Deneuve's father accused of collaborating with Nazis

The father of the iconic French film star Catherine Deneuve was a low-level Nazi collaborator during the Second World War, according to an unauthorised biography published yesterday.

Mme Deneuve, who is 64 on Tuesday, emerges from the biography, which she tried to block, as a calculating and unhappy person, driven by money and an obsessive need for privacy and independence.

The actress, who has been described on numerous occasions as the most beautiful woman in the world, is usually presented in France as a warm and rather scatty person, beneath an icy, controlled exterior.

But the author, Bernard Violet, a respected investigative biographer, claims that this image is a "legend" constructed by Deneuve herself.

Recent revelations that Deneuve had made public appearances for cash for a dubious Algerian businessman were not an isolated case, according to the book, Deneuve, L'Affranchie (Deneuve, the free woman).

However, the book's main revelation is on Deneuve's father, Maurice Dorléac, who was also an actor.

During the war, according to records discovered by Violet, Dorléac made 72 appearances in radio plays for the pro-Nazi and virulently anti-Semitic radio station Radio-Paris.

He also appeared in several propaganda films, including one which sang the praises of the Milice, the political police of the collaborationist Vichy regime.

Dorléac was found guilty after the war of "giving aid to Germany... and damaging the unity of the French nation". He was banned from working as an actor for six months.

The revelation is embarrassing to Deneuve, who has supported many left-wing and humanitarian causes. Violet says that this skeleton in the family cupboard may explain the "tangle of anguish" at the heart of Deneuve's secretive personality.

The book reviews her many love affairs and her only formal marriage – to the celebrated British photographer David Bailey in the 1960s. After a whirlwind romance, the book says, the couple found little to say to each other because Bailey never learnt French and Deneuve was usually "too tired" to speak English.

The book suggests that Deneuve is not the scatty, impractical, money-detesting person sometimes presented in the French media. In 2005, she was forced to admit – after initial denials – that she had received large cash payments to attend private parties, and a football match, with Rafik Khalifa, an Algerian businessman who had a meteoric rise before being prosecuted for fraud.

Violet says that this was part of a wider pattern of paid-for public appearances by Deneuve. She also runs her own company, Deneuve SA, which makes chaotic attempts to cash in on her image.

Violet said yesterday: "She has made some great films, Repulsion, Belle de Jour, Indochine, during a largely inconsistent career. Catherine Deneuve, the woman, I find very disappointing. She is not an especially happy person, rather a sad one.

"She has spent her whole life insisting on her independence and her freedom and she has paid the price for it. I think that she is more respected than she is liked."

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Katie Hopkins appearing on 'This Morning' after she purposefully put on 4 stone.
peopleKatie Hopkins breaks down in tears over weight gain challenge
Life and Style
fashionModel of the moment shoots for first time with catwalk veteran
Life and Style
fashionAngelina Jolie's wedding dressed revealed
Sport
Alexis Sanchez, Radamel Falcao, Diego Costa and Mario Balotelli
footballRadamel Falcao and Diego Costa head record £835m influx
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Olivia Colman topped the list of the 30 most influential females in broadcasting
tv
Life and Style
techIf those brochure kitchens look a little too perfect to be true, well, that’s probably because they are
Arts and Entertainment
Danish director Lars von Trier
tvEnglish-language series with 'huge' international cast set for 2016
Life and Style
tech
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

Executive Assistant/Events Coordinator - Old Street, London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Executive Assistant/Event...

Female PE Teacher

£23760 - £33600 per annum + pre 12 week AWR : Randstad Education Manchester Se...

Secondary supply teachers needed in Peterborough

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: The JobAre you a trai...

Year 3 Teacher Cornwall

£23500 - £40000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Year 3 Primary Teacher...

Day In a Page

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes': US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food served at diplomatic dinners

'I’ll tell you what I would not serve - lamb and potatoes'

US ambassador hits out at stodgy British food
Radio Times female powerlist: A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

A 'revolution' in TV gender roles

Inside the Radio Times female powerlist
Endgame: James Frey's literary treasure hunt

James Frey's literary treasure hunt

Riddling trilogy could net you $3m
Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

Fitbit: Because the tingle feels so good

What David Sedaris learnt about the world from his fitness tracker
Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

Second-holiest site in Islam attracts millions of pilgrims each year
Alexander Fury: The designer names to look for at fashion week this season

The big names to look for this fashion week

This week, designers begin to show their spring 2015 collections in New York
Will Self: 'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

'I like Orwell's writing as much as the next talented mediocrity'

Will Self takes aim at Orwell's rules for writing plain English
Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Meet Afghanistan's middle-class paint-ballers

Toy guns proving a popular diversion in a country flooded with the real thing
Al Pacino wows Venice

Al Pacino wows Venice

Ham among the brilliance as actor premieres two films at festival
Neil Lawson Baker interview: ‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.

Neil Lawson Baker interview

‘I’ve gained so much from art. It’s only right to give something back’.
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering