Simone Desmaison

Personal Info

Known For Acting

Known Credits 5

Gender Female

Birthday 1926-11-10

Day of Death 2020-12-28 (94 years old)

Place of Birth Paris, Ile-de-France, France

Also Known As

  • Simone France
  • Simone Damiani

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Simone Desmaison, born Simone Damiani in Paris in 1926, actress under the name of Simone France at the start of her career, is an actress, writer and screenwriter.

Companion of the mountaineer René Desmaison, it is she who, in the shadows, allowed the media coverage of his exploits. Before landing the role of her life and becoming the wife of the great mountaineer who died in 2007, Simone was an actress. Sister of screenwriter and director José Giovanni, the beautiful and talented brunette had notably played alongside Lino Ventura and the young Belmondo in Claude Sautet's "Classe tous risque". the rocks of Fontainebleau with René Desmaison. He fell in love with the actress, four years his senior. Already married twice and mother of two daughters, Simone did not marry René, who had already founded a family before him, until three years later.

She joined the guide in Chamonix and effectively put her acting career on hold. But Simone Desmaison was not the simple mountaineer's wife, prey to anxiety when her man embarked on races from which he was not certain to return. An unbearable wait, the most emblematic episode of which was the tragedy of February 1971, when René Desmaison and Serge Gousseault tackled a new route on the north face of the Grandes Jorasses and had to wait on the drop zone of the helicopter from mountain rescue to Chamonix. to find out which of the two had just lost his life.

Simone was above all René's press officer. Strong in character, the one who addressed an audience will find that of the mountaineer. After the winter ascent of the Walker, in 1963, by her husband and Jacques Batkin, she won an invitation to the show "La tête et les jeux" for the rope party. His sense of spectacle and staging will serve the career of the mountaineer, whose exploits were broadcast live on television, as on May 3, 1964 when for the 75th anniversary of the Eiffel Tower, the 312 m of the lady of iron were climbed by mountaineers. .

"The hidden face" of a René Not always appreciated by the Chamonix microcosm, the couple at the heart of several controversies broke away from conservative mountaineering institutions to promote in their own way the conquerors of the useless. “Simone was the hidden face of René's career, confides his son-in-law Xavier Chappaz. It was she who allowed René to become a lecturer by giving him acting lessons. His wife notably made him work on his diction, to get rid of his Périgord accent which unfairly discredited him. In 1985, she published "La Face de l'ogre". A first novel brought to the screen by Bernard Giraudeau three years later.

Other novels will follow, almost always with the mountain in the background. Returning for a time to the Fontainebleau region to give theater lessons, Simone Desmaison, who became a grandmother and even great-grandmother, spent the last years of her life in Chamonix with her family.





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