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."

Life and Style
A teenager boy wakes up.
life
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Critics say Kipling showed loathing for India's primitive villagers in The Jungle Book
filmChristopher Walken, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johanssen Idris Elba, Andy Serkis, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cate Blanchett and Christian Bale
Life and Style
food + drink
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Playing to win: for Tanith Carey, pictured with Lily, right, and Clio, even simple games had to have an educational purpose
lifeTanith Carey explains what made her take her foot off the gas
Arts and Entertainment
A still from Duncan Campbell's hour-long film 'It for Others'
Turner Prize 2014
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Tony Hadley in a scene from ‘Soul Boys Of The Western World’
musicSpandau Ballet are back together - on stage and screen
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'
tvCilla review: A poignant ending to mini-series
News
i100
Life and Style
Bearing up: Sebastian Flyte with his teddy Aloysius in Brideshead Revisited
lifePhilippa Perry explains why a third of students take a bear to uni
Arts and Entertainment
Sir Alan Sugar appearing in a shot from Apprentice which was used in a Cassette Boy mashup
artsA judge will rule if pieces are funny enough to be classed as parodies
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

Trust Accountant - Kent

NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...

Geography Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...

Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: You must:- Speak English as a first lang...

SEN Teaching Assistant

£17000 - £18000 per annum: Randstad Education Group: If you are a committed Te...

Day In a Page

Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?
Royal Ballet star dubbed 'Charlize Theron in pointe shoes' takes on Manon

Homegrown ballerina is on the rise

Royal Ballet star Melissa Hamilton is about to tackle the role of Manon
Education, eduction, education? Our growing fascination with what really goes on in school

Education, education, education

TV documentaries filmed in classrooms are now a genre in their own right
It’s reasonable to negotiate with the likes of Isis, so why don’t we do it and save lives?

It’s perfectly reasonable to negotiate with villains like Isis

So why don’t we do it and save some lives?
This man just ran a marathon in under 2 hours 3 minutes. Is a 2-hour race in sight?

Is a sub-2-hour race now within sight?

Dennis Kimetto breaks marathon record
We shall not be moved, say Stratford's single parents fighting eviction

Inside the E15 'occupation'

We shall not be moved, say Stratford single parents
Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Air strikes alone will fail to stop Isis

Talks between all touched by the crisis in Syria and Iraq can achieve as much as the Tornadoes, says Patrick Cockburn
Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

Nadhim Zahawi: From a refugee on welfare to the heart of No 10

The Tory MP speaks for the first time about the devastating effect of his father's bankruptcy
Witches: A history of misogyny

Witches: A history of misogyny

The sexist abuse that haunts modern life is nothing new: women have been 'trolled' in art for 500 years
Shona Rhimes interview: Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Meet the most powerful woman in US television

Writer and producer of shows like Grey's Anatomy, Shonda Rhimes now has her own evening of primetime TV – but she’s taking it in her stride
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'

Jimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style