French actor Michèle Morgan dies at the age of 96

Film star remembered as a ‘legend who marked numerous generations’

 File image of French actor Michèle Morgan  during a photo session at the Studio Harcourt. Morgan  had died aged 96. File photograph: AFP/Getty Images

File image of French actor Michèle Morgan during a photo session at the Studio Harcourt. Morgan had died aged 96. File photograph: AFP/Getty Images

 

Michèle Morgan, a French actor who starred in films alongside Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra and was the first winner of the Cannes film festival’s best actress award, has died aged 96.

French president François Hollande said Morgan, whose sea-blue eyes captivated French audiences, was “a legend who marked numerous generations”.

Her family said she died on Tuesday, without giving a cause of death, according to French media reports.

Early life

Born on February 29th, 1920, as Simone Roussel, she took Michèle Morgan as her stage name.

Living in Hollywood during the second World War, she starred in movies including Carol Reed’s The Fallen Idol, and married American director William Marshall.

She was awarded Cannes’ first best actress award for her portrayal of a blind woman in Pastoral Symphony in 1946.

Morgan starred alongside Humphrey Bogart in Passage To Marseille in 1944 - having been considered for the role of Ilsa in Casablanca, which went to Ingrid Bergman.

She starred with Sinatra in Higher And Higher in 1943.

AP