Marie-José Benhalassa (22 April 1940 – 10 October 2019), known professionally as Marie-José Nat, was a French actress. Among her notable works in cinema were the sequel films Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Jean-Marc and Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Françoise (1963), directed by André Cayatte. In 1974, she received a Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actress for her performance in the film Violins at the Ball.
Nat at the 55th Cannes Film Festival in May 2002
22 April 1940
|Died||10 October 2019 79) (aged|
(m. 1960; div. 1961)
(m. 1964; div. 1981)
(m. 2005; her death 2019)
Early life and family
In 1960, she married the actor Roger Dumas and divorced him in 1962. She then married French director Michel Drach with whom she had three sons, David, Julien and Aurélien. They divorced in 1981. She had a relationship of several years with the actor Victor Lanoux. On 30 September 2005 she married the painter, writer and songwriter Serge Rezvani in her third marriage.
Benhalassa began her career as a cover-girl and haute-couture model. In 1955, she won a competition from the magazine Femmes d'aujourd'hui which allowed her to become Jean-Claude Pascal's partner in a photo comics entitled L'amour est un songe.
Denys de La Patellière offered her her first major role in 1959 in Rue des prairies alongside Jean Gabin, in which she played his daughter. The following year, she performed in a comedy sketch by René Clair alongside Claude Rich and Yves Robert, and obtained a major role in La Vérité by Henri-Georges Clouzot, playing Brigitte Bardot's rival opposite Sami Frey.
In 1965, she married filmmaker Michel Drach; they had three children and divorced in 1981. She starred in several of her husband's films: Amelie or The Time to Love (1961), Elise, or Real Life (1970) and Les violons du bal (1974), inspired by his childhood experiences during World War II. She was also known for Train of Life (1998), Litan (1982) and The Dacians (1966) with Jean Sorel, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Victor Lanoux and Bernadette Lafont as acting partners.
Awards and honours
She was made a chevalier of the Légion d'honneur on 31 December 2004, chevalier of the Ordre national du Mérite on 18 November 2002 and promoted to the rank of officer on 14 November 2011, commandeur of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as a member of the conseil de l'ordre of which she was a member from 1 March 2001 until April 2012
- 1958: Virage dangereux by John Boynton Priestley, directed by Raymond Rouleau, Théâtre Michel
- 1959: Blaise by Claude Magnier, directed by Jacques Mauclair, Théâtre des Nouveautés
- 1966: Médor by Roger Vitrac, directed by Maurice Jacquemont, with Bernard Noël, studio des Champs-Élysées
- 1984: Désiré by Sacha Guitry, directed by Jean-Claude Brialy, with Jean-Claude Brialy an Bernadette Lafont, Théâtre Édouard VII
- 1985: Voisin voisine after Jerome Chodorov directed by Pierre Mondy, with Victor Lanoux, Théâtre du Palais-Royal, then in 1986 at Théâtre Montansier
- 1990: Avec ou sans arbres by Jeannine Worms, directed by Albert-André Lheureux, with Henri Garcin, Théâtre Hébertot
- Crime and Punishment (1956) - La jeune fille du bal (uncredited)
- Women's Club (1956)
- Donnez-moi ma chance (1957) - Rosine
- Arènes joyeuses (1958) - Violette
- Vous n'avez rien à déclarer? (1959) - Lise
- Secret professionnel (1959) - Elvire
- Rue des prairies (1959) - Odette Neveux
- Vive le duc! (1960) - Cécile
- Love and the Frenchwoman (1960) - The bride (segment "Mariage, Le")
- The Truth (1960) - Annie Marceau
- The Menace (1961) - Josépha
- Amelie or The Time to Love (1961) - Amélie
- The Seven Deadly Sins (1962) - La jeune femme (segment "Colère, La")
- Sentimental Education (1962) - Anne Arnoux
- Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Jean-Marc (1964) - Françoise Dubreuil
- Anatomy of a Marriage: My Days with Françoise (1964) - Françoise Dubreuil
- La bonne occase (1965) - Béatrice
- A Woman in White (1965) - Claude Sauvage
- Dacii (1966) - Electre
- Diamond Safari (1966) - Meda - Decebalus' Daughter
- Mon amour, mon amour (1967) - Minor Role (uncredited)
- Le Paria (1969) - Lucia
- L'Opium et le Bâton (1969) - Farroudja
- Elise, or Real Life (1970) - Elise Le Tellier
- Embassy (1972) - Laure
- Kruiswegstraat 6 (1973) - Françoise Verbrugge
- Violins at the Ball (1974) - Elle (La femme et la mère de Michel) / Michel's wife
- Dis-moi que tu m'aimes (1974) - Charlotte Le Royer
- The Simple Past (1977) - Cécile
- La disubbidienza (1981) - Mrs. Manzi
- Anna (1981) - Anna
- Litan (1982) - Nora
- Black River (1991) - Mme Ginette
- Le nombril du monde (1993) - Oumi
- La nuit du destin (1997) - Mme Slimani
- Train of Life (1998) - Sura
- Colette, une femme libre (2004, TV Mini-Series) - Sido
- Le cadeau d'Elena (2004) - Elena
Nat also worked extensively in television series and dramas.
- "L'actrice Marie-José Nat est décédée à l'âge de 79 ans". Corse-Matin. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- "Marie-José Nat, actrice phare des années 1960 et 1970, est décédée". Ouest-France. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
- Who's Who in France, édition 2015,p. 1665.
- "Je n'ai pas oublié de Marie-José Nat". le site evene.fr. Retrieved 11 October 2019..
- Marie-José Nat on bifi.fr.
- "Mort à 79 ans de Marie-José Nat, la beauté brune du cinéma français". lefigaro.fr. 10 October 2019. Retrieved 11 October 2019..
- "Festival de Cannes: Violins at the Ball". www.festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
- Décret du 31 décembre 2004 portant promotion et nomination.
- Décret du 14 novembre 2011 portant promotion et nomination.
- Who's Who in France, édition 2013,p. 1631.
- Arrêté du 1er mars 2001 portant nomination au conseil de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
- Arrêté du 17 février 1996 portant nomination au conseil de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
- Déclaration du ministre de la Culture et de la Communication, 2 April 2012.