08 November 2017

Anny Duperey

French actress Anny Duperey (1947) is known for her stage, film and television roles, but she is also a best-selling author. Duperey is a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur.

Anny Duperey
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 559.

Anny Duperey
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 7/78.

A red dress blown up over her head

Anny Duperey was born Annie Legras in 1947 in Rouen, Seine-Maritime, France.

Duperey made her screen debut in the both socially and stylistically radical Godard film 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle/Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard film, 1967) with Marina Vlady. The film does not tell a story so much as present an essay-like study of Godard's view of contemporary life.

In Stavisky (Alain Resnais, 1974), she portrayed Arlette, the beautiful real-life wife of flamboyant financier and embezzler Alexandre Stavisky (Jean-Paul Belmondo) and the circumstances leading to his mysterious death in 1934.

Anny Duperey was nominated for the 1977 César Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in the hilarious comedy Un éléphant ça trompe énormément/Pardon Mon Affaire (Yves Robert, 1976) with Jean Rochefort as the middle-aged, happily married businessman. One day he sees a mysterious woman (Duperey) whose flimsy red dress is blown up over her head under an air vent. This image will not leave him and he becomes obsessed with her.

The film was also nominated for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film and was later remade in Hollywood as The Woman in Red (Gene Wilder, 1984) with Gene Wilder and Kelly LeBrock.

Hollywood also showed interest in Duperey. She appeared with Al Pacino in the American film Bobby Deerfield (Sydney Pollack, 1977). The film is about a famous American Formula One auto racer (Pacino) who falls in love with an enigmatic Swiss woman (Marthe Keller) who is terminally ill. Duperey played a racetrack groupie.

That year she also debuted on Broadway. In Italy, she appeared with George Hamilton and George Peppard in the ‘Macaroni-War film’ Contro 4 bandiere/From Hell to Victory (Umberto Lenzi, 1979). In Germany, she appeared in the comedy Car-napping (Wigbert Wicker, 1980) about international car thieves. She played a supporting part in the French thriller Mille milliards de dollars/A Thousand Billion Dollars (Henri Verneuil, 1982) starring Patrick Dewaere and Michel Auclair.

Duperey co-starred with Gérard Depardieu and Pierre Richard in the hit comedy Les Compères/ComDads (Francis Veber, 1983). When her teen-aged son runs away and the police are noncommittal, Duperey convinces two old flames - a crusading journalist (Depardieu) and a hypochondriac (Richard) - that each is the father of her son in order to spur someone into action. The film was remade in the USA as Fathers' Day (Ivan Reitman, 1997) with Robin Williams, Billy Christal and Nastassja Kinski.

Anny Duperey
East-German postcard by VEB Progress Film-Verleih, Berlin, no. 7/78. Photo: Linke.

Anny Duperey
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin.

Anny Duperey
Romanian postcard by Casa Filmului Acin, no. 43 139.

You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet!

From the mid-1980s on, Anny Duperey worked mainly for television. For the TV Mini-Series Un château au soleil/A Castle in the Sun (Robert Mazoyer, 1988), she won a 7 d'Or Best Actress award. Since 1992 she appears in the very popular French series Une famille formidable/A Magnificent Family (Joël Santoni, Alexandre Pidoux, 1992-) for which she won another 7 d'Or Best Actress award in 1993.

That year, she also could be seen in the cinema again, in the epic Germinal (Claude Berri, 1993), based on the novel by Émile Zola, and starring Gérard Depardieu and Miou-Miou. Later films include Eden à l'ouest/Eden Is West (Costa-Gavras, 2009) with Riccardo Scamarcio, and Vous n'avez encore rien vu/You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet! (Alain Resnais, 2012) with Mathieu Amalric and Pierre Arditi.

For her stage work, Duperey won five times the Molière award, the main French stage award. Anny Duperey is also a successful author of a number of bestselling books including L'admiroir (1976), Le Nez de Mazarin (Mazarin's Nose) (1986), Le voile noir (The Black Veil) (1992), Je vous écris (I'm Writing To You) (1993), Les chats de hasard (The fortune cats) (1999), Allons plus loin, veux-tu? (Let's go further, will you?) (2002), Les chats mots (The cats words) (2003) and Une soirée (An evening) (2005).

In 2006, she led in an adaption of Oscar and the Lady in Pink (Oscar et la dame rose) (2002), a novel written by Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt; she performed at the L'Avant-Seine Theatre in Colombes. A social activist, Anny Duperey has volunteered for causes such as the international child welfare organisation SOS Children's Villages and SOS-PAPA an international organisation to help ensure children of divorce have full participation by both parents. Her work earned her an appointment as Chevalier (Knight) of Legion of Honour in 1997.

She is the mother of actress Sara Giraudeau and son Gaël Giraudeau, with former husband Bernard Giraudeau. With Giraudeau, she acted in five productions, including the crime drama Le grand pardon/Grand Pardon (Alexandre Arcady, 1982), Meurtres à domicile/Evil in the house (Marc Lobet, 1982), and the TV film La face de l'ogre/The Face of the Monster (Bernard Giraudeau, 1988).

Anny Duperey
French autograph photo.

Anny Duperey
French promotion card by SOS Villages d'Enfants, no. SOS 8 001 805.

Original trailer for Stavisky (1974). Source: Film & Clips (YouTube).

The famous scene from Un Éléphant Ça Trompe Énormément (1976). Source: Ondo Tonko (YouTube).

Sources: AllMovie, Wikipedia, and IMDb.

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