French Actress. She made her debut both on stage and on film in 1948 ; on stage she was a member of La Comédie Française, and she played in many great movies including Louis Malle's Elevator to the Gallows (1958), Michelangelo Antonioni's La Notte (1961), Luis Bunuel's Diary of a Chambermaid (1964), Orson Welles's The Trial (1963) and Chimes at Midnight (1966). Yet her best part is to be found in Fancois Truffaut's Jules and Jim, in which she plays a mysterious woman, not so much beautiful as extremely charming, the central part of a menage a trois.
She directed a few movies, and now is to be seen mostly in cameos, such as in Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita. The attraction she creates comes not the much from her good looks as from the air of intelligence and sensuality that surrounds her. She has been called the thinking man's Brigitte Bardot.
Editor's update: Jeanne Moreau died, aged 89, on July 31, 2017, at her home in Paris.