Actress. Born Simone Kaminker to a Polish Jewish father and a French mother, when she began acting in 1941 she took her mother's maiden name, Signoret. She met and eventually married the director Yves Allégret with whom she had a daughter Catherine. He helped to further her career by giving her roles in his films. In 1949 she left her husband for actor Yves Montand, whom she married in 1951 and with whom she lived until her death. In 1960 she won the Best Actress Oscar for her role in "Room at the Top," becoming the second French actress after Claudette Colbert to receive that honor. While in the USA to receive her Oscar, she and Montand became friends with Arthur Miller and his wife Marilyn Monroe. Montand and Monroe made the film "Let's Make Love" together and had a much-publicized affair about which Signoret expressed no bitterness. In the 1960s she played several strong, politically charged roles in films such as "The Confession" by Costa-Gavras. In 1975 she published her autobiography La nostalgie n'est plus ce qu'elle était (Nostalgia Isn't What It Used to Be). In 1977 she won the Best Actress César for her leading role in "Madame Rosa" (French title "La Vie devant soi). She began to smoke and drink heavily, her health declined, and after a failed operation she lost most of her sight. Simone Signoret died of cancer in 1985. Over the course of her career she appeared in more than 40 films, documentaries and plays.
Bio by: Tigress