorpe, 1963).

In Great Britain she appeared in the thirteenth Carry On film, Don't Lose Your Head (often called Carry On Don't Lose Your Head) (Gerald Thomas, 1966). Set in France and England in 1789 during the French revolution, it is a parody of Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel. Carry on-regular Sid James is the Black Fingernail, a rip-off Scarlet Pimpernel using double entendres and a wide variety of disguises.

Robin’s last leading role was Nicole Devereaux, the wife a French secret agent (Frederick Stafford) in Alfred Hitchcock's thriller Topaz (1969). Dany Robin was married to fellow actor Georges Marchal from 1951 till 1969. They had two children: Frédérique and Robin.

In 1969. she married the Irish producer/agent Michael Sullivan and retired. Both died tragically during a fire in their apartment in Paris in 1995. Dany Robin was 68.

Dany Robin
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 2.302, 1965.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Imp. De Marchi Frères, Marseille.

Dany Robin
German postcard by Universum-Film Aktiengesellschaft (Ufa), Berlin-Tempelhof, no. CK-53. Retail price: 30 Pfg. Photo: Gérard Décaux / Ufa.

Dany Robin
French postcard by Editions P.I., Paris, no. 1004. Photo: Sam Lévin.

Dany Robin
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Filmvertrieb, Berlin, no. 3212. Refers to Robin's Film Liebe an der Seine/ Conduite à gauche (Guy Lefranc, 1961).


Dany Robin, Serge Reggiani and a very young Brigitte Bardot in Act of Love (Anatole Litvak, 1953). Source: Filmographie de Brigitte Bardot (YouTube).

Sources: Hal Erickson (AllMovie), Caroline Hanotte (CinéArtistes – French), Gary Brumburgh (IMDb), Wikipedia, and IMDb.

No comments: