Yves Montand and Simone Signoret: love at first sight, Marilyn danger, family secret...

Mythical lovers, Yves Montand and Simone Signoret were almost swept away by the storm Marilyn Monroe. But this couple united by the same values ​​will end up finding each other never to leave each other again. A look back at their story, on the occasion of the 101st anniversary of the birth of Yves Montand...

  Yves Montand and Simone Signoret: love at first sight, Marilyn danger, family secret...

We are in January 1960. 4 stars shine that day under the flashes of the photographers: Simone Signoret , Yves Montand , whose we celebrate 101st anniversary of his birth on October 13, 2022, Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe. Simone Signoret was appointed to Oscars , Yves Montand met with great success across the Atlantic, Arthur Miller was a prestigious writer and Marilyn Monroe, a planetary star. For movie purposes The Billionaire , they will live together for several months.

At the time, Simone Signoret was an actress recognized for cult films like Golden Helmet , Therese Raquin or Devilish and sees Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Prévert. He just lacks Hollywood recognition. Her soul mate and husband Yves Montand, meanwhile, climbed all the steps of success with great energy. First a singer, he became an actor and established himself in the film The Wages of Fear . It is also cramped in Europe and is ready to give in to the siren song. Together they are going to conquer America at the risk of getting lost.

Flashback to a thunderbolt

Yves Montand and Simone Signoret met in the summer of 1949 in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Married to the director Yves Allegret , Simone Signoret falls in love with the singer who is 28 years old like her. Ivo Livi of his real name, Yves Montand is the son of an Italian immigrant who fled fascism. At the time he had just separated from Edith Piaf and has met with great success since he performed Dead leaves. Simone Signoret is not a woman to hesitate and has always listened to her heart: it is therefore without hesitation, but with a heavy heart that she leaves the one who allowed her to reveal herself with their daughter. Catherine of 3 years .

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Montand and Signoret: fighting together

The lovers married in December 1951. They try several times to start a family But Simone Signoret has two miscarriages and ends up giving up the idea of ​​becoming a mother a second time. Crazy about her husband, she forgets her daughter Catherine who grows up as she can alongside this close-knit couple. '(My mother) was close to all the desperate people in the world but she didn't always see my distress, there, right next to her ', confided Catherine Allégret to Gala.  Simone cannot do without Yves even though she knows that he is fickle and that he multiplies his conquests. The actress suffers from it but she is madly in love and cannot imagine her life without him, especially since they are fighting together in another area: politics.

The two actors have, in fact, espoused the ideas and causes of the Communist Party . Passive during the war, they never ceased to invest themselves politically and acted as precursors among the artists who kept their ideas to themselves. The couple supported the struggles of the oppressed throughout the world until Yves Montand's triumphant tour of the countries of the Eastern Bloc in 1956. Faced with the harsh reality experienced by the inhabitants of the USSR, Simone Signoret and Yves Montand fall from above and distance themselves from the PC. They will however keep all their life the taste of the fights for their ideas.

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The danger Marilyn

At the end of December 1959, the couple left Paris for Hollywood and the shooting of the film The Billionaire . They put their suitcases in a bungalow opposite that of Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe.

After a few weeks, Simone Signoret has to go back to Europe to shoot a film and leaves her husband who gets dangerously close to Marilyn. The sulphurous blonde and the French playboy spend their days together and soon their nights. Marilyn Monroe is captivated and Yves Montand bewitched. ' She emanated a light that could not be resisted. If you believe in God, you can say that it is God alone who produces this light that does not control the one it lives in “, explains the actor.

The two lovers try to hide their affair but they are quickly unmasked. Yves Montand realizes that Marilyn fell in love with him when he never considered leaving Simone. ' It's very simple, I can't live without Simone. She is an exceptional woman ', he confides. An exceptional woman who suffers terribly but who ends up forgiving. ' Do you know many of the men who allegedly stood up to Marilyn? “ she will say later.

A difficult end of life

The following years will be more complicated... If she puts up with it, the double life of Yves Montand is more and more burdensome for Simone Signoret who takes refuge in writing, but also more and more alcohol . Blind and bedridden , she grows closer to her daughter without ever moving away from her husband. On September 30, 1985, she succumbed to a pancreatic cancer at age 64 . Simone Signoret will have lived more than 36 years with her husband, her double, her brother...

Heavy family secret

In his work A world upside down , Catherine Allégret reveals that she would have been the victim of sexual assaults committed by her stepfather Yves Montand when she was a child and a teenager... She says in the book that she would have spoken to her mother who would have answered her: ' It does not matter, my darling, it is even very pretty. It's a bit of a way to extend our story '. Catherine Allégret will later forgive Simone Signoret when she herself becomes the mother of Benjamin, in 1969, the fruit of her love with Jean-Pierre Castaldi, and of Clémentine, born of her marriage to Maurice Vaudaux in 1984.

Two stars that shine forever

Yves Montand struggles to climb the slope after the death of Simone, her soul mate, but Carole Amiel gives her a smile. The birth of their son Valentin in 1988 will illuminate his last years. He died at the age of 70 on November 9, 1991. Yves Montand joined Simone Signoret in the Père Lachaise cemetery after saying loud and clear: ' We don't redo our life, we continue it '.

Source journaldesfemmes.fr