Sometimes a career path goes in a different direction that we imagine. At first, the Austrian actress Romy Schneider became known for shallow comedies. Disgusted by her image, she turned to independent women soon and later on she played her most significant roles in beloved France. Director Claude Sautet shot her classic movies such as Les Choses de la vie and the Max et les ferrailleurs. These works made her a highly revered character actress, who is loved and adored by her fans to this day.
From Sissi to a Serious Actress
In the 1950s, Romy Schneider first rose to stardom in the role as Empress Elisabeth. The romantic drama Sissi turned the teenager into a big star. As a result, Schneider appeared in numerous comedies and drama movies. But at the beginning of the 1960s, she turned to other genres. Her portrayal of strong women with an erotic interest secured her numerous roles with great directors. She worked not only with Orson Wells and Robert Enrico but also with Bertrand Tavernier. Schneider worked in front of a camera with all major French actors. Her favourite partner on set was Michel Piccoli. Her affair and a subsequent five-year engagement to a superstar Alain Delon kept the gossip press busy many years after her death.
Later Work and the Tragic Death of Romy Schneider
She met Delon while filming a movie Christine. It was a remake of Max Ophül’s love affair from 1932. At that time, the mother of Romy Schneider had played the part that her daughter was now taking on. That made headlines as well as the only collaboration between Delon and Schneider in the movie La Piscine. Her last film in 1981 La Passante du Sans-Souci was shaped by personal crises. Her divorce from the writer Daniel Biasini was finalized and her son had a fatal accident. A year later, the great actress died in Paris of heart failure after overdosing on sleeping pills.
Countless Awards for Her Achievements
Romy Schneider was posthumously given an award from the Montreal Film Festival for her acting performance in La Passante du Sans-Souci. The award was a part of a long list of accolades. She won the German Federal Film Prize for the Heinrich Böll adaptation of the Portrait de Groupe Avec Dame. Le Vieux fusil won the first César in history as did the La Banquière. After her death, she was also awarded in the César des Césars in 1985.
The public press and people connected the private life of Romy Schneider with the roles she had played in the movies. The constant pressure and personal tragedies haunted her all her life. She repeatedly confirmed this in many interviews during her lifetime. Despite her untimely death, Romy Schneider rose to become a legend of the cinema history. The film star is still in the central focus of numerous books and documentaries that illuminate the rise and fall of the Austrian / French film star. Romy Schneider’s legend lives on. That is not only visible from her fascinating story but also in countless films from her career.