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Miou-Miou 2013 2.jpg
Miou-Miou in 2013
Sylvette Herry

(1950-02-22) 22 February 1950 (age 73)
Paris, France
Years active1971–present
Children2; including Jeanne Herry

Sylvette Herry (born 22 February 1950), known professionally as Miou-Miou (French: [mjumju]), is a French actress. A ten-time César Award nominee, she won the César Award for Best Actress for the 1979 film Memoirs of a French Whore. Her other films include This Sweet Sickness (1977), Entre Nous (1983), May Fools (1990), Germinal (1993), Dry Cleaning (1997) and Arrêtez-moi (2013). In her career she has worked with a number of international directors, including Michel Gondry, Bertrand Blier, Claude Berri, Jacques Deray, Patrice Leconte, Joseph Losey and Louis Malle.

Early life[edit]

Miou-Miou was born Sylvette Herry in Paris. Her stage name, Miou-Miou (a reference to the sound of a cat), was given to her by Coluche.[1] She was raised in Paris by her mother, a greengrocer.


Miou-Miou with director Jean-Pierre Blanc in 1973

After studying acting Miou-Miou worked in improvisational theater with Coluche and Patrick Dewaere, joining with them to help found the new comedy theatre Café de la Gare.[2] She made her film debut in La vie sentimentale de Georges Le Tueur and La Cavale (both 1971).[3]

In 1973 she appeared in three films, Elle court, elle court la banlieue, Les granges brulées and Les aventures de Rabbi Jacob. Her big break came with Blier's Going Places, released in 1974. During the 1970s, she had roles in such films as F comme Fairbanks (1976), Alain Tanner's Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 (1976), and Losey's Roads to the South (1978). In Memoirs of a French Whore (1979), directed by Daniel Duval, she portrayed a young prostitute and received a César Award for the role. Many of these 1970s films were released internationally to art-house venues. In 1976 she appeared in one of the last Spaghetti Westerns, Damiano Damiani's A Genius, Two Friends, and an Idiot.

Through the 1980s she was in such films as La gueule du loup (1981), Guy de Maupassant (1982), Diane Kurys's Entre nous (1983) with Isabelle Huppert, Blanche et Marie (1984), Evening Dress (1986), and Deville's The Reader (1988). She played opposite Lee Marvin (in one of his last roles) in Boisset's Dog Day in 1984.

The 1990s saw her in Louis Malle's May Fools (1990), Deray's thriller Netchaïev is back, the comedy Un indien dans la ville (1994), and The Eighth Day (1996) and Dry Cleaning in 1997. She appeared opposite Gérard Depardieu in a new production of Émile Zola's Germinal (1993). 2001 saw her in Agathe et le grand magasin and in 2004 she appeared in L'après-midi de monsieur Andesmas, among other films.

By the mid-2000s, her film roles abated and she began to appear in theatre.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Miou-Miou in 1976

Miou-Miou has two daughters, Angèle Herry-Leclerc (born 1974), whose father is actor Patrick Dewaere, and Jeanne Herry (born 1978), whose father is singer Julien Clerc.[4]


Year Title Role Notes
1971 La cavale Little Squirrel
La vie sentimentale de Georges Le Tueur Short
1972 Ça va, ça vient Magic Circus's woman
1973 Quelques messieurs trop tranquilles Anita Boucher
Themroc The young neighbor
Elle court, elle court la banlieue The assistant
The Year 01 The woman at 6 am
The Burned Barns Monique Cateux
The Mad Adventures of Rabbi Jacob Antoinette Pivert
1974 Going Places Marie-Ange
Tender Dracula Marie
1975 Lily, aime-moi The girl in the coffee shop
Pas de problème! Anita Boucher
A Genius, Two Partners and a Dupe Lucy
1976 Al piacere di rivederla Patrizia
Victory March Rosanna
D'amour et d'eau fraîche Rita Gonzalez
F comme Fairbanks Marie Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
On aura tout vu Christine
Jonah Who Will Be 25 in the Year 2000 Marie
1977 This Sweet Sickness Juliette Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
1978 Les routes du sud Julia
1979 Traffic Jam Angela
Bye, See You Monday Nicole
Memoirs of a French Whore Marie César Award for Best Actress
1980 The Woman Cop Inspector Corinne Levasseur
1981 Est-ce bien raisonnable? Julie Boucher
La gueule du loup Marie
1982 Josepha Josépha Manet Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
Guy de Maupassant Gisèle d'Estoc
1983 Entre Nous Madeleine Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
My Other Husband Alice
1984 Dog Day Jessica
Le vol du Sphinx Laura
1985 Blanche et Marie Blanche
Une vie comme je veux Laurence TV movie
1986 Tenue de soirée Monique Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
1988 The Revolving Doors Lauda Nominated – Genie Award for Best Supporting Actress
The Reader Constance / Marie Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
L'argent Caroline Hamelin TV movie
Un vrai bonheur Short
1990 May Fools Camille Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
Nominated – David di Donatello for Best Foreign Actress
1991 Netchaïev est de retour Brigitte
La Totale! Hélène Voisin
1992 Scènes de ménage The woman Short
Le bal des casse-pieds Louise Sherry
1993 Tango Marie
Germinal Maheude Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
1994 Montparnasse-Pondichéry Julie
Un indien dans la ville Patricia
1995 Une femme dans la tourmente Michèle Rouannet TV movie
Une page d'amour Hélène TV movie
Court toujours: Joséphine et les gitans Joséphine TV short
1996 Ma femme me quitte Joanna Martin
The Eighth Day Julie
1997 Dry Cleaning Nicole Kunstler Lumières Award for Best Actress
Nominated – César Award for Best Actress
Elles Eva
1998 Hors jeu Herself
2000 Tout va bien, on s'en va Laure
Pour une fois Short
2001 Agathe et le grand magasin Agathe TV movie
2003 Ambre a disparu Eva Lorca TV movie
2004 Folle embellie Alida
Mariages! Gabrielle
L'après-midi de monsieur Andesmas Michel Arc's wife
2005 L'un reste, l'autre part Anne-Marie
Riviera Antoinette
2006 The Science of Sleep Christine Miroux
Avril Sister Bernadette
Le héros de la famille Simone Garcia
2007 Les murs porteurs Judith Rosenfeld
2008 Affaire de famille Laure Guignebont
The Great Alibi Éliane Pages
Mia and the Migoo Juliette's voice
2009 Marcher Herself Short
Petites vacances à Knokke-le-Zoute Micheline TV movie
Pour un fils Catherine
Le Concert Guylène de La Rivière
Une petite zone de turbulences Anne Muret
2011 Le grand restaurant II A client TV movie
Le choix d'Adèle Adèle TV movie
2012 Quand je serai petit Jacqueline
Bienvenue parmi nous Alice
Avanti Catherine
Populaire Madeleine Échard
2013 Arrêtez-moi Pontoise
Bob et les Sex Pistaches
Landes Madeleine
2018 In Safe Hands Irène
2021 The Last Mercenary Marguerite


  1. ^ Oscherwitz, Dayna; Higgins, MaryEllen (2 September 2009). The A to Z of French Cinema. Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-7038-3.
  2. ^ a b Miou-Miou in the NY Times Archived 7 January 2006 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Miou-Miou – Trailer – Showtimes – Cast – Movies – New York Times". Archived from the original on 15 June 2003. Retrieved 23 February 2006.
  4. ^ Famié-Galtier, Héloïse (8 February 2015). "Miou-Miou: Coluche, Patrick Dewaere, Julien Clerc... les hommes de sa vie". Puretrend (in French). Retrieved 10 June 2020.

External links[edit]