On Monday 28th August, France mourned the passing of the iconic actress of the 1970s, Mireille Darc, at the age of 79. Born as Mireille Aigroz on 15th May 1938, she had chosen her pseudonym in reference to Joan of Arc. The actress embodied a new wave of femininity, offering a fresher look to the face of the independent woman.
Mireille Darc has been suffering from a heart murmur since childhood and underwent an open-heart surgery in 1980. In 2016, the actress had a third stroke late September and was hospitalised for two cerebral haemorrhages in Paris. She had recently been in a coma a few days before passing away yesterday.
Her fans will surely remember her performance in Le Grand Blond avec Une Chaussure Noire in 1972, in which she appeared in a tight-fitting black dress with a very revealing backline. Yet, the glamourous actress could perform comedy and tragedy alike.
After a few appearances in the early 1960s, Mireille Darc became famous with the comedy Pouic-Pouic by Jean Girault where she starred alongside Louis de Funès as his daughter in 1963. She was then noticed by producer Georges Lautner, who fell under her charm. From there, roles came flowing her way including La Grande Sauterelle (1967), Weekend by Jean-Luc Godard (1967), Les Barbouzes (1964), and Fleur d'Oseille (1967). In 1968, Darc also performed in the company of Alain Delon, whom became her partner until 1980.
Yesterday, her close friend and France’s former sex symbol, Brigitte Bardot, tweeted: “I weep for Mireille, Mimi, my little sister of the cinema who had kept her childish soul, played the lady by hiding her fragility and modesty. Generous, she gave more than she received. In search of love and protection, she had not only a sublime cleavage but a beautiful soul and was a delightful actress. It is a brilliant generation that marked the 20th century that is leaving, leaving room for ordinary mediocrity, far away, far from this Grande Sauterelle.”