Winifred Jacqueline Fraser Bisset (// BISS-it; born 13 September 1944) is an English actress. She began her film career in 1965, first coming to prominence in 1968 with roles in The Detective, Bullitt, and The Sweet Ride, for which she received a most promising newcomer Golden Globe nomination. In the 1970s, she starred in Airport (1970), Day for Night (1973) which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Deep (1977), and Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978), which earned her a Golden Globe nomination as Best Actress in a Comedy.
Bisset in September 2007
Winifred Jacqueline Fraser Bisset
13 September 1944
|Partner(s)||Michael Sarrazin |
|Awards||2010 Légion d'honneur|
Her other film and TV credits include Rich and Famous (1981), Class (1983), her Golden Globe-nominated role in Under the Volcano (1984), her Cesar-nominated role in La Cérémonie (1995), her Emmy-nominated role in the miniseries Joan of Arc (1999) and the BBC miniseries Dancing on the Edge (2013), for which she won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress (television).
Bisset was born Winifred Jacqueline Fraser Bisset in Weybridge, Surrey, England, the daughter of George Maxwell (Max) Fraser Bisset (1911–1982), a general practitioner, and Arlette Alexander (d. 1999), a lawyer-turned-housewife. Her mother was of French and English descent and her father was of Scottish descent; Bisset's mother cycled from Paris and boarded a British troop transport in order to escape the Germans during the Second World War.
Bisset grew up in Tilehurst, near Reading in Berkshire, in a 17th-century country cottage, where she now lives part of the year. She has a brother, Max. Her mother taught her to speak French fluently, and she was educated at the Lycée Français in London. She had taken ballet lessons as a child, and began taking acting lessons while working as a fashion model to pay for them. When Bisset was a teenager, her mother was diagnosed with disseminating sclerosis.
In 1967, Bisset had her first noticeable part in the Albert Finney/Audrey Hepburn vehicle Two for the Road, as a woman in whom Finney's character is romantically interested. It was made by 20th Century Fox.
Rise to fame
She gained mainstream recognition in 1968 when she replaced Mia Farrow for the role of Norma MacIver in The Detective, opposite Frank Sinatra. The film was made at Fox, whose executives had been impressed by Bisset's performance in Two for the Road.
In the same year, she co-starred with Michael Sarrazin in Fox's The Sweet Ride, which brought her a Golden Globe nomination for Most Promising Newcomer. She capped her year as Steve McQueen's girlfriend in the police drama Bullitt, which was among the top five highest-grossing films of the year.
Bisset went to France to appear in François Truffaut's Day for Night (1973), where she earned the respect of European critics and moviegoers as a serious actress. She stayed in that country to make Le Magnifique (1973) with Jean-Paul Belmondo, a hit in France but little seen in English-speaking countries.
The Deep and career peak
In 1977, Bisset gained wide publicity in America with her movie The Deep. Swimming underwater wearing only a T-shirt for a top helped make the film a box office success, leading producer Peter Guber to quip, "That T-shirt made me a rich man!" and led many to credit her with popularising the wet T-shirt contest. At the time, Newsweek declared her "the most beautiful film actress of all time". In 1978, a UK production titled Secrets that Bisset had made in 1971 was released in the United States. The movie featured the only extensive nude scenes of Bisset's career and the producers cashed in on her fame.
By 1978, she was a household name. In that year she earned a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress (Comedy) for her performance in Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?, and starred opposite Anthony Quinn in The Greek Tycoon, playing a role based on Jackie Onassis.
Bisset had the lead in some comedies: High Season (1987) and Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (1989), playing a lascivious suburban widow in the latter. She was Carré Otis' employer/educator in the controversial erotic thriller Wild Orchid (1990) with Mickey Rourke.
Bisset has appeared in many made-for-TV movies since the mid-1980s, starting with the cable adaptation of Anna Karenina with Christopher Reeve in 1985. One of her later TV movies, in 2003, was America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story, in which she portrayed Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis. Bisset's other television work includes the Biblical epics Jesus (1999) and In the Beginning (2000), and the miniseries Joan of Arc, which earned her an Emmy nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
In 1996, Bisset was nominated for a César Award for her role in the French film La Cérémonie. She appeared in the 16th-century period drama Dangerous Beauty (1998) as Catherine McCormack's mother, a retired Venetian courtesan, and had the leading role in the 2001 independent feature The Sleepy Time Gal, which premiered on the Sundance Channel and was cited by the Village Voice in its annual survey of the year's best undistributed films. In 2005, she was seen in the Domino Harvey biographical film Domino with Keira Knightley, directed by Tony Scott, in which Bisset played a fictionalized version of Paulene Stone (renamed "Sophie Wynn") whom she actually knew from her time as a model in London.
In 2006, Bisset had a recurring role on the TV series Nip/Tuck as the ruthless extortionist James. She starred in the lead role of Boaz Yakin's Death in Love which premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Later that year, she starred in the Hallmark television film An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving. She finished filming The Last Film Festival in 2010, which was the final screen appearance of Dennis Hopper.
She returned to the UK to film Stephen Poliakoff's 1930s jazz drama series, Dancing on the Edge, which started on BBC2 in 2013. For her work, she won the Golden Globe for Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film. In 2015, she co-starred with Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette in the film Miss You Already. The same year, she received a Stanislavsky Award at the 37th Moscow International Film Festival.
Bisset played a recurring role in the American TV series Counterpart in 2017.
Bisset has never married, though she has had lengthy romances with French-Canadian actor Michael Sarrazin, Moroccan real estate magnate Victor Drai, Russian dancer/actor Alexander Godunov, Swiss actor Vincent Pérez, and Turkish martial arts instructor Emin Boztepe. "There are so many misunderstandings in life. I once caused a scandal by saying I lived with two men. I didn't mean it in a sexual sense. We were just like any people sharing an apartment."
Boztepe and Perez were 18 and 20 years her junior, respectively. Bisset has said,
I remember reading an article that referred to Emin as a "toy boy" and thinking "What on earth is that?" That phrase is one of the most insulting things - it's so rude and comes from pure jealousy I think. He was younger than me, but he was so much a man that calling him a toy boy was ludicrous! And I was so embarrassed for him because it was highly inappropriate. It's also disrespectful to talk about women as cougars. It's very derogatory and silly and all part of this negative kind of thinking that I try very hard to ignore. But they do say that sexually, a man is at his height at 18 and a woman at 35, so that's nature's way. I just think that people are attracted to what they want and need for however long it works.
Bisset is godmother to actress Angelina Jolie.
|1965||The Knack ...and How to Get It||Model||Uncredited|
|1966||Drop Dead Darling||Dancer||AKA Arrivederci, Baby!|
|1967||Casino Royale||Giovanna Goodthighs|
|1967||Two for the Road||Jackie|
|1967||The Cape Town Affair||Candy|
|1968||The Sweet Ride||Vickie Cartwright||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress|
|1968||The Detective||Norma Maclver|
|1968||Bullitt||Cathy||Laurel Award for Female New Face (2nd place)|
|1969||The First Time||Anna|
|1969||Secret World||Wendy Sinclair||Original titles: L'échelle blanche AKA La Promesse|
|1970||The Grasshopper||Christine Adams||Nominated—Laurel Award for Best Female Dramatic Performance|
|1971||The Mephisto Waltz||Paula Clarkson|
|1972||Stand Up and Be Counted||Sheila Hammond|
|1972||The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean||Rose Bean|
|1973||The Thief Who Came to Dinner||Laura Keaton|
|1973||Day for Night||Julie Baker||Original title: La nuit américaine|
|1973||Le Magnifique||Tatiana/Christine||AKA How to Destroy the Reputation of the Greatest Secret Agent...|
|1974||Murder on the Orient Express||Countess Elena Andrenyi/Helena Arden|
|1975||The Spiral Staircase||Helen Mallory|
|1975||End of the Game||Anna Crawley||Original title: Der Richter und sein Henker|
|1975||The Sunday Woman||Anna Carla Dosio||Original title: La donna della domenica|
|1976||St. Ives||Janet Whistler|
|1977||The Deep||Gail Berke|
|1978||The Greek Tycoon||Liz Cassidy|
|1978||Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe?||Natasha O'Brien||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Comedy or Musical|
|1980||When Time Ran Out||Kay Kirby|
|1981||Rich and Famous||Liz Hamilton|
|1984||Under the Volcano||Yvonne Firmin||Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture|
|1984||Forbidden||Nina von Halder||Nominated—CableACE Award for Actress in a Movie or Miniseries|
|1985||Anna Karenina||Anna Karenina||Television movie|
|1986||Choices||Marisa Granger||Television movie|
|1987||High Season||Katherine Shaw|
|1988||La maison de Jade||Jane Lambert|
|1989||Scenes from the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills||Clare Lipkin|
|1990||Wild Orchid||Claudia Dennis|
|1991||The Maid||Nicole Chantrelle||Television movie|
|1991||Rossini! Rossini!||Isabella Colbran|
|1993||Corrupt Justice||Holly McPhee||AKA CrimeBroker|
|1995||La Cérémonie||Catherine Lelievre||Nominated—César Award for Best Supporting Actress|
|1996||Once You Meet a Stranger||Sheila Gaines||Television movie|
|1997||End of Summer||Christine Van Buren||Television movie|
|1998||Dangerous Beauty||Paola Franco|
|1999||Let the Devil Wear Black||Helen Lyne|
|1999||Witch Hunt||Barbara Thomas||Television movie|
|2000||Britannic||Lady Lewis||Television movie|
|2000||Les gens qui s'aiment||Angie|
|2000||Sex & Mrs. X||Madame Simone||Television movie|
|2000||In the Beginning||Sarah||Television movie|
|2001||The Sleepy Time Gal||Frances|
|2001||New Years Day||Geraldine|
|2002||Dancing at the Harvest Moon||Maggie Webber||Television movie|
|2003||America's Prince: The John F. Kennedy Jr. Story||Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis||Television movie|
|2003||Latter Days||Lila Montagne|
|2003||Swing||Christine / Mrs. DeLuca|
|2004||The Survivors Club||Carol Rosen||Television movie|
|2005||The Fine Art of Love: Mine Ha-Ha'||Headmistress|
|2005||Summer Solstice||Alexia White||Television movie|
|2006||Save the Last Dance 2||Monique Delacroix|
|2007||Carolina Moon||Margaret Lavelle||Television movie|
|2008||Death in Love||Mother|
|2008||Nick Nolte: No Exit||Herself||Documentary|
|2008||An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving||Isabella||Television movie|
Nominated—Satellite Award for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film
|2010||An Old Fashioned Christmas||Isabella||Television movie|
|2014||Welcome to New York||Simone Devereaux|
|2015||Peter and John||Unknown|
|2015||Miss You Already||Miranda|
|2016||The Last Film Festival||Claudia Benvenuti|
|2018||Backstabbing for Beginners||Christina Dupre||Filming - Releasing January 18, 2018 in Denmark|
|2019||Very Valentine||Television movie|
|TBA||Honey in the Head||Filming|
|1987||Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story||Josephine de Beauharnais||3 episodes|
|1999||Joan of Arc||Isabelle d'Arc||2 episodes|
Nominated—Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
Nominated—Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie
|1999||Hey Arnold!||Madame Parvenu||Episode: "Grudge Match/Polishing Rhonda"|
|2001–2002||Ally McBeal||Frances Shaw||2 episodes|
|2003||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Juliet Barclay||Episode: "Control"|
|2006||Nip/Tuck||James LeBeau||7 episodes|
|2009||The Eastmans||Emma Eastman||Unsold TV pilot|
|2011–2012||Rizzoli & Isles||Constance Isles||3 episodes|
|2013||Dancing on the Edge||Lady Lavinia Cremone||4 episodes|
Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film
|2018||Counterpart||Charlotte Burton||1 episode|
- Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916–2005; at ancestry.com
- "Jacqueline Bisset profile". FilmReference.com. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "NewsLibrary Search Results".
- "NewsLibrary Search Results".
- "Jacqueline Bisset Biography". movies.yahoo.com. Yahoo! Movies. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "I want to marry my toy boy". Daily Mail Weekend magazine. 14 June 2008. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Jacqueline Bisset gets her way at last with planning permission for another house". Daily Mail. 18 August 2009. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "Charlie Rose: January 28, 1997". Google. 28 January 1997. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "I want to marry my toy boy". Jacquelinebissetfans.org. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- Nancy Griffin and Kim Masters, Hit & Run: How Jon Peters and Peter Guber Took Sony for A Ride in Hollywood, Simon & Schuster, 1996, p. 85.
- Chodin (16 May 2010). "A History of the Wet T-Shirt Contest". Uproxx. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2013.
- Olivia de Havilland, Jacqueline Bisset receive French honors USA Today. 9 September 2010
- "Jacqueline Bisset back for first UK drama role in nearly 40 years" The Guardian, 30 December 2012.
- Petski, Denise (30 March 2017). "'Counterpart': Jacqueline Bisset, Stefan Kapicic, Five More Set To Recur On Starz Spy Thriller". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 September 2018.
- The Times Michael Sarrazin Obituary p67, 20 April 2011.
- Wallace, David (1 April 1985). "Just Your Ordinary Couple". People. Retrieved 25 April 2010.
- "VINCENT PEREZ : "CA FAIT DU BIEN D'ÊTRE AMOUREUX, MÊME SI ÇA NE DURE PAS"". Closer. Paris, France. 3 January 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- Schneider, Karen (23 March 1998). "Driving Miss Bisset". People magazine. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
- "Interviews » Blog Archive » Giving thanks for Jacqueline Bisset". Hollywood and Fine. 21 November 2008. Archived from the original on 12 July 2011. Retrieved 10 October 2010.
- "Actress Jacqueline Bisset admits 'I've never felt beautiful'".
- "Jolie denies trying to steal Kylie's man". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 12 April 2004. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- Shanahan, Mark; Goldstein, Meredith (27 April 2014). "Jacqueline Bisset filming movie on Nantucket". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
- McNary, Dave (7 April 2014). "Jacqueline Bisset Starring in 'Peter and John' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 4 July 2019.
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