The divine Marlène
With all of the glamour that emanates from the great fashion houses, shop it’s only natural that Avenue Montaigne should attract other stars. Many movie stars have taken up residence here. Probably the most famous among them is Marlène Dietrich, who lived for several decades at number 12. It was here, in front of her carriage gateway, that paparazzi could often be seen waiting. In her apartment here, she was interviewed at length in 1963 by André Parinaud for a series of memorable broadcasts on French radio. It is also here where she died on May 6, 1992. And even if she is buried in Berlin, the soul of this great actress still floats over the avenue. It is for this reason that the famous French singer/actor Serge Reggiani dedicated a song to her in 1997, titled simply “Avenue Montaigne.”
An Orchestra Seat
Leaving home in the provinces to conquer Paris. It is an ordinary situation, but one that has inspired numerous scenarios. And what happens if the young girl in question is
hired in a bar on the Avenue Montaigne? The result is Danièle Thomson’s film “Fauteuils d’Orchestre”, one of the successes of French cinema in 2006. The actress Cecile de France plays the role of Jessica a fresh and naïve country girl who discovers an array of fascinating characters here at the intersection of the worlds of fashion, literature and art. From the Theater of the Champs-élysées to the auction rooms of Drouot-Montaigne, Jessica rapidly adapts to this Paris of many talents. And when her love story unfolds in the shadow of the illuminated Eiffel tour, one of Arletty’s most famous phrases comes to mind: atmosphère, atmosphère…
Rendez-vous at thePlaza
Arletty, another mythical French actress, was among the regulars of the Hotel Plaza Athénée which has welcomed its share of stars.
The list of those who have frequented this palace resembles a Who’s Who of Cannes, Cinecittà and Hollywood: Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood, Daryl Zanuck, Gina Lollabrigida and Sofia Loren, Yves Montand and Claudia Cardinale… Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, at the height of their glory, lived here for a good part of the year in 1971. One might have run into Roger Moore and Tony Curtis during the filming of an episode of “The Persuaders” or, at the Relais, the great Marlène Dietrich and Ava Gardner reminiscing about their youth over a cocktail. To celebrate her 89th birthday, Arletty, the perfect Parisian gouaille, was surrounded by her friends. And among this group of cheeky Parisians, an unexpected guest, John Travolta.