People: Leslie Caron

Tuesday evening last week I managed to get very close to Leslie Caron. It was at one of the National Theatre's platform events where they talk about somebody and there is usually a book signing involved. Old queens, people close to death or a combination of the above seemed to make up the audience. Although there was one guy who took up two chairs that was definitely younger than me there... He sat two over and oohed and ahhed at everything she said as if he were her number one fan...

Anyway, Leslie Caron was the woman who at 16 danced with Gene Kelly in An American in Paris and then went on to be a star in her own right in films such as Gigi and Lili. She now runs a bed and breakfast outside Paris and has written a book about her life. She hasn't given up entirely on acting. She recently won an emmy for appearing in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and will be appearing in Paris next year in a production of A Little Night Music. It was interesting listening to her as she talked about her life and how it didn't quite work out the way that she always planned it, that she always managed to make the most of it... Of course, talent and ambition probably had a lot to do with it as well. Best line of the evening was confirming that Maurice Chevalier was more or less (well using a few more polite words anyway) a bastard.

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