Actress Marie-José Nat is dead
The actress, who won the Cannes Interpretation Award in 1974, had performed under the direction of Henri-Georges Clouzot, Michel Drach or André Cayatte. She passed away on October 10 at the age of 79.
The actress Marie-José Nat, born April 22 & nbsp; 1940 in Bonifacio, of a career military Kabyle father, Abdelkader Benhalassa, and of a Corsican shepherdess mother, Vincentine Biancarelli, died Thursday, October 10, in Paris , at the age of 79 & nbsp; years. "& Nbsp; Nat & nbsp;", her actress name, was given to her by one of her very first play partners (in a photo novel), Jean-Claude Pascal, because of her braided hair. The brunette Marie-José Benhalassa dreamed very early of becoming an actress, leaving Ajaccio, where she grew up, to settle in Paris with her family, in & nbsp; 1955. She then worked as a model, enrolled in the Simon course and did figuration alongside Bernard Blier and Nicole Courcel.
Also contemporary with Marina Vlady and Michèle Mercier, she began discreetly at the cinema in the late 1950s. The director Georges Lampin noticed her and directed her in & nbsp; 1956 in Crime et châtiment, with Jean Gabin and Bernard Blier.
She obtained her first major role in Rue des prairies (1959) by Denys de La Patellière, where she embodied the daughter of Jean Gabin & nbsp ;: this one, Henri Neveux, returned from the war of 1939-1945 after two years of captivity and raises his three children alone after the death of his wife. In this film where the first large ensembles appear in the Parisian suburbs, in Sarcelles, contrasting with the popular and teeming rue des Prairies, in the 20th arrondissement, Marie-José Nat embodies a young girl eager to leave her social origins, who gets married by interest with a wealthy man.
The following year, in Henri-Georges Clouzot's La Vérité (1960), Marie-José Nat played the sister of Brigitte Bardot, accused before the Assize Court of the murder of her lover (Sami Frey). Then the director Michel Drach contacted her for Amélie ou le Temps d'amaimer (1961). In André Cayatte's La Vie conjugale (1964), Marie-José Nat represents the archetype of the wife of that time.
His collaboration with Michel Drach - who was her second husband, from 1965 to 1981, after a first union with actor Roger Dumas - enabled him to obtain some of his greatest roles (until the Simple Past in & nbsp; 1977 ). In Elise ou la Vraie Vie (1970), the actress plays a young woman who, bored in Bordeaux, "climbs" in Paris to join her brother, a factory worker and member of the National Liberation Front (FLN) ) for the independence of Algeria. She lives a love story with an Algerian activist, Arezki (Mohamed Chouikh), made difficult by the surrounding racism. Then her role in Michel Drach's autobiographical film, Les Violons du bal, won her the prize for female interpretation at the Cannes Film Festival in & nbsp; 1974. In this film, the director looks back on his childhood as a young Jew during the Second World War. Michel Drach adult is embodied by Jean-Louis Trintignant, Marie-José Nat interpreting his wife, therefore herself.
In addition to her collaborations with Michel Drach, Marie-José Nat works with Gérard Oury (La Menace, in & nbsp; 1961, with Robert Hossein), Alexandre Astruc (L'Éducation sentimentale, in & nbsp; 1962, with Jean-Claude Brialy), Claude Autant -Lara (Le Journal d'une femme en blanc, in & nbsp; 1965, with Claude Gensac), Michel Boisrond (Tell me you love me, in & nbsp; 1974, alongside Mireille Darc and Jean-Pierre Marielle). After filming with Jean-Pierre Mocky in Litan (1982), she moved away from the cinema - she would later participate in international co-productions, like Train de vie (1998) by Radu Mihaileanu.
Then began a career for the actress in the theater in the 1980s, notably in Désiré (1984) by Sacha Guitry, opposite Jean-Claude Brialy, and Voisin voisine (1985) with Victor Lanoux. We also often see her on television, where she played in the series Les Gens de Mogador (1972) or Terre Indigo, the serial drama of summer 1996. And much later in Colette, une femme libre (2004), by Nadine Trintignant.
Marie-José Nat spent her last years in Corsica, at Bonifacio, with Serge Rezvani, painter and songwriter (J'ai la mémoire qui flanche, Le Tourbillon de la vie, interpreted by Jeanne Moreau), with whom she s was married in & nbsp; 2005.