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from the trailer for The Pink Panther (1963)
Born Germaine Lefebvre
6 January 1931(1931-01-06)
Toulon, France
Died 17 March 1990 (aged 59)
Lausanne, Switzerland
Years active 1948–1990
Spouse(s) Pierre Trabaud (1950, divorced)

Capucine (6 January 1931[1] – 17 March 1990)[2] was a French actress and fashion model best known for her comedic roles in The Pink Panther (1963) and What's New Pussycat? (1965). She appeared in 36 films and 17 television productions between 1948 and 1990. Her death was a result of suicide.


Early life

Born Germaine Lefebvre in Toulon, France,[2][3] she attended school in France and received a B.A. in foreign languages. At 17, riding in a carriage in Paris, a commercial photographer noticed her. She became a fashion model, working for fashion houses Givenchy and Christian Dior. She adopted the name, "Capucine" (French for nasturtium). Capucine met Audrey Hepburn modeling in Paris. The two would remain friends for the rest of Capucine's life.


In 1949, Capucine made her film debut in the French film Rendez-vous de Juillet. On the set of Rendez-vous, she met Pierre Trabaud; they married the next year. The marriage lasted only six months, and Capucine never married again. In 1957, film producer Charles K. Feldman spotted Capucine while she was modeling in New York City. Feldman brought her to Hollywood to learn English and study acting under Gregory Ratoff.[4] She was signed to a contract with Columbia Pictures in 1958 and landed her first English-speaking role in the film Song Without End (1960) for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award. For the next few years, Capucine made six more major motion pictures, including North to Alaska (1960) and Walk on the Wild Side (1962), in the latter she portrayed a lesbian hooker,[5] before moving to Switzerland in 1962. She continued making films in Europe until her death.[3] She also played a nude scene in softcore movie Aphrodite (1982).

Personal life

Capucine met actor William Holden in the early 1960s. They starred in the films The Lion (1962) and The 7th Dawn (1964). Holden was married to Brenda Marshall, but the two began a two-year affair. After it ended, she and Holden remained friends until Holden's death in 1981.[6]

On 17 March 1990, at the age of 59, Capucine died by suicide by jumping from her eighth-floor apartment in Lausanne, Switzerland.[2]

Selected filmography

Year Film Role Notes
1949 Rendez-vous de Juillet Une amie de Pierre Uncredited
1951 Bernard and the Lion La baronne
1955 Mademoiselle de Paris Alternative title: Mademoiselle from Paris
Frou-Frou Une amie d'Arthus, le peintre
1960 Song Without End Princess Carolyne Wittgenstein
North to Alaska Michelle 'Angel' Bonet
1961 Le triomphe de Michel Strogoff Tatoa, a Volskaya Alternative title: The Triumph of Michael Strogoff
1962 Walk on the Wild Side Hallie Gerard
The Lion Christine
I dongiovanni della Costa Azzurra Alternative title: Beach Casanova
1963 The Pink Panther Simone Clouseau
1964 The 7th Dawn Dhana Mercier
1965 What's New Pussycat? Renée Lefebvre
1967 The Honey Pot Princess Dominique
1969 Fräulein Doktor Dr. Saforet
Satyricon Trifena
1971 Red Sun Pepita
1975 Incorrigible Hélène
1976 For Love Marina Reggiani
1977 Portrait of a Bourgeois in Black Amalia Mazzarini
1978 Neapolitan Mystery Sister Angela
1979 Arabian Adventure Vahishta
1982 Aphrodite Lady Suzanne Stanford
Trail of the Pink Panther Lady Simone Litton
1983 Curse of the Pink Panther Lady Simone Litton
1987 Delirium: Photo of Gioia Flora
1987 My First Forty Years Principessa Caracciolo
Year Title Role Notes
1972 Search Silvana Tristano 1 episode
1976 La pêche miraculeuse Mlle du Colombier Miniseries
1979 Martin Eden Mrs. Morse Miniseries
1982 Hart to Hart Lily Von Borg 1 episode
1985 Murder, She Wrote Belle Chaney 1 episode
1986 Sins Odile Miniseries
1990 Blaues Blut Gräfin von Altenberg Unknown episodes

See also


  1. ^ Brettell, Andrew; King, Noel; Kennedy, Damien; Imwold, Denise (2005). Cut!: Hollywood Murders, Accidents, and Other Tragedies. Leonard, Warren Hsu; von Rohr, Heather. Barrons Educational Series. pp. 263. ISBN 0-764-15858-9. 
  2. ^ a b c Donnelley, Paul (2005-11-01). Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries (3 ed.). Omnibus Press. pp. 236. ISBN 1-844-49430-6. 
  3. ^ a b Marshall, Bill; Johnston, Cristina (2005). France and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History : A Multidisciplinary Encyclopedia. 3. ABC-CLIO. pp. 211–212. ISBN 1-851-09411-3. 
  4. ^ Monush, Barry (2003). Screen World Presents the Encyclopedia of Hollywood Film Actors: From the Silent Era to 1965. Hal Leonard Corporation. pp. 109. ISBN 1-557-83551-9. 
  5. ^ Erickson, Hal. "Capucine". Allmovie. 
  6. ^ Strodder, Chris (2000). Swingin' Chicks Of the Sixties. Cedco Pub.. pp. 112. ISBN 0-768-32232-4. 

External links

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