Josette Day

Josette Day (Paris, July 31, 1914 - Paris, June 27, 1978) was a French film actress.

Josette Day
Josette Noëlle Andrée Claire Dagory

(1914-07-31)July 31, 1914
Paris, France
DiedJune 27, 1978(1978-06-27) (aged 63)
Paris, France
Other namesJosette Solvay
Years active1919–1950
Spouse(s)Maurice Solvay
Partner(s)Marcel Pagnol
ChildrenHinano Tiatia Dagory (adopted daughter)[1]

Born Josette Noëlle Andrée Claire Dagory, she began her career as a child actress in 1919 at the age of five. When she was 18, Day was the mistress of Paul Morand and later was in a relationship with famous French writer and director Marcel Pagnol, whom she met in January 1939 and lasted part of World War II. She did not marry him [2][3][4][5]

In 1946, she played her best-known role, alongside Jean Marais, as Belle in Jean Cocteau's 1946 film Beauty and the Beast.

Her films include Allo Berlin? Ici Paris! (1932), The Merry Monarch (based on Les Aventures du roi Pausole) (1933), Lucrèce Borgia (1935), L'homme du jour (1937), Accord final (1938), La Belle et la Bête (1946) and Les Parents terribles (1948).

Despite numerous parts in famous French films, Day ended her career as an actress in 1950 when only 36 years old. She retired to marry wealthy chemical businessman Maurice Solvay (descendant of Ernest Solvay, founder of the notable Solvay company). In February 1959, while on cruise in the Pacific, she and Solvay met a Tahitian girl at a Papeete market named Hinano Tiatia, whom the couple took under legal guardianship and who was the center of Solvay's inheritance dispute having not been adopted at the time of his sudden death in 1960.[6][7][8][9]

Selected filmography


  1. MyHeritage Family Trees: Ernest Gaston Joseph Solvay. Dagory Website managed by Hinano Dagory at
  2. "Marcel Pagnol: Les Amours". Marcel Pagnol official website
  3. Amar,Corinne (November 2015). "Marcel Pagnol: Portrait".
  4. Williams, James S. (2006). Jean Cocteau. p. 63.
  5. Rège, Philippe (2010). "Pagnol, Marcel". Encyclopedia of French Film Directors, Volume 1. p. 790.
  6. "Tahitian Tot Falls Heir to Millions". The Miami News. June 24, 1960. p. 4A.
  7. "Cinderella From Tahiti" (PDF). Parade. February 5, 1961. p. 6.
  8. "The mud pie heiress to $200 m. fortune". The Straits Times. June 28, 1960. p. 1.
  9. "Streit um eine Erbschaft von 300 Millionen DM". Hamburger Abenblatt. 1960. (in German)
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