Micheline Presle

Micheline Presle (born Micheline Nicole Julia Émilienne Chassagne, 22 August 1922) is a French actress.

Micheline Presle
Micheline Presle in 1945
Micheline Nicole Julia Émilienne Chassagne

(1922-08-22) 22 August 1922
Paris, France
Other namesMicheline Prelle
Spouse(s)William Marshall (1950 - 1954)

Life and career

Born in Paris,[1] she wanted to be an actress from an early age. She took acting classes in her early teens and made her film debut at the age of fifteen in the 1937 production of La Fessée. In 1938 she was awarded the Prix Suzanne Bianchetti as the most promising young actress in French cinema. Her rise to European stardom, in films such as Devil in the Flesh, led to offers from Hollywood and in 1950 she was signed by 20th Century Fox.

20th Century Fox executives changed Presle's last name to Prell.[2] It was later changed to Prelle after a soap company brought out Prell shampoo.[3] Her first Hollywood production was a starring role opposite John Garfield in the film Under My Skin directed by Jean Negulesco. That same year director Fritz Lang cast her opposite Tyrone Power in the war drama American Guerrilla in the Philippines. In 1950 she became the second wife of American actor William Marshall with whom she had a daughter, Tonie. William Marshall had teamed up with actor Errol Flynn and his production company and in 1951 he directed her and Flynn in the film Adventures of Captain Fabian.

Presle's marriage did not last and she returned to France, divorcing Marshall in 1954. Her career flourished in French films and in 1957 she was a guest on the American Ed Sullivan Show. In 1959 she performed in the United Kingdom English-language production of Blind Date directed by Joseph Losey. She returned to Hollywood in 1962 for the role of Sandra Dee's mother in the Universal Studios film If a Man Answers which also featured Dee's husband, singer Bobby Darin. The following year Presle acted again in English in The Prize starring Paul Newman. She did not make another English film but after performing in more than fifty films in French, in 1989 she appeared in the French-made bilingual production I Want to Go Home for which she was nominated for the César Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role.

In 1971, Presle signed the Manifesto of the 343, publicly declaring she had an illegal abortion.[4]

Presle continues to act both in film and on television, and over her career she has made more than one hundred and fifty films. One of her more recent appearances is Venus Beauty Institute.

Selected filmography


  1. Cameron, Kate (January 23, 1949). "Chides Critic on Ratings". Daily News. New York, New York City. p. 29. Retrieved 5 June 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  2. Schallert, Edwin (March 26, 1949). "Dance Star Wins Acting Role in 'Battleground;' Prell, Widmark Paired". The Los Angeles Times. California, Los Angeles. p. 9. Retrieved 5 June 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  3. "Micheline Prelle Depends on Her Acting Ability, Not Her Beauty". St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Missouri, St. Louis. November 13, 1949. p. 66. Retrieved 5 June 2019 via Newspapers.com.
  4. "manifeste des 343". web.archive.org. 2001-04-23. Retrieved 2019-05-28.
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