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Maria Schneider
Born 27 March 1952 (1952-03-27) (age 57)
Paris, France

Maria Schneider (born 27 March 1952) is a French actress. She is best known for playing Jeanne opposite Marlon Brando in the 1972 motion picture Last Tango in Paris.



Schneider performed numerous full-frontal nude scenes in Last Tango in Paris, which were controversial at the time. In 2007, on tv in an interview with the Daily Mail, Schneider described Last Tango in Paris director Bernardo Bertolucci as "fat and sweaty and very manipulative, both of Marlon and myself, and he did certain things to get her reaction." As for her working relationship with Brando, she says that, while their relationship on the set was paternal, it was Brando who came up with the 'butter scene' and it was only known to her just before filming it:

"I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can't force someone to do something that isn't in the script, but at the time, I didn't know that. Marlon said to me: 'Maria, don't worry, it's just a movie,' but during the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn't real, I was crying real tears. I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn't console me or apologise. Thankfully, there was just one take."[1]

She and Brando remained friends until his death, although they did not speak of the movie "for a while".

She also says that her experience with the film — and her treatment as a sex symbol rather than as a serious actress — motivated her to never do films with nude scenes again.

She has also appeared in films such as The Passenger, Just a Gigolo, and Jane Eyre.

Personal life

Schneider was born Marie Christine Gélin, the daughter of French actor Daniel Gélin and Romanian-born Marie-Christine Schneider, who ran a bookstore in Paris.[2] In 1974, Schneider came out as bisexual.[3][4] In early 1976, she abandoned the film set of Caligula and checked herself into a mental hospital in Rome for several days with a woman she described as her lover.[5] This, coupled with her refusal to do nudity, led to Schneider's dismissal and she was replaced by Teresa Ann Savoy.

The 1970s were turbulent years for Schneider, marked by drug addiction, overdoses, and a suicide attempt. By the 1980s, however, she had turned her life around:

"I was very lucky — I lost many friends to drugs — but I met someone in 1980 who helped me stop. I call this person my angel and we've been together ever since. I don't say if it's a man or a woman. That's my secret garden. I like to keep it a mystery."[1]



  1. ^ a b Das, Lina (1975-09-14). "I felt raped by Brando". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2007-04-21.  
  2. ^
  3. ^ Hadleigh, Boze (2001), The Lavender Screen: The Gay and Lesbian Films, Citadel Press, p. 81, ISBN 0806521996  
  4. ^ Abrams, Richard M. (2006), America Transformed: Sixty Years of Revolutionary Change, 1941-2001, Cambridge University Press, p. 165–6, ISBN 0521862469  
  5. ^ Ebert, Roger (1975-09-14). "Interview with Maria Schneider". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 2007-04-21.  

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