Simone Simon, French actress known her role in the 1942 horror film “Cat People” died Feb. 22 in Paris. She was 93.
Born in Bethune, France, Simon grew up in Marseilles and Paris and attended schools in Berlin, Budapest and Turin. Her sensual good looks brought her work as a fashion model.
She made her screen debut in 1931 in “Le Chanteur Inconnu,” which helped establish her as a favorite pin-up in France. Her best-known French film is Jean Renoir’s “La Bete Humaine”; she also appeared in Max Ophuls’ “La Ronde.”
After a dozen successful French films, Darryl F. Zanuck, the head of 20th Century Fox, brought her to Hollywood in the late 1930s. Although she had trouble mastering English, she also appeared in “Curse of the Cat People,” “The Devil and Daniel Webster” and “Johnny Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” before returning to France.
She became embroiled in a legal squabble while in Hollywood, accusing her secretary of forging checks. The secretary tried to defend herself by publicizing details of her relationships with such noted figures as composer George Gershwin.
She lived in Europe after the war and continued her film career into the early 1970s.