Odile Versois

  1. Nicole Courcel, Le Marie du port, France, 1949.    Versois  refused the invitation from French cinema legend Marcel Carné – “because of the title,” said her younger sister Marina Vlady.(Oh really!).Anouk Aimeé was busy, co-starring with Trevor Howard in UK director Ronald Neame’s Golden Salamander in Tunisia.Enter: Courcel…
  2. Leslie  Caron, An American in Paris, 1950.      “Get a French girl!” Marge Champion told MGMusical producer Arthur Freed, spurning his invite to go solo and play Lise Bourvier. He still tested the Metro contractee Sally Forrest, before asking  Gene Kelly to switch his New York  holiday to Paris to test Versois, Jeanine Charrat –  and  The Cat Girl (Caron).  “Odile’s test was  pretty good,” recalled Freed. “She was an experienced actress.  But we both wrote down: Leslie Caron.  We brought her over and it was the only time she’d spoken a line.” She had been recommended to  Gene Kelly by future  director Roger Vadim. Or so he told me in  Paris. “I knew her because she had been in dance class with my wife.”  Madame Vadim was… Brigitte Bardot. Actually, another BB – the then Mrs Kelly, Betsy Blair – said it was another American in Paris who suggested Caron: singer-acor Eddie Constantine. 

 Birth year: 1930Death year: 1980Other name: Casting Calls:  2