Saturday 17 August 2019

Michele Morgan - the first winner of Cannes' best actress award - dies aged 96

Morgan starred with Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra in a wide-ranging movie career (AP)
Morgan starred with Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra in a wide-ranging movie career (AP)

Michele Morgan, a French actress who starred with Humphrey Bogart and Frank Sinatra and was the first winner of Cannes' best actress award, has died aged 96.

French president Francois 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.

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.

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

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.

PA Media

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