BiographyMaisons-Laffitte, Seine-et-Oise, France
Born in Maisons-Laffitte on 5-5-1920, Andrée Debar grew up in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg where she graduated from high school. Living in this tiny but bilingual country and having an English grandmother gave Andrée a definite advantage : being able to speak fluently French, German and English, to which she later added Italian by dint of working for Roman studios. Still in Luxembourg, feeling the urge to become an actress, she attended the Conservatory of Music and Comedy. Read more... 1949 when, thanks to Jean Cocteau, she was given the opportunity to be part a prestigious tour in Egypt. Cinema noticed her even before, and she made her debut as of 1940 in a short and as of 1946 in the feature film in two parts They Are Not Angels (1947). Her figure, willowy and elegant, was an asset but might not have been enough to make her stand out in the crowd of all those starlets wishing to make a plash in the movies. What attracted the producers, directors and talent scouts was her unusual - almost masculine - look. As a matter of fact she was at her best when the strange mix of femininity and masculinity in her were exploited to their full potential. She is fascinating in two films by the director who best captured her physical ambiguity, 'Jacqueline Audry' in La garçonne (1957) and Le secret du Chevalier d'Éon (1959). What a pity André Debar decided to quit acting after the latter film. She could have done more troubling things during the bolder 1960s and 1970s. But Andrée Debar turned to film production instead - until 1977. And after this date, she gave a final farewell to cinema, preferring to open an antique shop with her old friend Sophie Desmarets as her partner. When she died of Alzheimer's disease in 1999, Andrée Debar and her androgynous beauty were totally forgotten. She deserved better.