Micheline Presle

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Micheline Presle
Micheline Presle in 1945
Micheline Nicole Julia Émilienne Chassagne

(1922-08-22) 22 August 1922 (age 101)
Paris, France
Other namesMicheline Prelle
Years active1937–2014
(m. 1950; div. 1954)
ChildrenTonie Marshall
RelativesSarah Marshall (great-grandniece)

Micheline Presle (French pronunciation: [miʃlin pʁɛːl]; born Micheline Nicole Julia Émilienne Chassagne; 22 August 1922) is a former French actress. She was sometimes billed as Micheline Prelle.[1] Starting her career in 1937, she starred in over 50 films, appearing firstly in productions in her native France and also in Hollywood during the era of Classical Hollywood Cinema, subsequently she returned to French films from the mid-1960s until 2014.


Early life[edit]

Born in Paris,[2] she wanted to be an actress from an early age. She took acting classes in her early teens

Early French cinema (1937-1950)[edit]

She made her film debut at the age of 15 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 (1947), led to offers in Hollywood.

Hollywood cinema[edit]

In 1950, she was signed by 20th Century Fox.

20th Century Fox executives changed Presle's last name to Prell.[3] It was later changed to Prelle after a soap company brought out Prell shampoo.[4] 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 Flynn and her 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.

Return to French cinema[edit]

She did not make another English film, but after performing in more than 50 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.[5]

Micheline Presle at the 2004 César Awards

Filmography (selected)[edit]

Title Year References/Note
Girls in Distress 1939
They Were Twelve Women 1940
Paradise Lost 1940
Comedy of Happiness 1940
Ecco la felicità 1940
They Were Twelve Women 1940
Parade en 7 nuits 1941
Histoire de rire 1941
La Nuit fantastique 1942
The Beautiful Adventure 1942
Le soleil a toujours raison 1943
Un seul amour 1943
Paris Frills 1945
Twilight 1945
Fausse alerte 1945
Boule de suif 1945
Les jeux sont faits 1946
Devil in the Flesh 1947
All Roads Lead to Rome 1949
The Last Days of Pompeii 1950
Under My Skin 1950
American Guerrilla in the Philippines 1950
Adventures of Captain Fabian 1951
The Lady of the Camellias 1953
It Happened in the Park 1953
The Love of a Woman 1953
Les Impures 1954
House of Ricordi 1954
Napoléon 1955
Thirteen at the Table 1955
Beatrice Cenci 1956
The Bride Is Much Too Beautiful 1956
Christine 1958
Blind Date 1959
Une fille pour l'été [fr] 1960
Le Baron de l'écluse [fr] 1960
Mistress of the World 1960
Les Grandes Personnes [fr] 1961
Five Day Lover 1961
The Assassin 1961
Time Out for Love 1961
The Italian Brigands 1961
Le Diable et les Dix Commandements 1962
If a Man Answers 1962
Venere Imperiale 1962
The Law of Men 1962
Combat! Just For the Record 1962
The Bamboo Stroke 1963
The Prize 1963
Dark Purpose 1964
Male Hunt 1964
Je vous salue, mafia! 1965
Le Roi de Cœur 1966
Peau d'Âne 1970
The Legend of Frenchie King 1971
Devil in the Brain 1972
Clochemerle 1972
Thieves After Dark 1984
Fanfan 1993
Les Misérables 1995
Le coeur à l'ouvrage 2000
Chouchou 2003
Vous êtes de la police ? 2007
Musée haut, musée bas 2008
A Man and His Dog 2009
Going South 2009
Thelma, Louise et Chantal 2010
Hitler in Hollywood 2011


  1. ^ Grissom, Candace Ursula (2014). Fitzgerald and Hemingway on Film: A Critical Study of the Adaptations, 1924-2013. McFarland. p. 143. ISBN 978-1-4766-1454-0. Retrieved March 13, 2020.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "manifeste des 343". 2001-04-23. Archived from the original on 2001-04-23. Retrieved 2019-05-28.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]