Odile Versois (born Étiennette de Poliakoff-Baydaroff; 15 June 1930 – 23 June 1980) was a French actress who appeared in 47 film and television productions between 1948 and 1980. Versois was the sister of actresses Marina Vlady, Hélène Vallier and Olga Baïdar-Poliakoff. Their father, Vladimir, was a noted opera singer of Russian descent, and their mother, Militza Envald Voropanoff, was a dancer. Born in Paris, she began acting as a child and for a while pursued a ballet career.
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Étienette De Poliakoff-Baidarov
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Docile, delicately beautiful, light-haired Parisian actress Odile Versois was born Katiana de Poliakoff-Baidaroff on June 14, 1930, the second of four Poliakoff sisters, all of whom became renown actresses in their own right. From an artistic family (her father was opera singer Vladimir de Poliakoff), Versois began her career as a child ballerina with the Paris Opera Corps de Ballet. She subsequently turned to film acting at age 18 and proved a natural with a major debut in Les dernières vacances (1948) [The Last Vacation]. Of the numerous films in which she undertook leading lady parts, she moved audiences most with her portrayals of fragile, often tragic heroines in romantic drama. Her more notable pictures include Paolo e Francesca (1950), Bel amour (1951) [Beautiful Love], the title role in Geliebte Domenica (1952), Grand gala (1952) and director/actor Robert Hossein's Toi... le venin (1958) [Nude in a White Car], which also co-starred sister Marina Vlady -- known for her sultry roles. Versois also provided lovely distraction in British films in the 1950s in_A Day to Remember (1953)_, David Knight in The Young Lovers (1954) [aka Chance Meeting], Alec Guinness in Verliebt in Paris (1955), Anthony Steel in Straße des Todes (1956) and Passport to Shame (1958) starring Diana Dors and Herbert Lom. She matured in taut crime dramas and lively costumers in the 1960s, notably Le rendez-vous (1961) and Cartouche (1962) the latter starring a swashbuckling Jean-Paul Belmondo. She also worked on the French, Belgian, Swiss and North African stages and on television, lending some touching performances toward the end, particularly in the films Églantine (1972) and Le Crabe-Tambour (1977). Dogged by ill health, she was seen less frequently into the 1970s and passed away of cancer a week after her 50th birthday, a gentle, beautiful soul gone before her time.
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