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Martine Carol

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Martine Carol
Carol in 1953 (Studio Harcourt)
Marie-Louise Jeanne Nicolle Mourer

(1920-05-16)16 May 1920
Saint-Mandé, France
Died6 February 1967(1967-02-06) (aged 46)
Monte Carlo, Monaco
Other namesMarise Arley, Martine Carole, Marie-Louise Maurer
Years active1941–1967
(m. 1948; div. 1953)
(m. 1954; div. 1959)
André Rouveix
(m. 1959; div. 1962)
Mike Eland
(m. 1966)

Martine Carol (born Marie-Louise Jeanne Nicolle Mourer; 16 May 1920 – 6 February 1967) was a French film actress. She frequently was cast as an elegant blonde seductress. During the late 1940s and early 1950s, she was the leading sex symbol and a top box-office draw of French cinema, and she was considered a French version of America's Marilyn Monroe. One of her more famous roles was as the title character in Lola Montès (1955), directed by Max Ophüls, in a role that required dark hair. However, by the late 1950s, roles for Carol had become fewer, partly because of the introduction of Brigitte Bardot.

Early life[edit]

Born Maryse Mourer[1][2] (or Marie-Louise Jeanne Nicolle Mourer) in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne, she studied acting under René Simon, making her stage début in 1940.[citation needed]

After uncredited bits in The Last of the Six (1941) and The Strangers in the House (1942) she had her credited movie part in 1943, La ferme aux loups.


Carol had support roles in L'extravagante mission (1945), Bifur 3 (1945) and Trente et quarante (1946), then was in Miroir (1947) with Jean Gabin, and Voyage surprise (1947). She achieved fame on stage in a production of Tobacco Road.[3] Carol received a lot of publicty because of her private life.[4]

She had the female lead in En êtes-vous bien sûr? (1947) with Robert Dhéry and followed it with Carré de valets (1947) and La fleur de l'âge (1947) for Marcel Carne. Carol was in Sextette (1948) for Robert Hennion and had a support part in The Lovers of Verona (1949), a version of Romeo and Juliet from André Cayatte, playing a movie star. She had the female lead in I Like Only You (1949) for Pierre Montazel and played herself in We Will All Go to Paris (1950).


Carol starred in Une nuit de noces (1950), Beware of Blondes (1950) and 'the popular historical comedy Dear Caroline (1951) which was controversial because of outfits she wore.[5] The film turned Carol into a star and all the scenes where she had showers led her to be nicknamed "The Cleanest Woman in Paris".[6] She played a movie star in the French-Spanish film Love and Desire (1952) and had the lead in Adorable Creatures (1952), directed by Christian-Jaque who became her husband in 1954.

Carol co starred with Gerard Philippe in Beauties of the Night (1952) for Rene Clair.[7]

Carol played the title role in A Caprice of Darling Caroline (1953), a sequel to Darling Caroline. She played a series of true life women:Lucrèce Borgia (1953) as Lucrezia Borgia, a big local hit, and Madame du Barry (1954), as Madame du Barry for Christian-Jaque.[8] She played herself in Boum sur Paris (1953).

Carol had the title role in Nana (1955) from the novel by Emile Zola, alongside Charles Boyer. A contemporary article called her the French "Queen of Sex".[9] She was in two all star anthology film,s, Daughters of Destiny (1954), as Lysistrata with her segment directed by her husband and co starring Raf Vallone, and The Bed (1954). She reteamed with Vallone in the Italian comedy The Beach (1954).[10]

International career[edit]

Carol in Action of the Tiger (1957)

Carol took the female lead in The French, They Are a Funny Race (1955), the last film from director Preston Sturges, alongside Jack Buchanan. The movie was shot in English and French versions and was a hit in France but not in English speaking countries.[11]

Carol played Lola Montez in Lola Montès (1955) for Max Ophuls opposite Peter Ustinov and Anton Walbrook.[12] This was the most expensive European film at the time, and was shot in French, English and German. It was considered a box office disappointment but was widely seen.[13] She was linked to a possible Hollywood film Lord Vanity at Fox but it was never made.

Carol made Defend My Love (1956), an Italian comedy with Gabriele Ferzetti, and had a cameo in Around the World in 80 Days (1956).

Carol's first proper English language film was Action of the Tiger (1957) with Van Johnson directed by Terence Young.[14][15] Carol starred in an Italian-French comedy film for her husband, Nathalie (1957) which was popular enough for a sequel, Nathalie, Secret Agent (1959). In between these she went to Tahiti to star in an Australian-French adventure tale, The Stowaway (1958), alongside Roger Livesey and Karl Boehm, which was shot in English and French versions.[16]

Carol starred in Venetian Honeymoon (1959) with Vittorio de Sica and Claudia Cardinale then was the lead in a Hollywood movie shot in Germany, Ten Seconds to Hell (1959) with Jeff Chandler and Jack Palance for director Robert Aldrich.[17] She was Joséphine de Beauharnais in Abel Gance's The Battle of Austerlitz (1960), very popular in France.

Later career[edit]

Carol was one of several stars in Love and the Frenchwoman (1961) then starred in One Night on the Beach (1961). She supported Jean Gabin in The Counterfeiters of Paris (1961) and made The Betrayer (1962) for Roberto Rossellini. Carol then made Operation Gold Ingot (1962), and Beach Casanova (1962) with Curt Jurgens.

Carol's final film was Hell Is Empty (1967), a British movie alongside Anthony Steel, James Robertson Justice and Shirley Ann Field. It began filming in 1965 under the direction of Bernard Knowles. It was Martine Carol's first movie in three years.[18] Filming was suspended due to lack of funds.[19] Carol died of a heart attack in February 1967[20] and production resumed under the direction of John Ainsworth after her death.[21]

Personal life[edit]

Despite her fame and fortune, Martine Carol's personal life was filled with turmoil that included a suicide attempt, drug abuse, and four marriages. She also was kidnapped by gangster Pierre Loutrel (also known as Pierrot le Fou or Crazy Pete), albeit briefly and received roses the next day as an apology.[citation needed]

Carol was married four times, including:

Carol died unexpectedly of a heart attack in a hotel room in Monte Carlo at the age of 46.[23] She was first buried in Paris's Père Lachaise Cemetery, but after her grave was vandalized—some media reported that she had been interred with her jewels—was reburied in the Grand Jas Cemetery of Cannes (square n°3).[24]


Year Title Role Director Notes
1941 The Last of the Six Une femme Georges Lacombe uncredited
1942 The Strangers in the House Une spectatrice aux Assises Henri Decoin uncredited
1943 La ferme aux loups Micky Richard Pottier
1945 Bifur 3 Germaine Maurice Cam
L'extravagante mission Stella Star Henri Calef
1946 Trente et quarante Madeleine Bitterlin Gilles Grangier
1947 Mirror Lulu Raymond Lamy
Mystery Trip Isabelle Grosbois Pierre Prévert
Are You Sure? Caroline Jacques Houssin
Four Knaves Catherine Bonpain André Berthomieu
La fleur de l'âge Marcel Carné
1948 Memories Are Not for Sale Sonia Robert Hennion
1949 The Lovers of Verona Bettina Verdi André Cayatte
I Like Only You Irène Pierre Montazel
1950 We Will All Go to Paris Martine Carol Jean Boyer
Wedding Night Sidonie de Valpurgis René Jayet
Beware of Blondes Olga Schneider André Hunebelle
1951 Darling Caroline Caroline de Bièvre Richard Pottier
1952 Love and Desire Martine - la star Henri Decoin
Adorable Creatures Minouche Christian-Jaque
Beauties of the Night Edmee René Clair
1953 A Caprice of Darling Caroline Caroline de Bièvre Jean Devaivre
Lucrèce Borgia Lucrèce Borgia Christian-Jacque
Boum sur Paris Herself Maurice de Canonge
1954 Destinées Lysistrata Christian-Jacque segment: "Lysistrata"
Royal Affairs in Versailles La duchesse de Bouillon Sacha Guitry scenes deleted
The Beach Anna Maria Mentorsi Alberto Lattuada
The Bed Agnès de Rungis Ralph Habib
Henri Decoin
Gianni Franciolini
Jean Delannoy
segment: "Lit de la Pompadour"
Madame du Barry Madame du Barry Christian-Jacque
1955 Nana Nana Christian-Jacque
Les Carnets du Major Thompson Martine Thompson Preston Sturges
Lola Montès Lola Montès Max Ophüls
1956 Difendo il mio amore Elisa Leonardi Giulio Macchi
Around the World in 80 Days Girl in Paris Railroad Station Michael Anderson cameo
1957 Action of the Tiger Tracy Malvoisie Terence Young
Nathalie Nathalie Princesse Christian-Jaque
1958 The Stowaway Colette Lee Robinson and Ralph Habib
1959 Venetian Honeymoon Isabelle dos Santos Alberto Cavalcanti
Ten Seconds to Hell Margot Hofer Robert Aldrich
Nathalie, Secret Agent Nathalie Princesse Henri Decoin
1960 Austerlitz Joséphine de Beauharnais Abel Gance
Love and the Frenchwoman Eliane Girard Michel Boisrond
René Clair
Henri Decoin
Jean Delannoy
Jean-Paul Le Chanois
Henri Verneuil
segment: "Femme seule"
1961 Un soir sur la plage Georgina Michel Boisrond
The Counterfeiters of Paris Solange Mideau Gilles Grangier
Vanina Vanini Contessa Vitelleschi Roberto Rossellini
1962 Operation Gold Ingot Kathy Georges Lautner
I Don Giovanni della Costa Azzurra Nadine Leblanc Vittorio Sala
1966 Lasciapassare per l'inferno George Fuller
1967 Hell Is Empty Martine Grant Bernard Knowles Released Posthumously


  1. ^ The New Yorker, Volume 32, Issues 15-27, p 306
  2. ^ James Monaco (1991). The Encyclopedia of Film. James Monaco, James Pallot (editors). Perigee Books. p. 98. ISBN 9780399516047.
  3. ^ "Parisian Star Went. Cool on "Hot" Role". The Evening Advocate. Queensland, Australia. 23 April 1947. p. 5. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "Marlene is back with ex-beau". The Sun. No. 11, 829. New South Wales, Australia. 24 December 1947. p. 22 (Late Final Extra). Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  5. ^ "The ordeal of Caroline". The Daily News. Vol. LXXI, no. 24, 405. Western Australia. 4 July 1953. p. 4 (Sports). Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Mallin, Jay (4 January 1956). "Outside US, Nudes is Good Newds at the BO". Variety. p. 66.
  7. ^ "Enticing, Fascinating". The Argus (Melbourne). No. 33, 320. Victoria, Australia. 19 June 1953. p. 16. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  8. ^ "French Films 52% of French Market". Variety. 19 January 1955. p. 12.
  9. ^ "Martine Carol is France's sexiest siren..." The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 24, no. [?]. Australia, Australia. 5 December 1956. p. 28. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Italian Drama". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 23, no. [?]. Australia, Australia. 15 February 1956. p. 45. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  11. ^ Nat Segaloff, Final Cuts: The Last Films of 50 Great Directors, Bear Manor Media 2013 p 281-283
  12. ^ "She Baths in Bubbly – At £500 a Time". The Mirror. Vol. 35, no. 1766. Western Australia. 2 April 1955. p. 3. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  13. ^ Martina Müller, Werner Dütsch: Lola Montez – Eine Filmgeschichte. In: Stefan Drößler (ed.): Lola Montez. Filmmuseum München, München 2002, p. 6.
  14. ^ Chapman, J. (2022). The Money Behind the Screen: A History of British Film Finance, 1945-1985. Edinburgh University Press p 359
  15. ^ "Outdoor roles for Van and Martine". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 24, no. 32. Australia, Australia. 9 January 1957. p. 26. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  16. ^ "Martine Carol". The Australian Women's Weekly. Vol. 25, no. 20. Australia, Australia. 23 October 1957. p. 57. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  17. ^ Merrick, James W. (August 10, 1958). "Heartier Horse Opera Heroines". The New York Times. p. X5.
  18. ^ "Martine Has All Clothes in This Role". Los Angeles Times. 27 December 1965. p. D17.
  19. ^ David Wynne-Morgan. London Life. July 30, 1966. Pages 10, 12
  20. ^ "Martine Carol, French Actress – Screen Star Who Appeared in Over 40 Films Dies". The New York Times. 7 February 1967. p. 39. Retrieved May 3, 2023.
  21. ^ "Hell Is Empty". Monthly Film Bulletin. Vol. 37, no. 432. London. January 1, 1970. p. 226.
  22. ^ a b c Mann, Roderick (June 5, 1966). "Martine: 'I've Always Had Trouble with Men'". The Miami Herald. Florida, Miami. The London Express. p. 3 H. Retrieved January 19, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
  23. ^ "Martine Carol Dies". The Canberra Times. Vol. 41, no. 11, 606. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 7 February 1967. p. 1. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
  24. ^ "Grave plundered". The Canberra Times. Vol. 41, no. 11, 622. Australian Capital Territory, Australia. 25 February 1967. p. 1. Retrieved 3 May 2023 – via National Library of Australia.
Martine Carol's grave at the cimetière du Grand Jas in Cannes
  • Chapuy, Arnaud (2001). Martine Carol filmée par Christian-Jaque : un phénomène du cinéma populaire. Paris: L'Harmattan.


  • Debot, Georges (1979). Martine Carol ou la vie de Martine chérie. Préface de Mary Marquet. Paris: France-Empire.
  • Cohen, André-Charles (1986). Martine chérie. Collection photographique de Jean-Charles Sabria. Préface de Cécil Saint-Laurent. Paris: Ramsay.

External links[edit]