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Purrfectly pink: Claudia Cardinale/ Capucine ~ Clouseau’s Muses #1

June 17, 2013

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Talent…

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… These are the lovely ladies and gorgeous girls of eras gone by whose beauty, ability, electricity and all-round x-appeal deserve celebration and – ahem – salivation here at George’s Journal

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So, observant visitors to this little corner of the Internet will be only too aware it likes its golden anniversary celebrations (last year James Bond; this year Doctor Who), yet little trumpeted it may be, but this 12 months also marks the 50th anniversary of arguably the most esteemed and best-loved comedy film series of all-time (and its various spin-offs), namely The Pink Panther flicks. To kick-off a season dedicated to those Sellers-toting movies then, what more fitting – and better – pair of perfect specimens to usher into this blog’s Talent hall of fame than the glorious duo that graced the original Pink Panther flick, specifically that dynamite Italian Claudia Cardinale and that French fancy Capucine? What better, indeed…

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Profiles

Names: Claude Joséphine Rose Cardinale (Claudia Cardinale)/ Germaine Hélène Irène Lefebvre (Capucine)

Nationalities: Italian (Tunisian)/ French

Professions: Actress, model, UNESCO goodwill ambassador and activist/ Actress and model

Born: April 15 1938, Tunis, Tunisia/ January 6 1928, Saint-Raphaël, Var (Died: March 17 1990, Lausanne, Switzerland)

Height: 5′ 8″/ 5′ 7″

Known for: Claudia – kicking off her Hollywood career by playing the Arabian Princess Dala in the original Pink Panther film (1963), she went on to grace with her loveliness and not inconsiderable acting chops the westerns that are the Burt Lancaster/ Lee Marvin-starrer The Professionals (1966) and Sergio Leone’s operatically epic Once Upon A Time In The West (1968). Just months before her Pink Panther appearance, she starred in the Luchino Visconti classic The Leopard (1963) and the greatest-movie-of-all-time-contender, Federico Fellini’s (1963). In later life, she’s found a role for herself as a UNESCO goodwill ambassador for the Defence of Women’s Rights and is also an outspoken supporter of gay rights.

Capucine – lending her beauty, glamour and grace to several Hollywood flicks including Song Without End (1960), for which she received a Golden Globe award nomination, western North To Alaska (1960), frank drama Walk On The Wild Side (1962), wartime adventure The 7th Dawn (1964) and opposite Peter Sellers in both The Pink Panther (1963) and the Swinging Sixties caper What’s New Pussycat? (1965). Before moving into the movies, she was a famous, highly successful fashion model for the likes of Givenchy and Christian Dior, through which she met Audrey Hepburn and with whom she became friends for life. Tragically, owing to long-term depression she committed suicide at the age of 62. Her nom de scène ‘Capucine’ is the French translation of the word nasturtium.

Strange but true: Born in Tunisia to Sicilian parents, Claudia grew up speaking fluent Arabic and didn’t learn Italian until her late teens as she began auditioning as a film actress; the name of Capucine’s character in What’s New Pussycat? is Renée Lefebvre, which containing her actual surname as it does is clearly a nod to her real name.

Peak of fitness: Claudia – coated in soap suds as she has a scrub in the tub in Once Upon A Time In The West/ Capucine – in her nightie and bare-footed, as she slips and slides about on the bed trying to evade the advances of Peter Sellers, David Niven and Robert Wagner in the The Pink Panther‘s bedroom-farce scene.

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official-claudiacardinale.com/english

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CLICK on images for full-size

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2013 3:51 am

    Peter Sellers was undoubtedly a superb comedian… and a ladies man.
    However, my favourites of his “muses” have not been mentioned.
    The best for me was Claudine Longet from “The Party”. I can watch that film “ad nauseum” and still laugh until it aches!
    Almost as good was Sophia Loren from “The Millionairess”. Even in 2013, she still looks wonderful!
    Plus of course, Britt Ekland from “Carol for Another Christmas”, “After The Fox” and “The BoBo”. Unfortunately, age has not been as kind to her as it has for Sophia Loren.

  2. June 17, 2013 10:57 pm

    Well, who knows, Peter, this blog may get around to celebrating the likes of Britt Ekland and Sophia Loren with image galleries one day; who knows? 😉

    This post is as much a tribute to The Pink Panther film series as it is to female co-stars of Peter Sellers, though, as is mentioned in the intro paragraph.

    Thanks for your comment, as ever… 🙂

    • June 18, 2013 1:53 am

      I was between 9 and 23 years when the PP films with Peter Sellers were released.
      I assure you, that I am one of the biggest fans of Sellers, Blake Edwards, Herbert Lom and of course, Henry Mancini.
      I apologise for my comment about Sellers’ “muses”, but that is what the email put as the main point. Did it not?
      :-))

Trackbacks

  1. Purrfectly pink: Clouseau, karate and cartoons ~ 50 things you always wanted to know about The Pink Panther | George's Journal
  2. Purrfectly pink: Elke Sommer/ Catherine Schell ~ Clouseau’s Muses #2 | George's Journal
  3. Purrfectly pink/ Diamond geysers? The Pink Panther (1963)/ A Shot In The Dark (1964) ~ Reviews | George's Journal

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