6 February 1967, French actress Martine Carol died of a heart attack in Monte Carlo, she was 46. Carol was found dead in her room at the Hotel de Paris by her husband, British businessman Mike Eland. The actress was invited by producer Gino del Duca to attend the premiere of the film “Arrivederci Baby”, starring Tony Curtis and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Born on 16 May 1920 as Marie-Louise Jeanne Nicolle Mourer in Saint-Mandé, Val-de-Marne, (France), she followed acting lessons by René Simon. In 1940 she made her stage début in "Phedre" as Maryse Arley and in 1941 she appeared, although uncredited, in her first film: "Le dernier des six". In 1943 she did attract attention in the film “La ferme aux loups” with her acting and photogenic beauty. As one of the most beautiful women in film, she was frequently cast as an elegant blonde seductress. During the late 1940s and early 1950s she was the female top actress of the French cinema. At the time she was considered as the French version of Marilyn Monroe.
|Martine Carol with Antonio Vilar in "Le désir et l'amour" (1951)|
|Martine Carol with Christian-Jaque ("Adorables créatures", 1952)|
In 1947 she had an affair with Georges Marchal, her first great love. However Marchal prefered actress Dany Robin. The love affair ended disastrously as Carol attempted suicide on the 10the of April 1947 by throwing herself into the Seine River at the Alma bridge. She was saved by a taxi driver. In 1951 she married the American actor Stephen Crane, the previously Lana Turner's husband. The same year she scored her first huge success with the film "Caroline chérie", an adaption of the Cécil Saint-Laurent novels.
|Martine Carol with Véra Norman in "Un caprice de Caroline chérie" (1953)|
|Martine Carol with Bernard Blier in "Secrets d'alcôve" (1954)|
She continued with an array of costumed dramas such as "Adorables créatures" (1952), "Lucrèce Borgia" (1953), "Madame du Barry" (1954) and "Nana" (1955), all directed by her second husband French filmmaker Christian-Jacque, whom she married in 1954. She divorced him in 1959 due to professional conflicts and long separations.
|Martine Carol with Raf Vallone in "La spiaggia" (1954)|
|Martine Carol with Anton Walbrook in "Lola Montès" (1955)|
In 1955 she played the title role in Max Ophüls's "Lola Montès", portraying a circus performer. By the mid 50s, Brigitte Bardot had replaced Martine Carole on the goddess pedestal and her career went into decline. Depressed, Martine turned reclusive while her third marriage to French doctor Andre Rouveix also ended by 1962. She made her last film "Hell Is Empty" in 1963 but it was not released until 1967. Her last marriage to fourth husband Mike Eland, an English businessman, seemed hopeful, but on February 6, 1967, Martine died of cardiac arrest at age 46. Initially she was buried in the Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris. But after the violation of her grave she was reburied in the Grand Jas Cemetery of Cannes.
|Martine Carol with Sean Connery in "Action of the Tiger" (1957)|
|Martine Carol with Jeff Chandler in "Ten Seconds to Hell" (1959)|
|Martine Carol with Jean Gabin in "Le cave se rebiffe" (1961)|