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Biography

Narrator

Actress and dancer Leslie Caron rose to fame in such acclaimed film musicals as An American in Paris (1951) and Gigi (1958). Born in Boulogne-sur-Seine, France, to a French father and American mother, she began dance studies at an early age. By the age of sixteen, she was performing in the Ballets des Champs-Élysées where she was discovered by Gene Kelly and subsequently cast in Mr. Kelly’s An American in Paris.

A contract with MGM and a string of successful films followed. Ms. Caron earned her first Academy Award nomination in the title role of Lili (1953), and she danced alongside Fred Astaire in Daddy Long Legs (1955). A signature role came in 1958, when she starred in the celebrated film musical Gigi. The film received nine Academy Awards including Best Picture, and Ms. Caron’s performance was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination. Further successes included Oscar-nominated turns in Gaby (1958) and The L-Shaped Room (1963), and celebrated films such as Fanny (1961) and Father Goose (1964). Her other notable films include Damage (1993), Chocolat (2000), and Le Divorce (2003).

Ms. Caron’s television appearances include a role in the miniseries Master of the Game and a guest role on Dynasty. A turn on Law and Order: Special Victims Unit earned her an Emmy Award in 2007. She appeared most recently on television in The Durrells in Corfu on PBS. On the stage, she has been seen in On Your Toes, One for the Tango, and, most recently, in A Little Night Music at the Théâtre du Châtelet. With Michael Tilson Thomas and the London Symphony Orchestra, she appeared on a recording of Debussy’s Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien for the Sony label. Her memoir Thank Heaven was published in 2009. She makes her San Francisco Symphony debut at these performances.

(September 2018)