Giselle Pascal

Actress lover of Prince Rainier


Giselle Marie Madeleine Tallone (Giselle Pascal), actress: born Cannes, France 17 September 1921; married 1955 Raymond Pellegrin (one daughter); died Nîmes, France 2 February 2007.

Before he married the glamorous American film star Grace Kelly in what was described as "The Wedding of the Century" in 1956, Prince Rainier of Monaco had a well-documented 10-year liaison with the equally attractive French actress Giselle Pascal. She was a beauty who had made the transition from ingénue roles opposite the popular comedian Raimu (L'Arlésienne, 1942) to lead parts in melodramas like Tombé du ciel (Dropped From Heaven, 1946) and comedies such as Mademoiselle s'amuse (Mademoiselle has Fun, 1948) and La Petite chocolatière (The Little Chocolate Girl, 1949).

Pascal had caught the eye of Rainier when he was a student at Montpellier University during the Second World War and she was treading the boards in boulevard plays. For a time, the couple openly shared a villa in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on the French Riviera when she wasn't away in Paris filming. There was even talk of marriage but, when Rainier ascended to the throne of the tiny principality in 1949 after the death of his father, Prince Louis II, his relationship with Pascal came under increasing pressure and eventually floundered.

Rainier was expected to continue the family line but his elder sister, the notoriously meddlesome Princess Antoinette, Baroness of Massy, was eyeing the succession for her own son and spreading rumours that Pascal couldn't have children. A doctor apparently performed an examination and declared this to be the case, although Pascal went on to marry the actor Raymond Pellegrin and bear him a daughter, Pascale, who followed her parents into acting. Snobbery certainly also played a part in Rainier's wavering and eventual decision, since Pascal came from humble Italian stock and had worked in her parents' grocery as a child.

After her break-up with Rainier, Pascal was linked with Gary Cooper in 1953, the year she portrayed the French pilot Hélène Boucher - who held seven world records and died in a plane crash in 1934 - in Horizons sans fin (Endless Horizons), arguably her best film.

She was born Giselle Marie Madeleine Tallone in 1921, studied shorthand and typing and intended to become a secretary, but she also attended dance classes, which came in handy when she later starred in the musical comedies Amour, Délices et orgues (also known as Collège Swing, 1947), Véronique (1949) and Boum sur Paris (1954). She was spotted by the film director Marc Allégret, who recommended her to both Claude Dauphin, with whom she made her stage début, and cast her in L'Arlésienne with Raimu, who loved her Provençal accent.

Pascal soon showed she could also play Paris posh and portrayed a coquette philosophy teacher in Les J3 (The J3, 1946), and a succession of young women in love in films like Madame et son flirt ("Madame and Her Flirt", 1946) and La Femme nue ("The Naked Woman", 1949), but she hankered for meatier parts and took flying lessons to add credibility to her performance as Boucher.

She met Cooper when promoting Endless Horizons at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953. The couple became the talk of the festival but the affair ended when the actor's wife and daughter joined him in Paris a few weeks later.

Pascal was subsequently cast in two "social realism" dramas - Le Feu dans la peau (Fire Under the Skin, 1953) and Marchandes d'illusions (Women Without Shame, 1954) - which also starred Pellegrin, a leading man she had previously had a crush on when they had both appeared in the same play. He was now separated from the German-born actress Dora Doll and his friendship with Pascal blossomed into a relationship. When his divorce came through in 1955, the couple married. Pascal also appeared in Si Versailles m'était conté (Fabulous Versailles, 1954) and Si Paris nous était conté (If Paris Were Told to Us, 1956), two huge "crash-course in French history" productions directed by Sacha Guitry, and opposite Jean Marais in Le Masque de fer (The Iron Mask, 1962).

After taking a break from radio, theatre and film work in the Seventies, she played character parts in En haut des marches (At the Top of the Stairs, 1983), La Femme publique (The Public Woman, 1983), Les Compères (1983) and Juillet en septembre ("July in September", 1988) and acted in several television series in France and Germany.

Pierre Perrone

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Life and Style
Fans line up at the AVNs, straining to capture a photo of their favourite star
life Tim Walker asks how much longer it can flesh out an existence
Life and Style
Every minute of every day, Twitter is awash with anger as we seek to let these organisations know precisely what we think of them
techWhen it comes to vitriol, no one on attracts our ire more than big businesses offering bad service
News
Professor David Nutt wants to change the way gravely ill patients are treated in Britain
people Why does a former Government tsar believe that mind-altering drugs have a place on prescription?
News
Norway’s ‘The Nordland Line – Minute by Minute, Season by Season’ continues the trend of slow TV
television
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
art
Sport
Jonny Evans has pleaded not guilty to an FA charge for spitting at Papiss Cisse
football
Life and Style
Kate Moss will make a cameo appearance in David Walliams' The Boy in the Dress
fashion
News
The image released by the Salvation Army, using 'The Dress'
news
Sport
Liverpool defender Kolo Toure
football Defender could make history in the FA Cup, but African Cup of Nations win means he's already content
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Consultant - London - £65,000 OTE.

£65000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Technical Presales Engineer - central London ...

Recruitment Genius: Physiotherapist / Sports Therapist

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Physiotherapist / Sports Ther...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive / Advisor

£8 - £9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives / Advisors are required...

Recruitment Genius: Warehouse Operative

£14000 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable