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Carole Bouquet Biography

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Birth Name: Carole Bouquet
Born: 08/18/1957
Birth Place: France

Bouquet was born on Aug. 18, 1957 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, a suburb of Paris, France. When she was three years old, her mother left the family and returned to her native village near Toulon, leaving Bouquet and her older sister to be raised by their father, Robert, a taciturn disciplinarian who worked as an aeronautical engineer. Bouquet saw her mother on holidays and learned years later that her father had fought hard for custody, something her mother dared not to oppose. Meanwhile, when she was 15, Bouquet enrolled at the Sorbonne and studied philosophy, but later transferred to the Paris Conservatory where she trained as an actor. A stunningly natural beauty who attracted attention even as a teenager, Bouquet made her film debut at 18 years old with a leading role in Luis Bunuel's "That Obscure Object of Desire" (1977) with Angela Molina. From there, she co-starred with star Gerard Depardieu in Bertrand Blier's black comedy, "Buffet froid" ("Cold Cuts") (1979), and played a European journalist opposite '70s punk rocker, Richard Hell, in the West German-American co-production "Blank Generation" (1980).

Leaving the confines of artsy European-style filmmaking, Bouquet was cast as the Bond Girl in "For Your Eyes Only" (1981), one of the better installments during Roger Moore's tenure as 007. As Melina Havelock, the vengeance-minded daughter of marine archeologists murdered by villain Aristotle Kristatos (Julian Glover), Bouquet delivered a strong and rather nuanced performance uncharacteristic for the role she played. Given that the film was a return to the more grounded espionage of the earlier Bond movies, it was no surprise that her character was given a little more depth. In the end, however, her performance received mixed reviews, particularly from those wanting more gadgets and bikinis. Though she had been introduced to U.S. audiences through Bond, Bouquet chose instead to make more European films throughout the 1980s and 1990s, playing a disturbed mental patient in the West German fantasy "Day of the Idiots" (1982) and the titular prostitute in the Italian thriller "Dagger Eyes" (1983). Returning to her native country, she made a number of French films like "Le Bon roi Dagobert" (1984), "Double Messieurs" (1986) and "Jenatsch" (1987).

At this time, Bouquet was grieving the loss of what she called her first great love, Lebanese film producer Jean-Pierre Rassam, whose gigantic appetite for alcohol and drugs led to his death from an barbiturate overdose in 1985 at the age of 43. Reuniting with Depardieu, she starred in the comedic drama "Too Beautiful for You" (1989) and starred in Francis Ford Coppola's "Life Without Zoe" installment to "New York Stories" (1989), an anthology movie co-directed with Martin Scorsese and Woody Allen, all while serving as a model for Chanel No. 5. Following starring turns in "Tango" (1993), "A Business Affair" (1994) co-starring Christopher Walken and Jonathan Pryce, and "Dead Tired" (1995), she delivered one of her best performances of the decade as a courageous wife who tries to save her husband from a firing squad in the World War II-set "Lucie Aubrac" (1997). Also at the time, Bouquet began a longtime companionship with Gerard Depardieu nearly 20 years after first working with one another. Like all the other men in her life, Depardieu had titanic appetites that often overshadowed their relationship. They were engaged to marry in 2003, but ultimately split in 2005.

Following a dramatic turn as the wife of an out-of-work husband (Depardieu) in "The Bridge" (1999), Bouquet turned to action opposite Jean Reno in "Wasabi" (2001). She had supporting turns in "Blanche" (2002) and the comedy "Bienvenue Chez Les Rozes" (2004), and was the missing wife of a man (Jean-Pierre Darroussin) who comes across an escaped fugitive (Vincent Deniard) in the tense thriller "Red Lights" (2004). In a rare appearance on American television, Bouquet was a guest star in the "An American Girl in Paris: Part Deux" episode of "Sex & the City" (HBO, 1998-2004), and went on to star in a number of French-made films like "L'Enfer" (2005), "Housewarming" (2005), "The Perfect Friend" (2006) and "Perfect Match" (2008). In 2008, while appearing on stage in the Jean Racine tragedy "Berenice," Bouquet found herself on the cover of every newspaper for an alleged affair with French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who long had a reputation for carrying on with other women. The rumors spread from her involvement in an anti-child abuse charity that led to direct contact with the president. The two were photographed having dinner together, which sparked the tabloid frenzy. Nothing of substance ever came of the rumors. Meanwhile, she appeared on screen with turns in "Libre Echange" (2010) and the thriller "Unforgiveable" (2011).

By Shawn Dwyer