Bernadette Lafont

Bernadette Lafont (28 October 1938 – 25 July 2013) was a French actress who appeared in more than 120 feature films.[1] She has been considered "the face of French New Wave".[2][3][4][5][6] In 1999 she told The New York Times her work was "the motor of my existence".[7]

Bernadette Lafont
Lafont in 2007
Born(1938-10-28)28 October 1938
Died25 July 2013(2013-07-25) (aged 74)
Nîmes, Gard, Languedoc-Roussillon, (France)
Years active1957-2013
Spouse(s)Gérard Blain (1957-1959)
Diourka Medveczky (1959-1973)


Bernadette Lafont had her debut in Les Mistons ("The Mischief Makers") in 1958 and became part of the Nouvelle Vague in the 1960s because of her films with François Truffaut and Claude Chabrol.[8][9] In 1986 Lafont was awarded a César Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for An Impudent Girl (L'Effrontée).[4][9] In the following year, she was again nominated, this time for Masques.[10] For her long service to the French motion picture industry, she was awarded an Honorary César in 2003 .[3][6][11] In May 2007, she chaired the jury for the fifth edition of the Award for Education presented at the 60th Cannes Film Festival.[5] She was made an Officer of the Legion of Honor on 14 July 2009.[5]

Her complete filmography includes TV shows,[3][4][12] and she also worked successfully as a stage actress.[9]

Her last film Paulette, released in 2013, was a success in and outside France.[4][9]

Personal life

Lafont had three children with her husband Diourka Medveczky: David, Elisabeth and Pauline (1963–1988).[3][4][9][13][14]

In 1971, Lafont signed the Manifesto of the 343, which publicly announced she had an illegal abortion.[15]

Selected filmography

Year Title Role Director
1958 Les Mistons Bernadette Jouve François Truffaut
Le Beau Serge Marie Claude Chabrol
La Tour, prends garde ! uncredited Georges Lampin
1959 Web of Passion Julie, the waitress Claude Chabrol
1960 Les Bonnes Femmes Jane Claude Chabrol
1961 Wise Guys Ambroisine Claude Chabrol
1962 Un clair de lune à Maubeuge Charlotte Jean Chérasse
1965 Compartiment tueurs Georgette's sister Constantin Costa-Gavras
Les Bons Vivants Sophie Georges Lautner
Pleins feux sur Stanislas Rosine Lenoble Jean-Charles Dudrumet
1967 Lamiel Pauline Jean Aurel
The Thief of Paris Marguerite, the waitress Louis Malle
1968 Le Révélateur the mother Philippe Garrel
The Lost Generation Marie András Kovács
1969 La Fiancée du pirate Marie Nelly Kaplan
1970 Elise, or Real Life Anna Michel Drach
1971 To Catch a Spy Simone Dick Clement
Out 1 Sarah Jacques Rivette and Suzanne Schiffman
1972 Such a Gorgeous Kid Like Me Camille Bliss François Truffaut
Trop jolies pour être honnêtes Bernadette Richard Balducci
1973 The Mother and the Whore Marie Jean Eustache
The Edifying and Joyous Story of Colinot Rosemonde Nina Companeez
1975 A Happy Divorce Jacqueline, the nurse Henning Carlsen
1976 Noroît Giulia Jacques Rivette
1978 Violette Nozière Violetta's cellmate Claude Chabrol
Surprise Sock Bernadette Jean-François Davy
1979 Il ladrone Appula Pasquale Festa Campanile
La Gueule de l'autre Gisèle Brossard Pierre Tchernia
1983 Cap Canaille Mireille Kebadjan Juliet Berto and Jean-Henri Roger
1984 Canicule Ségolène Yves Boisset
The Perils of Gwendoline in the Land of the Yik-Yak the Queen Just Jaeckin
1985 An Impudent Girl Léone Claude Miller
1986 Inspecteur Lavardin Hélène Mons Claude Chabrol
1987 Waiting for the Moon Fernande Olivier Jill Godmilow
Masques the masseuse Claude Chabrol
1988 Une nuit à l'Assemblée Nationale Madame Dugland Jean-Pierre Mocky
1991 Dingo Angie Cross Rolf de Heer
1996 Le Fils de Gascogne herself Pascal Aubier
1997 Genealogies of a Crime Esther Raoul Ruiz
2006 Prête-moi ta main Geneviève Costa Éric Lartigau
2007 Les Petites vacances Danièle Olivier Peyon
Broken English Madame Grenelle Zoe Cassavetes
Nos 18 ans Adèle Frédéric Berthe
2008 48 heures par jour Mélina Catherine Castel
2012 Paulette Paulette Jérôme Enrico
2013 Attila Marcel


  1. "Bernadette Lafont". Retrieved 2013-07-17.
  2. "France: Actress Lafont dies in hospital". 2013-07-26. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  3. "Actress Bernadette Lafont, face of French New Wave, dies at 74". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  4. Snitzer, Barbie (2013-07-25). "Adieu Bernadette Lafont". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  5. Naderzad, Ali (2013-07-26). "A French icon dies". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  6. Tartaglione, Nancy (2012-07-25). "R.I.P. Bernadette Lafont". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  7. Knorr, Katherine (1997-11-15). "Bernadette Lafont:Unwinding the Reels". The New York Times. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  8. "Bernadette Lafont". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  9. Bergan, Ronald (2013-07-26). "Bernadette Lafont obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  10. "Bernadette Lafont Biography". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  11. "French Nouvelle Vague actress Bernadette Lafont dies at 74". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  12. "Bernadette Lafont". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  13. "Bernadette Lafont Biography". Archived from the original on 2014-04-19. Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  14. "Bernadette Lafont Biography". Retrieved 2013-07-27.
  15. "manifeste des 343". 2001-04-23. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
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