Bernadette Lafont

(Updated on 10/28/2012)
Photo C. Philp

Discovered by the team at Les Cahiers du cinéma, Bernadette Lafont quickly became the "face of the New Wave" and experienced a meteoric rise.

In 1957, Bernadette Lafont got leading roles in François Truffaut's Les Mistons and Claude Chabrol’s Le Beau Serge. She then shot movies with Jacques Doniol-Valcroze (L’eau à la bouche) and again with Chabrol. Natural and instinctive actress, she soon received praise and fame.

In the mid-1960’s, Bernadette Lafont worked with more classical directors such as Gilles Grangier, Costa-Gavras, Georges Lautner, Louis Malle. She did not abandon those who made ​​her start and with whom she regularly shot movies. It is this multiplicity of styles that makes her career so alive and herself unclassifiable.

Multifaceted actress, she alternated works of confirmed directors (Truffaut, Eustache) and more difficult achievement that she always took defense of (Garrel, Medveczky).

Her 70’s were marked by two major films Une belle fille comme moi by François Truffaut (1972) and La Maman et la Putain by Jean Eustache (1972). In this same decade she began to play for the theater with La Comtesse sanglante (1978) in which she played Eszbeth Bathory, a feminine Gilles de Rais.

 Her role of a warm nanny in L’Effrontée by Claude Miller (1985) made her won her first César.

In 2003, Bernadette Lafont received an Honorary César for her entire career. She was elevated to Officer of the Legion of Honor in 2010 and is also Commander of the Arts and Letters and Officer of the Order of merit.

In 2012, a series of her films will be presented at French institute Alliance Française (FIAF) in New York.