18 April 2016

Simone Vaudry

Simone Vaudry (1906-1993) was a popular French actress of the silent era and the early sound era. She appeared both in many French and several German films and starred in several popular serials.

Simone Vaudry in Vingt ans après (1922)
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Édition, Paris, no. 61. Photo: Pathé Consortium. Vaudry as Henriette d'Angleterre in Vingt ans après/Twenty Years After (Henri Diamant-Berger, 1922).

Serial Queen

Simone Vaudry was born Simone Hélène Georgette Vaurigaud in Paris. At the age of four she was already acting in silent films, debuting in the Gaumont production Le crime du grand-père/The crime of the grandfather (Léonce Perret, Jacques Roullet, 1910) written by Abel Gance, in which Suzy Prim co-acted.

In 1913, after various productions at Gaumont by Perret and others, Vaudry started to play in films by Éclair as well, directed by Victorin-Hippolyte Jasset. During the First World War, Vaudry did not act in film, but in 1918 she reappeared in Le Noël d’Yveline/The Christmas of Yveline (Georges-André Lacroix, 1918), Vaudry’s first feature, and again a Gaumont film with Prim.

In the early 1920s followed Les élus de la mer/The Elected of the Sea (Marcel Dumont, Gaston Roudès, 1921) with Gaston Modot, L’épingle rouge/The red pin (Edouard-Emile Violet, 1921), Le double/The Double (Alexandre Ryder, 1921), Mimi Pinson (Théo Bergerat, 1922), the drama Le mouton noir/The Black Sheep (Chalux, 1922), and the fairy tale La belle au bois dormant/Sleeping Beauty (Stéphane Passet, 1922).

In 1922 Vaudry also played Henriette d’Angleterre in the Alexandre Dumas adaptation Vingts ans après/Five Years After (1922) by Henri Diamant-Berger. This serial in ten chapters was the sequel to Diamant-Berger’s adaptation of Les trois mousquetaires/The Three Musketeers (1921).

She also had an important part in the Spanish drama Para toda la vida/For the whole life (Benito Perojo, 1923), in Les Rantzau/The Rantzaus (Gaston Roudès, 1923) starring France Dhélia, La bouquetière des innocents/The Innocent Flower Girl (Jacques Robert, 1923), Les cinquante ans de Don Juan/The Fifty years of Don Juan (Henri Etievant, 1924) starring Charles Vanel, and L’enfant des halles/The Child of Les Halles (René Leprince, 1924) with Suzanne Bianchetti.

In 1924 Vaudry had her first lead in a German film: Das lockende Gefahr/The luring danger (Josef Stein, 1924) and also had small part in the 12 episodes serial Les mystères de Paris/The Mysteries of Paris (Charles Burguet, 1924), starring Huguette Duflos. Vaudry had a much bigger part as Nina in the 8 episodes long Mylord l’Arsouille (René Leprince, 1924), starring Aimé Simon-Girard, and immediately after she had the female lead as Perrette in Fanfan-la-Tulipe (René Leprince, 1925), with again Simon-Girard in the male lead. All these films by Leprince were made for the Société des Cinéromans.

Simone Vaudry
French postcard by G.L. Manuel Frères, Paris, no. 254.

Beatified and Canonized

After a minor part in Les petits/The Little Ones (Marcel Dumont, Gaston Roudès, 1925), Simone Vaudry had the female lead again in La rose effeuillée/The Rose Without Leaves (Georges Pallu, 1925), on the life of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, who was beatified in 1923 and canonized in 1925. A complete, tinted copy of this previously considered lost film was traced back at the Roman film archive in the mid-1990s, but the film is yet to be represented. In 1936 Pallu would shoot a sound version of the film.

After a small part in another religious film, Le berceau de dieu/The Cradle of God (Fred LeRoy Granville, 1926), Vaudry went to Berlin to play in Die Kreuzzug des Weibes/The Wife's Crusade (Martin Berger, 1926), a film which criticized abortion laws, starring Conrad Veidt and Maly Delschaft.

Vaudry subsequently alternated performances in French films with German productions: Titi, le roi des gosses/Titi, King of the Kids (René Leprince, 1926), La nuit de la revanche/The Night of the Revenge (Henri Etievant, 1926), Pardonnée/Forgiven (Jean Cassagne, 1927), in which Vaudry had the female lead, and Le chasseur de chez Maxim’s/Maxim's Porter (Roger Lion, Nicolas Rimsky, 1927) in France, and Der Herr des Todes/The Master of Death (Hans Steinhoff, 1927), Das Meer/The Sea (Peter Paul Felner, 1927) starring Heinrich George, and Heimweh/Homesick (Gennaro Righelli, 1927) starring Mady Christians in Germany.

In the late silent era Vaudry played the daughter of Francesca Bertini and Warwick Ward in Mein Leben für das Deine/Odette (Luitz-Morat, 1928), based on Victorien Sardou’s melodrama Odette, and had small parts in the operetta film Der fidele Bauer/The Jolly Farmer (Franz Seitz, 1929) with Carmen Boni, and Les Fourchambault/Fourchambault (Georges Monca, 1929) with Charles Vanel.

Simone Vaudry
French postcard by Cinémagazine-Édition, Paris, no. 69. Photo: G.L. Manuel Frères, Paris.

Phony Fortune Teller

When sound arrived in France, Simone Vaudry immediately had female leads in La maison des hommes-vivants/The House of the Living Men (Marcel Dumont, Gaston Roudès, 1929), starring Rudolf Klein-Rogge, and Le mystère de la villa rose/The Mystery of the Pink Villa (René Hervil, Louis Mercanton, 1930), starring Léon Mathot. In the latter film she was a phony fortune teller, who witnesses the killing of a rich woman by a band of murderous thieves and is herself suspected of the murder.

After a major part in the comedy Quand te tues-tu?/When Do You Kill Yourself? (Roger Capellani, 1931), shot at the Paris Paramount studios, Vaudry had the female lead in the period piece L’aiglon/The Eagle (Viktor Tourjansky, 1931), starring Jean Weber and based on the famous play by Edmond Rostand.

Next followed the female lead in the Georges Milton comedy Le roi du cirage/The King of Shoe Polish (Pierre Colombier, 1931), the Franco-Italian co-production Les amours de Pergolèse/The Loves of Pergolèse (Guido Brignone, 1932), with Pierre-Richard Willm in the title role and Vaudry in the female lead, Georges Pallu’s film on Saint Bernadette of Lourdes: La vierge du rocher/The virgin of the rock (1933), the Franco-Italian musical comedy Trois hommes en habit/Three men in Dress (Mario Bonnard, 1933), starring singer Tito Schipa, and the comedy Je te confie ma femme/I entrust to you my wife (René Guissart, 1933), starring Arletty.

Vaudry’s last part was in the René Lefèvre comedy Le coup de trois/The blow of three (Jean de Limur, 1936), partly shot in Prague, then Czechoslovachia.

On internet there is no information about what Simone Vaudry did after this film. We only know that she died in Puteaux, France in 1993. She was 86.

Vingt ans après
French postcard. Photo: Pathé. Publicity still for Vingt ans après/The Return of the Musketeers (Henri Diamant-Berger, 1922). Collection: Didier Hanson.

Vingt ans après
French postcard. Photo: Pathé. Publicity still for Vingt ans après/The Return of the Musketeers (Henri Diamant-Berger, 1922). Collection: Didier Hanson.

Sources: Encyclocine.com, CinéArtistes and IMDb.

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