Gigi Perreau

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Gigi Perreau
Ghislaine Elizabeth Marie Thérèse Perreau-Saussine

(1941-02-06) February 6, 1941 (age 81)
OccupationActress, stage director, drama teacher
Years active1943–present
Emil Frank Gallo
(m. 1960; div. 1967)

Gene Harve deRuelle
(m. 1970; div. 2000)
Children4; including Anthony Gallo

Gigi Perreau (born February 6, 1941) is an American film and television actress.

Early years[edit]

The daughter of French-born Robert and Eleanor Child Perreau-Saussine, she was born Ghislaine Elizabeth Marie Thérèse Perreau-Saussine.[1]


Perreau achieved success as a child actress in a number of films. She got into the business quite by accident. Her older brother Gerald was trying out for the part of the title character's son in Madame Curie (1943). Because their mother could not find a babysitter, she took Gigi along.[2] The two-year-old, who could speak French, got the (uncredited) part of Madame Curie's daughter Ève (while Gerald would have to wait a year to make his film debut in Passage to Marseille).[2]

Perreau with Sal Mineo signing autographs at the 1956 premiere of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

She also played the daughter of Claude Rains and Bette Davis's characters in the 1944 film Mr. Skeffington (1944). In Shadow on the Wall (1950), she starred as the sole witness to a murder. As the "top child movie actress for 1951", the then ten-year-old was given the keys to the city of Pittsburgh by its mayor, and later Pennsylvania governor, David L. Lawrence. She was the youngest person to be so honored.[3] Perreau played the rebellious teen daughter of Fredric March in 1956's The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. However, her film career lost momentum as she became an adult, so she turned to television.

In 1959, she played a friend of character Mary Stone (Shelley Fabares) on ABC's The Donna Reed Show, and had a supporting role in the sitcom The Betty Hutton Show on CBS, with her brother Gerald. In 1960, Perreau and Robert Harland performed as Sara Lou and Lin Proctor, a young couple from the east who have eloped and are heading west, in the ABC western series Stagecoach West episode "The Land Beyond", with Wayne Rogers and Robert Bray. Also in 1960, Perreau was cast as Julie Staunton in the episode "Flight from Terror" of the ABC adventure series The Islanders, set in the South Pacific. She was cast in two episodes, "Don Gringo" (1960) and "The Promise" (1961), of the Nick Adams ABC western series The Rebel. In 1961, she played Mary Bettelheim in the episode "The Twelfth Hour" of the ABC/Warner Brothers television crime drama The Roaring 20s. She was cast in a recurring role on ABC's Follow the Sun series from 1961–1962 as a secretary, Katherine Ann "Kathy" Richards. She guest-starred on The Rifleman in 1960 and 1961.[4] She made two guest appearances on Perry Mason: in 1958 as title character and defendant Doris Bannister in "The Case of the Desperate Daughter" and in 1964 as nurse Phyllis Clover in "The Case of the Sleepy Slayer." In 1964, she also co-starred as Lucy, a beleaguered homesteader, on an episode of Gunsmoke titled "Chicken". In 1970, she appeared on the sitcom The Brady Bunch in the episode "The Undergraduate", portraying a math teacher who becomes the object of puppy love by Greg Brady, one of her students.

In the 2000s, she provided her voice in the animated films Fly Me to the Moon (2008), A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures (2010) and Crash: The Animated Movie (2017), and acted in Time Again (2011).


Perreau is an alumna of Immaculate Heart High School in Los Angeles and has taught drama classes there. As of 2010, she was a member of the board of directors of both the Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts and the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum and is the vice-president of the Drama Teachers Association of Southern California.[5]

She was a drama teacher for Meghan Markle. She was a guest of ITN at Markle's wedding in 2018 and was recognised by her in the crowd.[6]


On February 8, 1960, Perreau was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her work in television.[7]

On March 14, 1998, she was honored by the Young Artist Foundation with its Former Child Star "Lifetime Achievement" Award in recognition of her outstanding achievements within the entertainment industry as a child actress.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Perreau's elder brother Gerald (stage name Peter Miles) and, to a lesser extent, her younger sisters Janine and Lauren, also had a measure of success in film and on television. Gigi and Janine portrayed sisters on screen in Week-End with Father (1951).[9]

Perreau, 19, married 35-year-old Emil Frank Gallo, a business executive, in 1960; it was the first marriage for both parties.[10] They had two children: Gina Maria Gallo Paris, a filmmaker, and Robert Anthony Gallo, a guitarist. They divorced in 1967.

She wed Gene Harve deRuelle in 1970, a production manager and son of director Harve Foster, with whom she had two additional children: Danielle deRuelle Bianco and Keith deRuelle. Her second marriage ended in 2000.

Complete filmography[edit]

Year Title Role Note
1943 Madame Curie Ève Curie Uncredited
1944 Two Girls and a Sailor Jean as a child Uncredited
Mr. Skeffington Fanny at age 2 As Ghislaine Perreau
The Seventh Cross Annie Roeder Uncredited
The Master Race Baby As Ghislaine Perreau
Dark Waters Girl Uncredited
1945 God Is My Co-Pilot Robin Lee Scott Uncredited
Voice of the Whistler Bobbie
Yolanda and the Thief Gigi As Ghislaine Perreau
1946 To Each His Own Virgie Ingham Uncredited
High Barbaree Young Nancy Uncredited
Alias Mr. Twilight Susan As Gi-Gi Perreau
1947 Song of Love Julie
Green Dolphin Street Veronica
1948 The Sainted Sisters Beasley girl Uncredited
Enchantment Lark as a Child
1949 Family Honeymoon Zoe
Roseanna McCoy Allifair McCoy
Song of Surrender Faith Beecham
My Foolish Heart Ramona
1950 Shadow on the Wall Susan Starrling
Never a Dull Moment Tina
For Heaven's Sake Item
1951 The Lady Pays Off Diane Braddock
Reunion in Reno Margaret 'Maggie' Angeline Linaker
Week-End with Father Anne Stubbs
1952 Has Anybody Seen My Gal? Roberta Blaisdell
Bonzo Goes to College Betsy
1955 There's Always Tomorrow Ellen
1956 The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit Susan Hopkins
Dance with Me, Henry Shelley
1958 The Cool and the Crazy Amy
Wild Heritage 'Missouri' Breslin
1959 Girls Town Serafina
1961 Look in Any Window Eileen Lowell
Tammy Tell Me True Rita
1967 Hell on Wheels Sue
Journey to the Center of Time Karen White
1977 High Seas Hijack Patricia Haber English version
2008 Fly Me to the Moon Amelia Voice, uncredited
2010 A Turtle's Tale: Sammy's Adventures Whale Voice
2011 Time Again Old Lady
2017 Crash: The Animated Movie Grandma Swift Voice


  1. ^ Room, Adrian (10 January 2014). Dictionary of Pseudonyms: 13,000 Assumed Names and Their Origins, 5th ed. McFarland. ISBN 9780786457632. Retrieved 16 February 2019 – via Google Books.
  2. ^ a b James Bacon (August 25, 1960). "My, How Time Flies! Gigi Perreau, Former Child Star, Plans Oct. 1 Wedding". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. Associated Press – via open access
  3. ^ Edith Rosenblatt (December 1, 1951). "Top Child Movie Actress Honored at Luncheon". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  4. ^ "The Rifleman". 1961. Archived from the original on 2019-07-16. Retrieved January 20, 2020.
  5. ^ "Gigi Perreau". Donna Reed Foundation for the Performing Arts ( Retrieved January 3, 2010.
  6. ^ Adebowale, Temi (19 May 2018). "Meghan Markle Spotted Her Old Drama Teacher During the Royal Carriage Ride". Town & Country. Retrieved 16 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Gigi Perreau – Hollywood Walk of Fame". Hollywood Walk of Fame. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  8. ^ "19th Annual Youth in Film Awards". Young Artist Awards. Archived from the original on July 16, 2015. Retrieved November 17, 2011.
  9. ^ Brumburgh, Gary (Fall 2016). "Gigi Perreau: The Major Little Minor". Films of the Golden Age (86): 38–52.
  10. ^ "Gigi Perreau Marries Business Executive". Abilene Reporter-News. October 2, 1960 – via open access


  • Goldrup, Tom and Jim (2002). Growing Up on the Set: Interviews with 39 Former Child Actors of Film and Television. McFarland & Co. p. 266-232. ISBN 1476613702.
  • Best, Marc (1971). Those Endearing Young Charms: Child Performers of the Screen. South Brunswick and New York: Barnes & Co., pp. 209–214.

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