French actress Suzy Delair, who won fame in the 1940s, dies aged 102

Paris (AFP) –


French cinema actress Suzy Delair, who shot to fame in two classic movies during the 1940s, has died aged 102, a source close to her said on Monday.

Delair, who also was one of the most celebrated figures of the Paris music hall scene in the 1940s and 1950s, died overnight Sunday to Monday in a retirement home, said the source, confirming a report in the Le Point magazine.

Born in 1917, Delair was discovered by the French director Henri-Georges Clouzot who directed her in two of his most celebrated works and was also her partner for a decade.

Her breakthrough role came in Clouzot's comedy thriller "The Murderer Lives at Number 21" made in 1942 at the height of World War II, where she starred alongside French actor Pierre Fresnay.

But her best known role came as a music hall performer in Clouzot's 1947 detective thriller "Quai des Orfevres", the director's first film after a ban from working due to his filmmaking during the Nazi occupation of France.

She also had a role in Luchino Visconti's 1960 classic "Rocco and His Brothers", while her last major performance was in the 1973 film "The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob" directed by Gerard Oury and regarded to this day as a cult comedy classic.

In 1942, she was one of a group of French actors during the Nazi occupation of France invited by the Germans to visit the cinema studios in Munich and Berlin.

For this, she was suspended from work for three months after the end of World War II.