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As an actress she came to prominence in the 60s nouvelle vague. As a chanteuse she was noted for her beautifully emotional, melancholy voice and went on to sell more than 35 million albums. Marie Laforet was born Maïtena Doumenach in the seaside resort of Soulac-sur-Mer in the Gironde region of Acquitane. After being raped by a neighbour at the age of three, she was unable to speak for a long time. Marie had also developed a natural shyness which she took great pains to overcome as a youngster. She was enrolled at the prestigious Lycée Jean-de-La-Fontaine when the family moved to Paris. Eventually she undertook drama classes with actor/director Raymond Rouleau. At the age of twenty, she won a radio talent contest. Soon thereafter -- thrust into almost instant stardom -- Marie was cast as the female lead in her first fi...

Photos © Tony Frank
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