Simone Signoret is the first French woman to win the Oscar for best actress, he is an icon of cinema. Simone Signoret and Yves Montand form a mythical couple in life as on screen.

Simone Signoret and Yves Montant
Simone Signoret and Yves Montant

Madly in love

It all starts with love at first sight. In August 1949, under the radiant sun of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, in the south of France, in the shade of the café La Colombe d’or, the headquarters of their mutual friend, the writer Jacques Prévert. Livi, whose real name is Yves Montand, is the son of an Italian immigrant who fled fascism. At the time, he had just separated from Edith Piaf and had met with great success since performing Les Feuilles Mortes. The lovers married in December 1951. They tried several times to start a family, but Simone Signoret had two miscarriages and ended up giving up the idea of ​​becoming a mother a second time. Simone cannot do without Yves even though she knows that he is fickle and that he multiplies his conquests. The actress suffers from it but she is madly in love and cannot imagine her life without him, especially since they are fighting together in another area: politics.

The danger Marilyn

At the end of December 1959, the couple left Paris for Hollywood and the shooting of the film The Billionaire. They put their suitcases in a bungalow opposite that of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe. After a few weeks, Simone Signoret has to go back to Europe to shoot a film and leaves her husband who gets dangerously close to Marilyn. The sulphurous blonde and the French playboy spend their days together and soon their nights. Marilyn Monroe is captivated and Yves Montand bewitched. « There emanated from her a light that we could not resist. If you believe in God, you can say that it is God alone who produces this light that does not control the one she lives in », explains the actor. The two lovers try to hide their affair but they are quickly unmasked. Yves Montand realizes that Marilyn fell in love with him when he never considered leaving Simone. « It’s very simple, I can’t live without Simone. She’s an exceptional woman, » he confides. An exceptional woman who suffers terribly but ends up forgiving. « Do you know many of the men who would have resisted Marilyn ? » she will say later.

Reunited forever

The following years will be more complicated… If she puts up with it, Yves Montand’s double life is increasingly burdensome for Simone Signoret, she drinks and smokes a lot, ages prematurely and takes refuge in writing. She died in 1985 of cancer; he survived her by six years, rebuilt his life and became a father for the first time. But the two lovers are reunited forever in the Parisian cemetery of Père Lachaise;

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