Lyne Chardonnet (Lyne Catherine Jeanne Chardonnet)
Photos with Lyne Chardonnet
One could have thought Lyne Chardonnet had been blessed by the gods and would live a long successful happy life. For she really had everything to make it. A wasp-waisted blond-haired girl of radiant beauty, with a good drama training, she should have become a movie star and she would have been one if she had been born twenty years before, that is before the French New Wave set new standards, when ingénues like her were still in demand. Read more... Michel Deville's elegant 'Benjamin' alongside Pierre Clémenti as virgin Benjamin and Michel Piccoli as his mentor (1967), or tragic Marie Vetsera's younger sister in Terence Young's version of 'Mayerling' (1968). However, despite this encouraging debut, roles soon dwindled to next to nothing: a few brief appearances as a blond hostess, a blond secretary or even as a (blond?) nun! Lyne Chardonnet sure deserved better. She had born in Paris in the last years of World War II to a fakir, Léopold Chardonnet, and his wife, Ellen Shapiro, of Irish origin. At the age of five, Lyne was already taking dancing lessons. After graduating from high school she studied drama at the Conservatoire de Paris, with prestigious teachers (Henri Rollan, Fernand Ledoux and Robert Manuel). She left the place equipped with a classic comedy and a modern comedy prize. She started her acting career in 1965 in front of the cameras of Alain Resnais, for whom she played a role she would later have to repeat over and over again, that of the pretty blonde. From then on she was busy working hard in the movies, on television (her best part being Herminie in the series 'Les gens de Mogador') and at the theater (where contrary to the cinema, she was always given rewarding parts in plays by Musset, Rostand, Labiche and many others). She married twice, once (very very briefly) with Paul-Loup Sulitzer, the best-seller writer, and the second time (more happily) with writer-actor-director Jacques Cortal. They had a daughter together, Léa, born in 1974. Lyne worked and worked and she was doing fine (at least on TV and on the boards) when the gods decided to abandon her. In 1980, whereas she was only 36 she suddenly died of liver cancer. Two months beforehand, she was still active, completing her scenes in the TV movie 'Le mystère de Saint Charlu'. Léa was only six and Jacques, her faithful life companion, was annihilated. He later devoted two films to her memory, a short 'Le dernier jour' and much later (2002), a feature-length fictionalized version of her final days 'Quand je vois le soleil'.