Geneviève Page

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Geneviève Page
Page in 1963
Geneviève Bonjean

(1927-12-13) 13 December 1927 (age 96)
Alma mater
Years active1951-2003 (film)
1943-1998 (theater)
Known forThe Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
Jean Claude-Bujard
(m. 1959)

Geneviève Page (born Geneviève Bonjean; 13 December 1927)[1][2][3] is a French actress with a film career spanning fifty years and also numerous English-speaking film productions. She is the daughter of French art collector Jacques Paul Bonjean (1899–1990).

Early life[edit]

She was born to a family of aesthetes, like Jacques Bonjean, who collected art from 17-century France, her mother Germaine (born Lipman) Bonjean,[3] and her godfather Christian Dior. At the age of six, her godfather was poor and played the piano with Page's mother, and he even talked to Page about talking to adults. She recalls, "He had no money at the time, and drew hats for big houses. He had lunch every other day at home and played the piano, with my mother in my room, with four hands. I took refuge in the bathroom to learn my lessons." At the age of twelve, Page read some works by Voltaire, and to her mother's surprise, her father replied "If she can't read Voltaire, she can't read anyone." Despite this, she was a very talented young girl, playing Musset at Théâtre National Populaire and entering the Conservatory.[4]


Her film début was in Pas de pitié pour les femmes (1951), followed by Fanfan la Tulipe (1952), in which she played Madame de Pompadour alongside Gérard Philipe and Gina Lollobrigida. Since then, she has appeared in Italian, French, British and American films. She co-starred with Robert Mitchum and Ingrid Thulin in Foreign Intrigue (1956), Dirk Bogarde and Capucine in Song Without End (1960), Charlton Heston and Sophia Loren in El Cid (1961), and was seen in Grand Prix (1966) with James Garner and Belle de Jour (1967), with Catherine Deneuve and directed by Luis Buñuel. She appeared with Deneuve again when she played Countess Larisch in Mayerling (1968), also co-starring with Ava Gardner and James Mason.

Billy Wilder cast her as the mysterious villain in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970), her best known role because the character she played used her sex appeal to manipulate Holmes.[5] She appeared in Robert Altman's Beyond Therapy (1987) and continued to act until 2003.


She acted in 1943 in Le Soulier de Satin and in Oh! Le Beaux Jours, both of which were directed by Jean-Louis Barrault Madeleine Renaud Co.[6][7] Her theater career continued in the 1980s and 1990s, with Les larmes amères de Petra von Kant (The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant) (1980), Lan nuit de rois (Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare), La femme sur le lit (The Woman on the Bed, Franco Brusati) 1994, Delicate Balance (1998).[3]

Selected filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Director
1952 Fanfan la Tulipe Madame de Pompadour Christian-Jaque
1953 Open Letter Colette Simonet Alex Joffé
1954 L'Étrange Désir de monsieur Bard Donata Géza von Radványi
1956 Foreign Intrigue Dominique Danemore Sheldon Reynolds
The Silken Affair Geneviève Gérard Roy Kellino
Michel Strogoff Nadia Fédor Carmine Gallone
1957 Amour de poche Édith Pierre Kast
Trapped in Tangier Mary Bolevasco Riccardo Freda
1960 Song Without End Countess Marie George Cukor and Charles Vidor
1961 El Cid Princess Urraca Anthony Mann
1963 The Day and the Hour Agathe Dutheil René Clément
The Reluctant Spy Ursula Keller Jean-Charles Dudrumet
1964 Youngblood Hawke Frieda Winter Delmer Daves
1965 Le Majordome Agnès des Vallières Jean Delannoy
Three Rooms in Manhattan Yolande Combes Marcel Carné
1966 Tender Scoundrel Béatrice Dumonceaux Jean Becker
Corsaires et Flibustiers Mary Brown Claude Barma
Grand Prix Monique Delvaux-Sarti John Frankenheimer
1967 Belle de jour Madame Anais Luis Buñuel
1968 Mayerling Countess Marie Larisch von Moennich Terence Young
Decline and Fall... of a Birdwatcher Margot John Krish
A Talent for Loving Delphine Richard Quine
1970 The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes Gabrielle Valadon Billy Wilder
1979 Buffet froid Geneviève Léonard (the widow) Bertrand Blier
1982 Mortelle randonnée Madame Schmidt-Boulanger Claude Miller
1987 Beyond Therapy Zizi Robert Altman
Italian Postcards Silvana Memè Perlini
1989 Les Bois noirs Nathalie Dupin Jacques Deray
1992 L'Inconnu dans la maison Bernadette Georges Lautner


Year Title Award[3]
1980 Les larmes amères de Petra von Kant Critics Prize for Best Actress
1994 La femme sur le lit Colombe Prix Plaisir du Théâtre Best Actress

Personal life[edit]

She was educated at École du Louvre and Conservatoire national des arts et métiers. Page has been married to Jean-Claude Bujard since 1959; the couple have two children.[3] In an interview from 2013, she said she was having stewardship problems in her house and that she was no longer used to speaking.[4]


  1. ^ Person record "Page, Geneviève" (1927-) - BnF General Catalog. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  2. ^ "88068904". Virtual International Authority File. Retrieved 2020-04-25.
  3. ^ a b c d e The International Who's Who of Women 2002. Taylor and Francis Group. 2001. p. 429. ISBN 9781857431223.
  4. ^ a b Mirande, Par (July 6, 2013). "VIDÉO. Geneviève Page, à la ville comme à la scène (in French)". Le Point. Retrieved May 21, 2020.
  5. ^ Gemünden, Gerd (2008). A Foreign Affair: Billy Wilder's American Films. Berghahn Books. pp. 147–149. ISBN 978-0-85745-066-1. JSTOR j.ctt9qcq5c.12.
  6. ^ "Theatre in France". French News. Ohio State University. 1963. p. 10.
  7. ^ "Jean-Louis Barrault Madeleine Renaud Co.". French News. Ohio State University. 1963. pp. 9–10.

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