Yvonne Printemps

Born 25 July 1894. Died 18 January 1977.

Biography

Yvonne Printemps (25 July 1894 – 19 January 1977) was a French singer and actress who achieved stardom on stage and screen in France and internationally.

Printemps went on the stage in Paris at the age of 12, and at 21 she was singled out by the actor, director and playwright Sacha Guitry as a leading lady. In 1919 they were married, and worked closely together until 1932, when they divorced. Printemps never remarried, but had a personal and professional partnership with the actor Pierre Fresnay which lasted until his death in 1975.

As a performer, Printemps was famed for the quality of her singing voice and for her personal charm. Among those who composed for her were André Messager, Reynaldo Hahn, Noël Coward and Francis Poulenc. Her voice could have led her to an operatic career, but guided by Guitry she concentrated on operette and other types of musical show, along with non-musical plays and films. In addition to her many successes in Paris she appeared to great acclaim in the West End of London, and on Broadway in New York.

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