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Collette Marchand Dies: French Ballerina, 'Moulin Rouge' Star Was 90

By    |   Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015 10:28 AM

Collette Marchand, the French ballerina who earned an Oscar nomination in 1952 for John Huston's "Moulin Rouge," died at her home in France on June 5 at the age of 90.

Marchand was a glamorous international ballet star who received a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nomination for playing Marie Charlet, a streetwalker who torments the love-sick main character, played by Jose Ferrer.

"Moulin Rouge" was one of Hollywood's most decorated films of that year, winning Oscars for Best Art Direction and Best Costume Design while Ferrer captured a Best Actor nomination. The movie was also nominated for Best Picture, Best Film Editing, and Huston was nominated for Best Director, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

While she did not win the Oscar, Marchand did nab the Golden Globe that year for most promising newcomer for her "Moulin Rouge" role.

Marchand first earned recognition in the 1940s through Roland Petit's ballet performances. She hit Broadway with Petit's ballets from 1949 to 1951, including the Jule Styne musical revue "Two on the Aisle."

"Ms. Marchand played a highly visible role in the postwar creative ferment of French ballet,"
The New York Times' Anna Kisselgoff wrote
. "Like many dancers in the Petit company, including Zizi Jeanmaire, its best-known star, she gave audiences a new image of the modern ballerina — part poetic, part chic."

"In 1949, in London and New York, she caused a sensation when she emerged from a giant egg in Petit's 'L'Oeuf à la Coque' as a chicken in black tights and black feathers. In the acrobatic mayhem onstage involving cooks and poultry in a kitchen (an updated Faustian Hell, as the program defined it), Ms. Marchand's showgirl presence was a standout."

Marchand married conductor Jacques Bazire while on tour with Les Ballets de Paris.

Marchand also appeared "Hungarian Rhapsody," "At the Order of the Czar" and "Romantic Youth," according to The Hollywood Reporter. She also appeared in the Orson Welles-directed play "The Lady in the Ice" in 1953.

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Collette Marchand, the French ballerina who earned an Oscar nomination in 1952 for John Huston's "Moulin Rouge," died at her home in France on June 5 at the age of 90.
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2015-28-23
Tuesday, 23 Jun 2015 10:28 AM
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